A great Black Friday deal? It may not be the case, watchdog warns
A consumer watchdog has warned shoppers to beware of the great Black Friday swindle after finding that only one in 20 'deals' is actually legitimate.
Following a new study, Which? concluded that nearly all Black Friday bargains are cheaper or available for the same price at other times of the year.
The consumer champion tracked the prices of 83 products on sale on Black Friday, November 23 in 2018 for a year, from six months before the retail bonanza until six months after.
It looked at deals from retailers including Currys, PC World, Amazon and John Lewis, and found just four (5%) products were cheaper on Black Friday than at other times.
Which? also found that six in 10 (61%) of the items on offer - including speakers, soundbars and kitchen appliances - were cheaper or the same price on at least one day in the six months before the annual sales event in November last year.
When looking at the two-week period surrounding Black Friday - including sales prices in the week before and after - Which? found that almost three quarters (74%) of products were cheaper or the same price in the six months after.
An example that it may be more of a bleak Friday for shoppers hunting for genuine bargains includes the Samsung HW-MS650 soundbar.
Which? found it was £299 at Currys PC World on Black Friday, but within a month the price dropped by £49 for at least five days. It was also £279.97 at least 13 times in the six months after Black Friday.
The De'Longhi Autentica Cappuccino Bean-to-Cup coffee machine was priced at £399 by John Lewis on Black Friday. It was cheaper on at least 64 days in the six months after, including being priced at £368 on at least 35 occasions. Similarly, the Amazon Echo (2nd Gen) (Smart speaker with Alexa - charcoal fabric) was on offer at £54.99 (39% off) on Amazon but it was cheaper on at least 13 occasions before Black Friday.
The Indesit IDC8T3B tumble dryer from Currys PC World was £20 cheaper than its 'sale price' of £199 just two weeks before Black Friday.
Mark Crawford, from the Northern Ireland Consumer Council, encouraged local shoppers to spend responsibly.
"Many retailers are trying to encourage us to spend during the festive season and it is easy to feel pressured into buying at this particular time of year but, remember, it is only a bargain if you really need it," he said.
"Not every promotional price you see actually represents good value for money. We encourage consumers to shop around a number of retailers to determine whether the price advertised for an item offers a genuine saving."
Amazon said: "Our Black Friday sale is about thousands of deals on a huge selection of products from every category across the site, at a time of year when we know saving money is important to our customers."
Currys PC World said: "Our customers tell us that they appreciate the increased choice during Black Friday where we have the most deals on at once."
John Lewis said: "As a participating retailer in Black Friday, we offer hundreds of deals across technology, home, beauty and fashion.
"We offer customers the best value on the high street all year, including Black Friday."
The De'Longhi Autentica coffee machine
at John Lewis on Black Friday
The Amazon Echo (2nd Gen smart speaker with Alexa charcoal fabric)
on Amazon on Black Friday
The Indesit IDC8T3B tumble dryer
at Currys PC World on Black Friday
The Samsung HW-MS650 soundbar
at Currys PC World on Black Friday