The buying frenzy is almost upon us, and although we’re all going to be making impaired decisions and having major buyer’s remorse the morning after, Cyber Monday 2021 is no doubt going to be another incredible day for PC gamers and enthusiasts looking for discounts on PC parts, components and system builds. We take a look back at the manufacturers and products from last year to predict the line-up on Cyber Monday, November 29th 2021.
Cyber Monday is November 29th 2021 this year, and with the sheer volume of sales last year, retailers are hoping for a similar awesome turnout from consumers hungry for the latest PC parts at steep discounts. Let’s face it, Cyber Monday 2020 was a weird one. With most of the country experiencing lockdowns or restrictions, consumers were hitting the online sales in record numbers. The frenzied hordes of shoppers descended on virtual high streets in their millions, but overall spend was in fact lower than 2019 during Cyber Monday sales in 2020.
“According to Barclaycard, which processes close to a third of all transactions in the UK, payment volumes dropped 9.9% over Cyber Monday.” – Charged Retail
Barclaycard also reported a 16.7% drop in sales during the 2020 Black Friday sales over 2019, but most of it (surprise, surprise) was chalked up to consumers being unable to stomp their way into retail stores for deals. Of course, with uncertainties around job security during Q4 of 2020, the 9.9% drop in sales can be expected and certainly justified.
“While transaction volumes are still down compared to last year, the gap has narrowed considerably since Black Friday, and this is likely the result of strong e-commerce sales,” - Rob Cameron, Barclaycard Chief Executive
This year, there have been solid signs that UK e-commerce spending is back up, and online retailers are eagerly awaiting the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to see just how much expendable income consumers will have at their disposal.
“UK consumers are buying more goods online than ever and by the end of 2021, online sales will make up almost a third (30.2%) of overall retail spending. This is 11% more than the share in 2019, pre-pandemic.” – Internet Retailing
What To Expect: Cyber Monday 2021
If you are building or upgrading a PC this year, and you’re waiting for the Cyber Monday sales before you pull the trigger on your next purchase, then the signs are all good. There have been significant price drops across most categories of PC components over the year, which means manufacturers are passing on the savings to distributors and retailers. This will mean that Cyber Monday should see a similar pattern emerge, and you can expect prices to tumble on everything from SSDs to GPUs.
Cyber Monday 2021 Graphics Cards Deals
While we’re going to have to wait until next year to see DDR5, Alder Lake processors and other headline acts, the release of the AMD RX 6600 GPU on October 13th was a huge hit, with most online retailers selling out of the Nvidia RTX 3060 rival. Although, admittedly, the RTX 3060 performs better across most titles, the RX 6600 allows gamers to take advantage of amazing 1080p performance, and almost futureproof their system build with HDMI 2.1, Ray Tracing and the more than adequate 8GB VRAM.
It is almost certain that some retailers are holding back some stock in anticipation of the Cyber Monday 2021 event, and we can expect to see stock appear around the UK on the day.
For those who are in the know, the best value you can hope for with GPUs right now is when buying a pre-built system that includes an RTX and RX graphics card. Cyber Monday will certainly see some value in this area, where savings across all components can be found.
For the most part, value can be had with AMD’s APU processors, with a built-in graphics processor which can comfortably play popular games in 720p and 1080p. These APU processors are currently priced very reasonably for those waiting out the GPU crisis, so the hopes of Cyber Monday price slashing could be well founded.
AMD have been dropping prices of their processors for the last few months, with savings that have been much more attractive in the EU and UK than over the pond.
The excellent value AMD Ryzen 5 5600G has seen a constant and predictable price drop over time compared to non-APU processors, allowing anyone building a mid-range gaming PC in 2021 to do so without having to succumb to GPU price scalpers on eBay or Amazon.
Cyber Monday 2021 Memory Deals
The memory market has had its moments over the last couple of years, with prices directly linked to the supply & demand of DRAM. Market research teams at Taiwanese semiconductor industry analyst, Trendforce, reported that thanks to well-stocked warehouses, the price of DDR4 RAM is now coming down, as stocks signal the market is saturated. According to Tom's Hardware, the prices for RAM could decrease from 3% to 8% during Q4, which obviously includes the reckoning day of Cyber Monday.
A price drop or plateau for DDR4 RAM is great news if you are planning on going the iGPU/APU route, too. With better and faster RAM, integrated graphics processors can work at their optimal performance level.
We can expect companies like Corsair, G.Skill and Crucial to continue their price drops with distributors, but we can also see plenty of retailers using RAM as a gateway offer to get Cyber Monday shoppers through their virtual doors, with their shelves stocked full of fast DDR4.
Cyber Monday 2021 SSD Deals
With the advent of Windows 11 and DirectStorage, there’s plenty to look forward to for those who have NVMe SSD in their gaming PC. Although DirectStorage is not actually being used in games yet, the signs are that most developers will have DirectStorage in mind with updates and developmental plans to include the new API from Microsoft.
Western Digital are still leading the charge when it comes to the best value SSD, with their WD Blue SN550 SSD racking up incredible sales volume throughout 2021. The 1TB version has consistently lowered in price since 2020 and continues to be one of the best value 1TB SSDs available.
WD Blue SN550 Price Chart – Credit: PriceSpy
With most people upgrading PS5 storage, SSD will feature heavily in the Cyber Monday deals in the console market, too. The Western Digital Black SN850 500GB M.2-2280 SSD is the one to watch, with a nod and a wink coming from Sony’s Mark Cerny, a designer and programmer and part of the development team for the PS5.
Not to be outdone, Seagate are keen to champion their Firecuda range of SSDs, with massive savings of up to 40% available from online retailers. This can only spell good news come November 29th, so keep an eye on the current pricing to see what kind of value Cyber Monday brings.
How To Get The Best Value Cyber Monday 2021
There is no shortage of price comparison sites or deal websites getting in on the Cyber Monday action, but there are some practical things you can do right now to make sure you’re not getting ripped off or missing value.
Smart consumers have seen some dirty tactics in previous years, with prices being inflated just before the day of the deal, and then dropped so they hit the deal websites fast.
Cyber Monday 2021 – 5 Tips To Get Save Money
Tip #1: Plan ahead with comparable components
There’s little to no chance that all of the wishlist components you’ve put together will come up as a deal on Cyber Monday, so it is important that you have some comparable product in mind, just in case they come up. For example, if you are waiting for the price to drop on Crucial P5 Plus 1TB, you should also consider the – similarly priced - Corsair Force Series MP600 1TB, and the Samsung 980 PRO 1TB as well. The Samsung has the best performance but is higher in price. Seeing any price drops on these three SSDs will mean you’re getting value in terms of what you get for your money.
Tip #2: Get the prices of components NOW, not later
We all know the tricks and the games retailers play with us, so it is always helpful to get prices well ahead of time.
You can also turn the tables and take advantage of retailers instead. Getting a price in mid to late October means you are getting a price that has been put together based on Q4 projections, after a company has had their sales data from Q3. If they experienced low sales volumes across some of your most wanted components, chances are they are lower now than September. This is an ideal benchmark for Cyber Monday if you’re looking for prices to go even lower to match your budget.
You can see what components have the biggest price drops on the PC Part Picker website here. This website is also useful for checking the best component deals from last year’s Cyber Monday event. For example, if we look at memory, we can see there were some memory price drops last year at the end of November.
There was a slight dip in pricing on DDR4-3200 288-pin DIMM 2x16GB in November 2020, which would suggest the same thing might happen in 2021. Although prices went back up, the dip is what we’re looking for, as this shows retailers are keen to get sales on this particular RAM spec.
This is mostly speculation and depends on market weights at the time, but we can infer that we might see the same happen again, considering the memory stocks in the UK are full to the rafters.
Tip #3: Use a spreadsheet or wishlist website for price tracking
A spreadsheet will give you a great idea of the savings you’re getting on Cyber Monday, and you can create a simple price tracking spreadsheet in a few minutes using Excel, Google Sheets or Open Office Calc.
All you need is the component name, the date and price, and a link to the retailer’s deal. I have prepared a sample spreadsheet that you are free to copy or download here: My Cyber Monday Price Tracking Spreadsheet
This spreadsheet can be used to get a base price in October, then again the day before Cyber Monday, and then again on the day. This way you can see if the deal is actually worth it for you.
There are a few wishlist websites that you can use, though most are heavy on the affiliate marketing and you might find you’re getting recommended a lot of products to get you to spend some money. One great browser extension is Honey, which not only allows you to create wishlists, but will also add any coupon codes from around the internet when it comes time to checkout. Honey also tracks the price of any itmes you put on your “Droplist” – their version of wishlists. Sadly, it’s mostly aimed at the US market, but lots of UK prices and retailers are available. Another excellent extension and app is Pouch, which has over 200,000 users, and will immediately provide you with coupon codes when there’s one available.
Tip #4: Check out communities for Cyber Monday 2021 deals
There are dedicated “subreddits” on Reddit.com that will list all the deals for PC components, and you’ll also find a lot of tips if you ask the community about specific parts. The main subreddits that will feature Cyber Monday 2021 deals are: -
· r/BuildAPC - https://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc/
· r/BuildAPCSalesUK - https://www.reddit.com/r/buildapcsalesuk/
· r/PCMasterRace - https://www.reddit.com/r/pcmasterrace/
· r/CyberMonday - https://www.reddit.com/r/cybermonday/
· r/BlackFridayUK - https://www.reddit.com/r/BlackFridayUK/
HotUKDeals is one of the most trusted sources for deals online and offline, and always have a Cyber Monday special section for deal hunters. Every deal is user submitted and will show how “Hot” it is in the form of a temperature gauge.
The hotter the deal, the more people think it is a good deal. The only problem is, when a deal shows up on HotUKDeals, you will see it sell out pretty quickly, so you’ll need to keep a close eye on it, or set up an alert on the site for specific products/categories.
· HotUKDeals Cyber Monday 2021 Deals - https://www.hotukdeals.com/cyber-monday
Tip #5: Don’t buy anything just because it says it’s a bargain
This is probably the most important tip of all. Every single retail website is readying their banners and offer pages for Cyber Monday and Black Friday 2021, with lots of words to snare consumers like “Bargain”, “Limited Offer” and “While Stocks Last!”. The trick is to make sure you keep your wits about you and still shop around.
Black Friday Deals 2020 - Which? Magazine finds 1 in 10 items are cheaper before Black Firday
Last year, millions of online shoppers were duped into believing they were getting a great deal on products, and it was mostly the result of excellent or terrible marketing, whichever way you look at it.
Consumer magazine, Which?, tracked the prices of 219 popular home and technology products over 12 months, and found that 85% of the products could be found cheaper or were sold at the same price within the six months preceding Black Friday. Only three of the 219 items were at their cheapest on Black Friday.
"Do some research first. That way you'll know a genuine bargain when you see one." – Natalie Hitchins, Which?
It won’t take long to compare the price of a product you’re just about to purchase, so if you’re smart you could have make some savings on that next component in your dream gaming rig build!