Nine in 10 Black Friday deals were same price or cheaper beforehand, finds Which? investigation
The consumer association warned shoppers to make sure the discounts were “truly genuine” ahead of this year’s sales.
It said 184 out of 201 items from six retailers, which included Amazon and John Lewis, were priced the same or cheaper before Black Friday in 2020.
Trading standards has warned that a deal “may not be what it’s all cracked up to be”. Katherine Hart, lead officer at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, added the “prospect of scams rears its ugly head” during the sales event, which takes place on Friday.
“It seems that the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events get bigger every year, and many bargains can be found; however, we all must remain vigilant and practise shopping safety,” she added.
“Sometimes sellers raise their prices before a sales period to make it look like a great deal is on offer during the sale.”
Which? said popular items it found to be the same price or less before Black Friday last year included washing machines, soundbars and TVs.
It analysed items from Amazon, AO, Argos, Currys, John Lewis and Richer Sounds by looking at the prices offered by the companies every day during the six months before and after 2020’s Black Friday, as well as on the day itself.
“When looking at prices six months before and after Black Friday 2020, just one of the 201 products was at its cheapest price on Black Friday alone,” a Which? spokesperson said.
Ele Clark, Which? retail editor, said it was important shoppers did research before diving into the sales.
“Take time to identify the products you really want and check that the ‘deal’ you’re seeing represents a genuine saving,” she said.
In response to Which?’s investigation, Amazon said it sought to “offer our customers great value thanks to low prices all year round” and that customers could “easily compare prices, allowing them to make an informed purchase decision”.