An investigation by Which? has found that half of last year’s Black Friday deals weren’t all they were cracked up to be. In fact, half (49%) of products ‘on offer’ were actually cheaper in the months before or after Black Friday.
Which? tracked deals on 20 popular tech gadgets and home appliances on Amazon, AO, Argos, Currys and John Lewis for the three months before and two months after Black Friday last year. The results show that only half (51%) of the products were cheapest on Black Friday itself, with the remainder cheaper before or after the day.
Less than one in ten (8%) discounts were one-day only offers, where the Black Friday price was cheaper than on any other day. Around one in ten (12%) were cheaper at some point in the three months leading up to Black Friday and four in 10 (38%) were cheaper in the weeks after Black Friday.
In addition, Which? uncovered numerous examples of offers by retailers AO and Currys that appeared to inflate the ‘was’ price to make deals look better than they actually are. When promoting a discount like ‘was £100, now £50’, the ‘was’ price should be the most recent price the item was sold at for 28 consecutive days or more, and not a price that is more than six months old. Which? found examples where this had not been done. As a result, Which? believes that these retailers may be breaking government guidelines.
Pete Moorey, Head of Campaigns, Which? said:
“Shoppers might be surprised to learn that only half of Black Friday deals are actually cheapest on Black Friday. If you’re thinking about starting your Christmas shopping around Black Friday, do your research as some ‘deals’ may not be all they’re cracked up to be.”
Advice from Which? on smart shopping this Black Friday
- ‘Was’ prices can be misleading – the ‘was’ price should be the most recent price the item was sold at for 28 consecutive days or more, and not a price that is more than six months old
- Do your own research – look at the price on previous days to make sure you really are getting a good deal
- If you are not convinced by an offer or discount, hold off for a better one – we found 38% of products were cheaper after Black Friday
- Shop at retailers with price promises, ensuring you can get a refund if your item drops in value in the weeks following your purchase
- For top tips this Black Friday visit the Which? Black Friday hub – http://which.co.uk/bfdeals
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Notes to Editor
- Which? investigated 178 deals from Black Friday 2015. The investigation involved tracking deals on Amazon, AO, Argos, Currys and John Lewis on 20 popular types of tech gadgets or home appliances. The prices were tracked every day for three months before and two months after Black Friday. The results showed that only 90 out of 178 deals tracked were cheapest on Black Friday
- In response, Currys explained that keeping prices low after an event like Black Friday is good for shoppers. Likewise, AO said that some products may remain on promotion beyond Black Friday, adding that this gives customers ‘great deals beyond just the one day a year’. Both retailers claimed that they had followed the regulations and guidelines with regard to displaying discounts
- Find out everything you need to know about Black Friday – http://which.co.uk/bfdeals