With Black Friday deals already in full swing, a new investigation suggests that more than 90% of Black Friday deals were the same price or cheaper in the six months before the sales event last year,
Black Friday deals might not be what it’s all cracked up to be
According to the BBC, the investigation led by Which? found that 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.
Which? said popular items it found to be the same price or less before Black Friday last year included washing machines, soundbars and TVs.
“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,” the consumer champion in the UK said.
One of the “worst individual deals”, it added, was a Zanussi washing machine at John Lewis that was cheaper than its Black Friday price on 88 different days before the day itself.
That’s why it is suggested that these Black Friday deals “may not be what it’s all cracked up to be”.
Finding the best deals
A developer from Cape Town even went as far as developing a website to see how the prices of certain products differ from Takealot in South Africa. The website, called Servaltracker.com, records the daily historic listed and selling prices of popular products on South Africa’s biggest e-commerce site – Takealot – and presents these in a simple graph
Meanwhile, Katherine Hart, lead officer at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute in the UK, 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.”
Do your research
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”.