The consumer group Which? has published a report warning shoppers to be wary of Black Friday promotions, revealing that in many cases, the deals aren’t as good as they might look.
Which? tracked the prices of 83 popular technology, home and personal care goods on offer in 2018’s Black Friday deals for a full year – for six months before Black Friday and six months afterwards.
The retailers monitored during the investigation included Amazon (20 items), Currys PC World (49 items), John Lewis (12 items) and Boots (two items).
The Which? team discovered that 95% of the items monitored had been available at the same price or cheaper, in the six months following Black Friday. Furthermore, when Which? extended the period to the two weeks surrounding Black Friday, including Cyber Monday, 74% of goods were available for the same price or less in the following six months.
Data showed that 61% of the items had also been the same price or cheaper in the six months before Black Friday and only 4 of the 83 items monitored were priced at their lowest on Black Friday.
Which? said that around half (48%) of all the products were sold at lower prices after Black Friday, and 47% remained at the same price.
Currys PC World reportedly offered 83% of the Black Friday items for the same, or lower prices, at least once in the six months prior to the sale, while the data showed that the same was true for 100% of the Amazon items monitored.
Which? stated that it did not find evidence that any of the retailers had broken the law but warned consumers to be aware that Black Friday deals may not represent the lowest price for an item.
Which? head of home products and services, Natalie Hitchins 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.”
Amazon told Which?: “The claim from Which? with regard to Echo is false and we have made this clear in our response to them. Amazon.co.uk customers were not able to buy the Echo (2nd gen) device cheaper before Black Friday 2018.”
Currys PC World told Which?: “Our customers tell us that they appreciate the increased choice during Black Friday where we have the most deals on at once. When we launched our Black Friday event last year, 40% of those products were the lowest price they had ever been.”
John Lewis told Which?: “In addition to the variety of offers we have in-store and online during the Black Friday period, our commitment to being ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ means that we continuously monitor and match the prices of our high street competitors throughout the year.”
Source : Insight DIY Team & Which?