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More than half of Black Friday ‘deals’ cheaper on other days

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Six in 10 of last year’s Black Friday bargains were found to be cheaper or the same price at other times of the year, an investigation has revealed.

Black Friday, which falls on 24 November, is an American mega discount event that takes place a day after Thanksgiving. Like many American trends, it’s now made its way across the pond.

The shopping extravaganza promises big discounts on electricals, appliances, gadgets and pretty much everything else, but campaign group Which? found that 60% of goods discounted were actually cheaper or the same price at other times during the year.

In a year-long investigation, it tracked the price of 35 popular tech, home and personal care products on sale last Black Friday.

It said the Neff Slide and Hide oven (made popular on The Great British Bake Off) from Currys/PC World was one of the worst deals. It sounded like a steal at £494.99, after being on sale at £599.99 throughout September and most of October. But the oven was actually cheaper than the Black Friday price for at least 113 other days of the year. It was £45 cheaper (£449.99) just three weeks later.

A Samsung 55-inch Smart 4K Ultra HD curved TV was advertised in Currys/PC World as ‘Save £400, now £849’, but it was £50 cheaper at least 29 times in December, January and April, the same price at least seven times in April, and £79 cheaper at least 18 times in May.

The DeLonghi bean-to-cup coffee machine was priced at £349 last Black Friday in Currys/PC World, a big saving on the £729.99 price tag for most of September and October. However, Which? data showed it sold for £579.99 for nearly three weeks when the ad claimed it was selling at £729.99. Additionally, it remained at the Black Friday price for almost all of December.

An Oral B electric toothbrush from Amazon was advertised as ‘save 26%: was £40.49, now £29.99’. But it was £5 cheaper on at least two days in July.

A 49-inch LG TV advertised in Argos at £499 with the tagline ‘Our lowest price’ was £4 cheaper a week later and another £16 cheaper at the end of December.

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services, said: “Our research shows that although Black Friday can offer some great discounts, not all offers are as good as they seem.

“It’s easy to get swept along by the hype and excitement on the day, so we recommend doing some preparation and research to help make sure you really are getting a good deal when shopping in the sales.”

In their responses, Amazon said: “We offer many thousands of incredible deals around Black Friday representing millions of pounds of savings for our customers across a vast selection of products.”

Argos said: “We regularly review our prices to make sure we’re giving customers the best possible value whenever and wherever they shop with us.”

Currys said: “We are bemused as to why a long-established consumer-focused organisation such as Which? would think that it is untoward for retailers to reduce prices on some items to a point lower than it had been in November. Currys PC World alone featured around 4,000 product sku’s (stock keeping units) reduced as part of the Black Friday period and we make no apology for reducing some of them even more after that period.”

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