Black Friday: is it such a big deal after all?

New research from Which? reveals half of people have never shopped on the Black Friday weekend before.

Black Friday is said to mark the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, however, new research from Which? has found that almost half of us have never shopped over the Black Friday weekend before, and only half of people (49%) who intend to shop this Friday believe they will get a good deal.

Only three in ten (28%) of those who said they had previously shopped over the Black Friday weekend claimed they actually enjoyed it.

The survey also revealed that when it comes to Christmas shopping online or on the high street, we have likes and loathes. We found:

  • Three fifths of us (62%) hate the busy crowds in stores and on the high street
  • A quarter (27%) said they hated how untidy the shops are at Christmas
  • And whilst nearly one in six (17%) said they hated listening to the constant Christmas music, two fifths of us (37%) still love the Christmas spirit in store
  • Of those planning to do most of our gift shopping online, more than half (56%) say they prefer to do research online before they buy
  • And three fifths (60%) believed they’d get a better deal online.

Alex Neill, Managing Director of Home and Legal at Which? said:

“Don’t believe the hype – Which? has shown that Black Friday isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Whether you’re looking to bag a bargain online or in-store this weekend, do your research so you stand a chance of knowing whether you’re getting a good deal and don’t buy for the sake of buying.”

If you are planning to spend this Black Friday weekend, be aware of your shopping rights before you buy in store or online, so you’re in-the-know on your rights of return or if something go wrong. Which? Consumer Rights sums up your five essential Black Friday shopping rights:

  1. A faulty Black Friday deal – if something’s faulty, take it back to the retailer. You will have 30 days from purchase to get your money back, but it’s best to check – some retailers may extend this over the Christmas period.
  2. Unwanted purchases: online vs offline – most shops on the high street aren’t required to have a returns policy, so if you or your loved one doesn’t like what you’ve bought (and it’s not faulty), you might not be able to get your money back. It’s always worth checking the store’s returns policy and any special Christmas dispensation at the till. It’s a different story for online buys – if you change your mind, you can get a full refund on non-faulty goods, as long as it’s within the 14-day window from the day you received it. Consider buying closer to Christmas if shopping online.
  3. Digital content that doesn’t work – if you buy an app, a movie, music, games or ebooks you’ll be glad to know that you have rights under the Consumer Rights Act if the material is faulty.
  4. Black Friday delivery problems – remember that it’s the retailer’s responsibility to deliver your goods to you. If your order doesn’t arrive, turns up damaged, or goes missing, speak to the shop you bought it from.
  5. Avoid scams on Black Friday – if you see any deals advertised this Black Friday that look too good to be true, be very careful. Use our seven tips to spot and avoid a scam online to make sure you’re not caught out.

The Which? Consumer Rights site provides free online advice on all your shopping rights, including returns and exchanges for both in-store and online purchases.

Notes to Editors

  1. Which? Consumer Rights is providing free and independent online advice on your returns and exchange rights, to prepare you for the Black Friday weekend and beyond.
  2. One weekend before the sales shopping weekend of 25-28 November, known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we asked 2,088 general population respondents, who were surveyed by Populus on behalf of Which?, how they prefer to do the majority of their Christmas shopping, when they will do the majority of their Christmas shopping and reasons for preferring to do their shopping online or in store.


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