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Half of ‘Black Friday’ offers cheaper on other days

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
16/11/2016
Half of last year’s Black Friday deals weren’t all they cracked up to be with an investigation revealing some super cheap items were actually priced lower in the months before or after the one-day event.

Black Friday, which falls on 25 November this year, is an American mega discount event the day after Thanksgiving, which has now become custom in the UK.

It promises consumers huge discounts on items such as electronics and appliances, but campaign group Which? found that 49% of products ‘on offer’ last year were actually cheaper in the months around the event.

It tracked deals on 20 popular tech gadgets and home appliances on Amazon, AO, Argos, Currys and John Lewis for the three months before and two months after Black Friday last year.

The results show only half (51%) of the products were cheapest on Black Friday itself, with the remainder cheaper before or after the day.

Less than one in ten (8%) discounts were one-day only offers, where the Black Friday price was cheaper than on any other day.

Around one in ten (12%) were cheaper at some point in the three months leading up to Black Friday and 38% were cheaper in the weeks after Black Friday.

It also uncovered numerous examples of offer prices at AO and Currys being inflated to make them look better than they actually were.

In response, Currys explained that keeping prices low after an event like Black Friday is good for shoppers while AO said some products may remain on promotion beyond Black Friday, adding that this gives customers ‘great deals beyond just the one day a year’. Both retailers claimed they had followed the regulations and guidelines with regard to displaying discounts.

When promoting a discount such as ‘was £100, now £50’, the ‘was’ price should be the most recent price the item was sold at for 28 consecutive days or more, and not a price that is more than six months old.

But Which? found examples where this rule had not been followed.

Pete Moorey, head of campaigns at Which?, said: “Shoppers might be surprised to learn that only half of Black Friday deals are actually cheapest on Black Friday. If you’re thinking about starting your Christmas shopping around Black Friday, do your research as some ‘deals’ may not be all they’re cracked up to be.”

Shop smart on Black Friday

Here are some top tips on how to shop smart and bag a real deal on Black Friday:

  • Do your own research – look at the price on previous days to make sure you really are getting a good deal. If you google deal checkers, comparison sites should come up, while you can track prices of goods on Amazon by visiting camelcamelcamel.com
  • If you are not convinced by an offer or discount, hold off for a better one – Which? found 38% of products were cheaper after Black Friday
  • Shop at retailers with price promises, ensuring you can get a refund if your item drops in value in the weeks following your purchase.

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