Only one in seven Black Friday ‘bargains’ offer a real discount

Only one in seven Black Friday deals offer a genuine discount, with the vast majority of deals cheaper or at the same price in the six months before the sales event, research has found.

The group of consumers Which? monitored more than 200 Black Friday promotions last year at seven major retailers—Amazon, AO, Argos, Currys, John Lewis, Richer Sounds, and Very—by watching their prices every day for the six months before and after Black Friday.

It found that 86 percent of the deals were actually cheaper or the same price as Black Friday in the six months before the sales event and 98 percent were cheaper or the same price at other times of the year. None were cheaper only on Black Friday.

The consumer group said finding a good deal on Black Friday was like “looking for a needle in a haystack” and urged shoppers “not to overdo it.”

Their research is timely because another study published last week suggested Brits were intent on spending more over Black Friday weekend than in previous years because they were so desperate for bargains before Christmas.

In one example highlighted by Which?, a Zanussi chimney range hood was £239 on Black Friday 2021 at John Lewis, saving £30. But it had been the same price since 9th November and had been £160 for a fortnight in August.

Which? I also found a Bosch fridge promoted as a Black Friday deal at John Lewis for £869, only to have the product reduced by £20 less than a week later. It remained at the lowest price until February 23 of this year.

Elsewhere, the consumer group found that a Toshiba TV marketed at £279 by Very on Black Friday last year, at a savings of £100, had cost £379 just three days the previous month. Then, just before Christmas, the price dropped even further, to £275.

Which? he said Amazon and Very were the worst retailers overall for dubious discounts.

Reena Sewraz, its 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 buy and you’ll probably find the things you want are about the same price or cheaper as we head into Christmas, the New Year and beyond.

“Retailers aren’t blind to the added pressures on people’s finances this year and will be eager 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.”

A John Lewis spokesperson said: “We have great deals all year round. The offers referenced in this research were the result of our never knowingly below-sale price-matching commitment, which ran until earlier this year, where we price-matched major competitors throughout the year. year. We withdrew Never Knowingly Undersold in August and are investing £500m, 25 per cent more than last year, so that all our customers can benefit from great quality and value, whether they shop in store or online.”

Amazon said: “We look to offer our customers great value thanks to low prices throughout the year, as well as a series of fantastic seasonal sale events. Our Black Friday sale features thousands of deals from all categories across the site at a time of year when we know saving money is important to our customers.”

Very did not respond to a request for comment.

Black Friday is November 25 this year. The sales event is a US import and falls on the day after Thanksgiving.


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