Black Friday deals: are they really a bargain?

Analysis by Which? shows that nearly nine in ten product prices were the same or cheaper earlier in year

Black Friday shopping
(Image credit: Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

Shoppers will be eager to bag themselves a pre-Christmas bargain in this week’s Black Friday sales - but are the deals really as good as they look?

Not according to newly published research by Which?, which warns that Black Friday “rarely offers genuine bargains”. The consumer group says analysis of 219 home and tech products advertised as “Black Friday deals” last year shows that 85% were the “same price or less before the day”.

A “miniscule” 1% - just three of the products - were cheaper on the big day than at any other point in the six months before and after.

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With this year’s event fast approaching, Which? is urging bargain hunters “to do their research”, Sky News reports. “That way you’ll know a genuine bargain when you see one,” said the consumer rights champion’s head of home products and services, Natalie Hitchins.

Here is how major retailers have responded to the investigation’s findings.

Amazon

“We seek to offer our customers great value thanks to low prices all year round as well as a number of fantastic seasonal deals events. 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. And the best thing about shopping online is that customers can easily compare prices, allowing them to make an informed purchase decision.”

AO.com

“We offer great deals for our customers all year. Last year’s Black Friday event had over 9,000 fantastic and fair offers for customers and we expect this year to be even bigger.”

Argos

“Our Black Friday event gives customers access to hundreds of products at their lowest ever price. They may also be part of sales and promotions we run the following year.”

John Lewis

“As a participating retailer in Black Friday, we offer hundreds of deals across technology, home, beauty and fashion. In addition to the variety of offers we have in store and online during the promotional period, our Never Knowingly Undersold price promise means that we continuously monitor and match the prices of our high-street competitors throughout the year. As such, we offer our customers the best value on the high street all year round, including during the Black Friday period.”

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