Black Friday shoppers rushed into purchases they later regret, Which? research reveals 

The hype around Black Friday leads some shoppers to make impulse buys they later regret – with many using credit or borrowing from friends and family to fund their purchases, Which? has found. 

Which? surveyed 2,000 members of the public to find out how they felt about items they bought in last year’s Black Friday sales and found that the majority who bought something in the 2020 sales regretted their purchases across five of the seven product categories featured.

Three-quarters (76%) of people who bought DIY products in the Black Friday sales later regretted these purchases.

Two-thirds (66%) of people who bought home appliances, nearly two-thirds (64%) who bought baby and child products, six in ten (58%) who bought health and beauty products and more than half (53%) who bought homeware or furniture also said they regretted their purchases.

The other two categories – clothing, shoes and accessories, and tech products – saw half (49%) and four in ten (41%) of shoppers feel regrets, respectively.

Three in ten shoppers (28%) who bought DIY products had to use credit or borrow from friends or family to pay for their goods, because they did not have the funds themselves.

Borrowing because they had no other way to pay was also common among customers who bought baby and child (24%), homeware or furniture (20%) and health and beauty products (20%).

The hype surrounding Black Friday can lead people to make rash decisions, sometimes skipping steps they would usually take before buying, such as shopping around and checking product reviews.

One in five people (20%) who bought home appliances felt pressured to rush into a purchase. These figures were even higher for people who bought DIY products, with 22 per cent feeling pressured.

To guard against any rash purchases, Which? advises consumers to do some research ahead of Black Friday, keeping an eye on prices for any potentially significant purchases before this year’s deals are announced so they have something to compare them to.

Previous Which? research has found that Black Friday deals are cheaper at other times of the year. The consumer champion’s Black Friday deals guide identifies the deals that offer the best discounts and is a helpful resource for shoppers to check during the sales.

If something catches their eye on the day, consumers can also use price tracker websites to help establish if they are getting the best price and check Which? reviews to see if a product is a Best Buy.

Ele Clark, Which? Retail Editor, said:

“Our research has found that many people regret Black Friday purchases, as the hype around the sales pushes them to make rash decisions.

“More worryingly, some told us they had to borrow or use credit in order to fund their purchases, which could impact their credit score if they can’t clear the debt.

“Don’t feel rushed into making an impulse purchase. Thinking about what you genuinely want or need to buy in advance of Black Friday, checking product reviews and researching the item’s price history will help ensure you stay within budget and get the best value for money in the sales.”


Notes to editors 

Which? surveyed 2,000 adults in the UK between 7th and 10th September 2021. Fieldwork was carried out online by Opinium and data has been weighted to be representative of the UK population (aged 18+).

Link to Which?’s Black Friday deals guide:

About Which?

Which? is the UK’s consumer champion, here to make life simpler, fairer and safer for everyone. Our research gets to the heart of consumer issues, our advice is impartial, and our rigorous product tests lead to expert recommendations. We’re the independent consumer voice that influences politicians and lawmakers, investigates, holds businesses to account and makes change happen. As an organisation we’re not for profit and all for making consumers more powerful.

The information in this press release is for editorial use by journalists and media outlets only. Any business seeking to reproduce information in this release should  contact the Which? Endorsement Scheme team at

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