Research by consumer rights watchdog Which? suggests that the overwhelming majority of Black Friday ‘bargain items’ are actually sold for the same price or less after the sales end.
Analysts at Which? tracked the prices of 83 products before, during, and after Black Friday last year.
They found that 95 per cent of items were cheaper or the same price after the sales had ended – and 61 per cent were cheaper before the sales started.
Stores with the fewest actual deals
Which? said Currys PC World was the worst high street offender, with more than 80 percent of products in its Black Friday sales cheaper or the same price in the six months beforehand.
Online, Which? found that 100 per cent of the Amazon products they tracked were cheaper or the same price in the six months following Black Friday.
Natalie Hitchins, Which? head of home products and services, said, “We have repeatedly shown that “deals” touted by retailers on Black Friday are not as good as they seem.
“Time-limited sales can be a good opportunity to bag a bargain, but don’t fall for the pressure tactics around Black Friday.
“Our investigation indicates that this popular shopping event is all hype and there are few genuine discounts.”
Worst Black Friday deals
The team at Which? found several so-called ‘deals’ on products that were actually cheaper both before and after Black Friday last year.
Samsung HW-MS650 soundbar
In 2018’s Black Friday Sales, this speaker was priced at £299 in Currys/PC World. But a month later, Which? says the price fell to just £250. In the six months after the sales, the speaker was advertised at £279.97 on at least 13 occasions.
Indesit IDC8T3B tumble dryer
In the six months before Black Friday 2018, this tumble dryer was cheaper than the “deal” price no less than 21 times at Curry’s/PC World.
Ultimate Ears Megaboom wireless speaker
Which? says this speaker was advertised at the same price as on Black Friday four times in the run up to the sales – and cheaper on at least 114 occasions after the sales ended.
What is Black Friday?
This year, Black Friday is on 29 November. It’s always the day after Thanksgiving, which is the American public holiday on the fourth Thursday of the month.
In the United States, the sale supposedly garnered the nickname ‘Black Friday’ after a series of incidents where shoppers died or were injured in fights and accidents when searching for deals.
The sale originally lasted for 24 hours, but now most retailers have a week of discounts starting the Monday before (25 Nov).