Black Friday is almost here, and most tech companies have been promoting hefty deals and discounts since roughly the start of the month. (There is a suspicion that it will soon be widely marketed as Black November.) But once again, it's been confirmed that Apple will not be knocking anything off its prices.

Instead, to celebrate deals season, Apple will again be giving away gift cards "with the purchase of select products". This is what the company does most years, so it wasn't a surprise when Macworld this morning received an email with the news that UK customers can "get an Apple Store Gift Card of up to £120 when you buy eligible products from 27 to 30 November."

A matching scheme has been officially announced in the US (where the gift cards can have a value up to $150) and Australia (up to A$210). You can view the offers in your local region on Apple's website.

By the standards of the tech sector in general, Apple's yearly gift card giveaway is a little underwhelming, both in its comparatively brief duration and the fact that you have to pay full price and then get a gift card you can spend on further products - technically you're not saving any money at all, at least on the initial purchase.

Those gift cards are a decent offer and they're worth bearing in mind if you were already considering a purchase in the near future. But what should Apple fans do if they want to find a real bargain this Black Friday?

Where to get an Apple deal this Black Friday

The first thing to say is not to worry. There are already dozens of brilliant deals on Apple products and they will continue to pop up throughout the Black Friday period, climaxing on Friday. You just need to check out retailers other than Apple itself.

The best place to check is our big Black Friday Apple deals hub, which has helpful links to the sales on all the major retailers' sites, advice on where you'll find the best savings, and a list of the 20 most unmissable deals.

If you're looking for something more specific, check our dedicated deals roundup for that category. We've got, for example:

Once you've found a deal, you should do some research. Read a review of the product (we review every Apple product on Macworld UK, but there are other review sites out there should you need a second opinion) to make doubly sure it's right for you. And see if you can find a record of the price it was going for before the sale kicked in. Some unscrupulous retailers bump up prices in October in order to 'reduce' them again in November.

Finally, once you've done your due diligence and are satisfied you've got a genuine bargain on your hands, do not delay further. Good deals go quickly; great deals go almost immediately. Don't let this rush you into buying with doing the research mentioned above, but once you've done the research, don't wait any longer!

Here at Macworld we hope you find some excellent deals on Apple products this Black Friday, and wish you luck in your bargain hunting.