Nearly all Black Friday ‘deals’ are cheaper or available for the same price at other times of the year, according to a new Which? Investigation.
An investigation by the consumer rights group tracked 83 products that went on sale on Black Friday in 2018, from six months before the retail bonanza until six months after.
The consumer champion looked at deals from retailers including Currys PC World, Amazon and John Lewis, and found just four (5%) products that were cheaper on Black Friday than at other times of the year.
Which? found that six in 10 (61%) of the products on offer which included speakers, soundbars and kitchen appliances were cheaper or the same price on at least one day in the six months before the annual sales event in November last year.
When looking at the two-week period surrounding Black Friday itself, including sales prices in the week before and after, Which? found that three quarters (74%) of products were cheaper or the same price in the six months after.
While Which? did not find evidence that any of the retailers were breaking the law, the consumer champion is concerned that shoppers are at risk of being confused by Black Friday offers that might not be as good as they sound.
Which? is urging shoppers to not get carried away by the hype of Black Friday sales and to do their research to assess whether the price and quality of the product they are considering makes it the right deal for them.
Among the so-called Black Friday deals, Which uncovered the Samsung HW-MS650 soundbar was £299 at Currys PC World on Black Friday. Which? said, “within a month the price dropped by £49 for at least five days. What’s more, it was £279.97 at least 13 times in the six months after Black Friday.”
The De’Longhi Autentica Cappucino Bean-to-Cup coffee machine was priced at £399 by John Lewis on Black Friday. It was cheaper on at least 64 days in the six months after, including being priced at £368 on at least 35 occasions.
The Amazon Echo, smart speaker with Alexa, charcoal fabric was on offer at £54.99 (39% off) on Amazon but it was cheaper on at least 13 occasions before Black Friday.
The Indesit IDC8T3B tumble dryer from Currys PC World was £20 cheaper than its ‘sale price’ of £199 just two weeks before Black Friday.
Natalie Hitchins, Which? head of home products and services said, “We have repeatedly shown that ‘deals’ touted by retailers on Black Friday are not as good as they seem.
“Time-limited sales can be a good opportunity to bag a bargain, but don’t fall for the pressure tactics around Black Friday.
“Our investigation indicates that this popular shopping event is all hype and there are few genuine discounts.”
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