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Should I buy a guitar amp on Black Friday?

Should I buy a guitar amp on Black Friday?
(Image credit: Future)

Save the date: November 27. The Black Friday guitar deals are nearly upon us. For guitarists, Black Friday is a pretty amazing time, as all that tasty gear we’ve been eyeing up throughout the year is potentially offered up to us with all manner of deals and discounts added on. If ever there was a time to get the best guitar amp for you at the best price, this is it.

In this guide to shopping for a guitar amp on Black Friday 2020, we’ll aim to highlight some of the things to look out for, and offer some idea of the types of deals you may see this year.

5 reasons to buy a guitar amp on Black Friday

  1. Price, price, price
    Retailers have suffered like many others throughout 2020, with people understandably more inclined to protect their hard-earned cash. That makes Black Friday even more important, as businesses seek a quick boost in the run up to 2021. Experience tells us Black Friday is the perfect time for consumers, which is evident in some of the crazy prices we’ve seen in the past few years on premium-level gear.
  2. Timing
    Even in ‘regular’ years, retailers tend to wait until Black Friday and the festive season to offer their best deals. What we’ve also noticed, however, is that no store wants to be the last to the party so you can expect to see new deals and offers announced regularly, and way in advance of the big day itself. 
  3. Shopping with confidence
    Regardless of when you buy your gear, you have certain rights as a consumer. Black Friday deals don’t alter or affect this in any way, so you’re free to order items and return them if they’re not correct or suitable. Pay attention to the retailers’ specific policies though to make sure you’re within their guidance.
  4. Look for ‘halo deals’
    Even if the specific amp you’re looking for isn’t included in a special deal, it’s worth looking out for site-wide discount and voucher codes. In previous years these have been as much as 15%, so it’s well worth keeping an eye on the dealers’ sites. 
  5. The thrill of the chase 
    As musicians, we’re all partial to keeping an eye on that next piece of gear. And, if you’re simply looking to see what’s out there with no specific prize in mind, on Black Friday you have the best opportunity you’ll get to treat yourself to an impulse purchase, safe in the knowledge the price is likely to be as good as it’s been all year. 

Should I wait for better deals?

Boss Katana 50

(Image credit: Boss)

Black Friday has become such a part of the consumer calendar that most retailers will leave it till now to announce their year-best offers and deals. Of course, it’s a retailer’s prerogative to offer discounts whenever they like, but you can remain fairly confident the ones you find on Black Friday will be among the best they’ve done all year. That said, it’s worth using price tracking tools – there are plenty available online – to ensure the deals being offered now are the best.

Ultimately, you’ll know yourself if it’s best to snap up a Black Friday offer or wait, but you do run the risk of slimmer pickings if you leave it…

Should I shop in-store or online?

Normally, the answer to this question would be entirely dependent on you, and your desire to traipse around in the cold carrying heavy shopping bags. And, as we know, amplifiers aren’t the smallest and lightest things you can buy so if there was ever a piece of gear we’d advocate buying online it’d be an amp. Thankfully, you can always fall back on a retailers’ returns policy if it doesn’t end up being what you’d hoped.

What deals can I expect?

While we’ll each have our own specific items we’re looking out for in 2020, there were some outstanding deals we noticed on Black Friday 2019 which will give you a flavour of what’s in store. 

The deal which turned the most heads was at Sweetwater, where they knocked an incredible $600 – almost half the price – off the hand-wired Vox AC15. It’s not often you’ll see that much taken off the price of anything in the amp world, and unsurprisingly that one sold out pretty quickly. The Marshall Origin range also saw some decent offers, with reductions of almost 20% delivered across the range. 

As well as the amps themselves, it’s worth keeping an eye out for site-wide discount codes as these could offer further discounts, or even just mean you can throw in a few extras to make the most of the deals on offer. Both Guitar Center and Musician’s Friend offered up to 15% off, so there are certainly bargains to be had. 

How can I prepare for Black Friday? 

To get prepared ahead of Black Friday 2020, there are a few things you can do. Firstly, do your research. This means – on top of the product itself – having a handle on how it’s been priced throughout the year. 

It’s also worth your time looking at product product reviews and buyer's guides to ensure the thing you think you need will do exactly what you want it to do.

Be sure to sign up for newsletters from the major retailers too, so you’re first to hear about any offers or deals, and it’s also well worth following them all on social media channels to snap up any flash deals. Ideally, you want to be in a position where you know what you’re looking for, so if and when it gets reduced, you’re ready to pounce.

Shop the early-Black Friday sales live now