Black Friday falls on the fourth Friday of November.
This year (2023) Black Friday is on November 24th. But Black Friday Sales can start any time in November or even as early as October, and many continue up to the end of the year.
Traditionally, it is during the Black Friday Sales when you can expect the biggest and rarest audio software deals. It’s the time of year when music producers, sound designers, engineers and musicians get rather excited… and their bank accounts get rather nervous. It can be easy to get caught up in the hype during this silly sale season so we’ve put together this handy guide to help you, and your wallet, survive Black Friday.
What to Expect on Black Friday
Sales. Lots of them. Many of them are no different to sales during the rest of the year but a number of them are unique. Developers and resellers will launch various promotions during November, culminating in a climax on the actual day of Black Friday. Some sales will last for weeks, some for a day or less, and everything in between. To avoid getting overwhelmed or panic buying, consider the following guidelines.
How to Make the Most of Black Friday
1. Have a budget and stick to it
eg. “My spending limit this Black Friday is $600”
Be sensible and think about just how much money you can actually afford to spend. Don’t forget that Christmas is coming and you may have loved ones expecting gifts. Make sure you’ve put aside enough for Tiny Tim’s Lego Mario set!
Whatever you do, don’t get yourself into debt unless you’re 100% certain you can pay it off. Credit cards can be awfully tempting, and some stores even offer their own ways to spread payments, but we’d seriously recommend only spending money you actually have available.
Oh… and consider this. Maybe. Just maybe. You don’t have to buy anything this year. 😮
2. Make a list of plugins you really want
eg. “I would really like the Soundtoys 5 collection, oeksound soothe 2, and Kilohearts Ultimate. Plus maybe a nice creative delay if it comes up.”
Having a good idea of what you want and need before the sales really kick in is a good way to stop yourself from just splurging on the first great offers that appear. It’s also a valuable exercise just to think about what you really need… might turn out it’s less than you thought.
Something that might help the decision process is checking out what went on sale last year. On the Audio Plugin Guy Black Friday Deals page, you can see all the previous year’s Black Friday plugin deals. This is super handy for getting an idea of what might come up this year and what kind of money you might expect to spend.
3. Watch the plugin deals lists and groups
There will be many sites attempting to keep track of all the deals each year, and we can guarantee the most complete and useful will be the Audio Plugin Guy Black Friday Deals list. The team there, with their connections and experience, are working to ensure no deal goes unlisted.
A priceless resource for those on the hunt for plugin deals is the Developer Sale Alerts feature. This ensures that you receive email notifications whenever a deal from your selected developer is added to the database. With this tool at your disposal, you won’t miss out on the Black Friday deal you’ve eagerly anticipated. We’re such fans of it that we even use it ourselves! 😆
Last year we launched the Plugin Reseller Price Check, a list of all the audio software products at a selection major resellers. The list is automatically updated daily so you can look up the best price available for the plugins you’ve got your eyes on. You also have the option to get notifications when prices drop on any products on that list so you don’t even have to check in every day for your sale, we’ll tell you about it when it happens!
Extra helpful for Black Friday when the best deals are likely to appear.
Those lists is updated regularly, but if you’re the super keen type that needs to be one of the first to know about new deals you’ll want to be in the Audio Plugin Deals and Freebies Facebook Group. You’ll also be far less likely to miss out on any flash sales if you’ve got new post notifications on in there. This is a public group so you don’t even need a Facebook account to browse, though there are good reasons to join as you will see…
4. Listen to the community
The Audio Plugin Deals and Freebies Facebook Group has over 75,000 members and continues to grow relentlessly. The combined experience and knowledge of a community this large is invaluable. You can count on enough people having informed opinions on any product or offer to help you decide if it’s something you really want to go for. We’re also making sure no exceptional deal is missed… in fact, we’ve been known to crash developer websites when something really great gets posted!
If you’re not a Facebooker then you can also find all the same deals reposted in our newplugindeals subreddit.
5. Be patient…
Take note of the end dates for the deals that catch your eye. You don’t have to buy right away and digital products don’t (usually) go out of stock so there’s no need to rush. Remember you have a budget to stick to and if you buy something hastily early on this may not leave enough to pick up something even better that pops up further down the line.
Be zen, dudes and dudettes.
6. Be aware of scammers and spammers
Finally… a word of caution. It is unfortunate in this world that there are people out there who are willing to deceive you into thinking they are offering something that they are not in order to make a quick buck. When all the big deals start appearing it would be easy to believe in an offer that looks too good to be true and some scammers will be counting on that to take your money in return for nothing, cracked software, or even spyware.
We’ve noticed scam sites are more prevalent than ever in the last couple of years. Be very careful of any website offering a product at a significantly lower price than anywhere else, including the original manufacturer, some even pretending to be well-known stores. Discounts at this time of year are usually set by the developer and passed on to resellers so everyone is making the same offer and no one is undercutting anyone else. If you see the FabFilter bundle for $9.99… run a mile! Unless it’s officially on offer at one of the well-known major resellers (such as those in our Plugin Reseller Price Check tool!).
You will also find some affiliates of stores like easy-to-join affiliate programmes such as Plugin Boutique and ADSR will go into overdrive spamming social media and email inboxes with what they may claim to be are all the best deals, whilst only actually sharing those they make some commission from. Sadly, these guys give conscientious affiliates like us a bad name.
The easiest way to spot an affiliate spammer is by the large proportion of the links they share which are affiliate links.
The best way to avoid being conned by scammers or spammers is to stick with trusted sources for your deals and ask the community if you have any concerns. We’ll make sure you’re not left with a bitter taste in your mouth once the season is over.
Happy Deal Hunting!
Hopefully with the helpful suggestions above you will have a fantastic shopping experience this Black Friday and won’t end up with any debts or regrets. And afterwards, please do make sure you spend time actually making music, rather than collecting plugins!
If you find this guide useful, as well as the other content and work that Audio Plugin Guy and Plugin Deals do, you can help support us by buying via the following affiliate links this Black Friday. Simply make sure you click one of these before you spend any money and a small portion of what you spend will find its way to us.
For this, we are incredibly grateful. Thanks! ❤️