Posted: Tue 22nd Nov 2022

Only one in seven ‘deals’ worth buying on Black Friday, Which? finds

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Nov 22nd, 2022

Only one in seven deals on Black Friday offer a genuine discount, according to new research by Which?

The consumer champion found the vast majority of promotions are cheaper or the same price in the six months before Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Which? analysed 214 Black Friday deals last year at seven major home and tech retailers – Amazon, AO, Argos, Currys, John Lewis, Richer Sounds and Very – looking at their prices every day in the six months before and after the sale day on 26 November 2021.

Out of the deals analysed Which? found 183 or 86% were actually cheaper or the same as their Black Friday price in the six months before the sales event and 98% were cheaper or the same price at other times in the year.

None were cheaper on Black Friday alone, according to Which?

Research also showed that while there are some deals to be had, genuine discounts are often few and far between and with the mammoth sales event less than 72 hours away, Which? is urging customers not to fall for the hype without carefully examining whether items are really worth buying and that the ‘discounted’ price offers a genuine saving.

In one example Which? researchers found a Zanussi chimney cooker hood was £239 on Black Friday in 2021 at John Lewis, with a £30 saving.

But it had been the same price since 9 November, and was reduced to £160 for a fortnight in August.

It only increased to £269 on 13 October, meaning that the so-called £30 saving didn’t really represent good value for money.

Also at John Lewis, Which? found a Bosch fridge for £869 that dropped in price by £20 less than a week later.

It stayed at the lower price every day until 23 February 2022.

At AO, Which? researchers found a Leisure reestanding electric range cooker for £969 on Black Friday last year with a £30 saving.

But it remained at this price until 23 December 2021, when it dropped further. Which? found that it did not return to above the pre-Black Friday price until February 2022.

The Toshiba TV was £279 at Very on Black Friday last year, with a claimed £100 saving.

Which? found it had been £379 for just three days in the month before Black Friday.

It stayed at £279 until 22 December 2021, when it dropped further to £275.

Even when including discounts applied in the two weeks around the big day, to take account of Cyber Monday sales, Which? found that 186 or 87% of deals had a lower or equal price at another time.

Amazon and Very were the worst retailers overall for dubious discounts, with more than 70% of products included in Which?’s analysis cheaper at other times of the year compared to their Black Friday price.

When Which? spoke to the retailers about its findings all, apart from Currys and Very who didn’t respond, said that Black Friday is a key time for deals but is just part of efforts to offer savings through the year.

Which? is urging people not to feel pressured into making purchases and instead take the time to do their research before parting with any cash to make sure they are buying a high quality product at a price that genuinely offers value for money.

Reena Sewraz, Which? Retail Editor, said: “Our research shows that finding a good deal on Black Friday is like looking for a needle in a haystack. It’s rarely the cheapest time to shop and you’ll probably find the things you want are the same price or cheaper as ntwe head towards Christmas, the New Year and beyond.

“Retailers are not blind to the extra pressures on people’s finances this year and will be keen to use Black Friday to attract people looking to get the most for their money, so we should still expect some deals. Our advice is to take the time to do some research if you want to find a genuine bargain.”

What the retailers said: 

An AO spokesperson said: “We’re proud of our role over the last 20 years in driving down prices for customers. The internet is almost always the cheapest place to buy electricals and our over 350,000 4-star-plus Trustpilot reviews demonstrate it’s also a better way to buy the category. Black Friday itself remains but one part of the many deals we offer customers through the year.”

A John Lewis spokesperson said: “We have great offers all year round. The offers referred to in this research were as a result of our Never Knowingly Undersold price match pledge which applied until earlier this year, where we price matched high street competitors throughout the year. We retired Never Knowingly Undersold this August and are investing £500m – 25% higher than last year – so all our customers can benefit from great quality and value,  whether they shop in store or online.”


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