Only one in seven Black Friday deals offer genuine discount, data reveals
Just one in seven Black Friday deals offer a genuine discount and the vast majority of promotions are cheaper or the same price in the six months before the sales event, a study has found.
Which? analysed 214 Black Friday deals last year across seven major retailers – Amazon, AO, Argos, Currys, John Lewis, Richer Sounds and Very – looking at their prices every day in the six months before and after last year’s event on 26 November.
The watchdog found 183 (86%) were cheaper or the same as their Black Friday price in the six months before the event and 209 (98%) were cheaper or the same price at other times in the year. None was cheaper on Black Friday alone.
Which? concluded that although there were some deals to be had on Black Friday, genuine discounts were “often few and far between”.
Ahead of this year’s Black Friday on 25 November, Which? urged consumers not to “fall for the hype” without carefully examining whether items were really worth buying and that the “discounted” price offered a genuine saving.
Even when including discounts applied in the two weeks around Black Friday, Which? found that 186 (87%) of the deals had a lower or equal price at another time.
The watchdog named Amazon and Very as 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.
Which? retail editor Reena Sewraz 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 we 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.”
An Amazon spokesman said: “We seek to offer our customers great value thanks to low prices all year round as well as a number of fantastic seasonal deals events. Our Black Friday sale offers thousands of deals from every category across the site at a time of year when we know saving money is important to our customers.”