Only one in seven deals on Black Friday offer a real discount, according to new research from Which?.
The consumer champion analyzed 214 Black Friday deals at seven major home and tech retailers last year – Amazon, AO, Argos, Currys, John Lewis, Richer Sounds and Very – looking at their prices every day in the six months before and after the day of sale (November 26, 2021).
It found that most of the promotions (183 – or 86%) were cheaper or the same price in the six months leading up to the sale. Of the deals, 209 (98%) were cheaper or the same price at other times of the year. Nothing was cheaper only on Black Friday.
With the massive sales event just 72 hours away, real discounts are few and far between, with Which? urging customers not to fall victim to the hype.
In an example, Which? researchers found that a Zanussi ZHB62670XA extractor hood with chimney cost £239 on Black Friday 2021 at John Lewis – a saving of £30.
But it had been the same price since November 9 and was reduced to £160 for two weeks in August. It only rose to £269 on October 13, meaning the supposed £30 saving wasn’t exactly value for money.
The Toshiba 43UL2163DBC TV cost £279 at Very on Black Friday last year, with a claimed saving of £100. Which one? found it had been £379 for just three days in the month before Black Friday.
It remained at £279 until December 22, 2021 when it dropped further to £275.
The questionable discounts from Amazon and Very
Even taking into account sales on Cyber Monday, Which? found that 186 (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. are included, cheaper at other times of the year compared to their Black Friday price.
When Which? spoke to the retailers about his findings, all – except Currys and Very, who did not respond – said Black Friday is an important time for deals, but is only part of the effort to offer savings throughout the year.
Therefore, consumers should not feel pressured to part with their money as they may not actually be saving.
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Reena Sewraz, Which one? 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’re likely to find that the things you looking for the same price or cheaper as we head towards Christmas, the New Year and beyond.
“Retailers are not blind to the added strain on people’s finances this year and will be happy to use Black Friday to attract people who want to get the most out of their money, so we can still expect some deals. Our advice is to get the take the time to do some research if you want to find a real bargain.”