Since importing the hyper-capitalist custom of Black Friday from across the pond, savings-savvy Brits have used it as an opportunity to stock up on Christmas presents and other consumer goods at low prices. But now research has revealed that just one in twenty deals are actually cheaper on Black Friday.
According to consumer watchdog Which?, almost all deals available on Black Friday are cheaper or available for the same price at other times of the year.
In a new investigation, Which? tracked the prices of 83 products on sale on Black Friday in 2018 for a year, from six months before the retail bonanza until six months after.
It 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, which this year takes place on 29 November, 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.
Advice for shopping the Black Friday sales
Don’t impulse buy
Work out what you need or want to buy and how much you’re prepared to spend before you start shopping in the sales.
Don’t worry about missing out on a good offer as our research has revealed that you could be better off waiting until after Black Friday anyway.
Find out about offers in advance
Sign up to your favourite retailers’ newsletters for inside tips, or check their social media pages ahead of the sales for any clues or hints to what will be on offer.
Do your research
Look at the price on previous days, using sites such as PriceRunner, to make sure you really are getting a good deal.
Don’t always trust reviews you find online
Our recent investigation revealed how shoppers are being misled by unscrupulous sellers using fake online product reviews.
Experts will be scrutinising the Black Friday sales to pick the deals that really are worth a look. Check which.co.uk/blackfriday for a pick of the best bargains out there, as well as the duds to avoid.