The independent consumer body has tracked the prices of 94 popular products, including TVs, cameras and fitness trackers, which were on offer over Black Friday 2017, from six months before until six months afterwards.
According to Which? ‘the overwhelming majority (87%) of products were cheaper at other times of the year, bringing into question the true value of Black Friday’.
The investigation analysed deals at leading retailers Currys PC World, Amazon, John Lewis and Argos, finding that almost half (46%) of products on offer were sold for less in the six month period following Black Friday (from December 2017 to May 2018).
When looking at the two-week period surrounding Black Friday itself, Which? found that three-quarters (76%) of products were cheaper or the same price at other times in the year, and 74% could be picked up for the same price or less in the six months after.
Examples listed by Which? include the LG 60UJ630V (a 60in 4K TV) ‘which was advertised at £799 by Amazon on Black Friday but this wasn’t its cheapest price. In fact, it was £50 cheaper on at least 62 occasions after Black Friday and even dropped a further £150 for at least four days at the end of December and beginning of January’.
Another example is the Sony Cybershot HX60B Superzoom compact camera, ‘which was advertised as £189 (save £10) on Black Friday by Currys PC World, but we found it £10 cheaper at least 27 times in June and July 2017. It was also cheaper by £10 or more at least 43 times in the six months following Black Friday (including 33 days in December and January)’.
Which? managing director of home products and services Alex Neill said: “The results of our investigation will disappoint many who are expecting nothing but bargains this Black Friday. While retailers are bombarding us with promises of great discounts and time-limited sales, it’s clear that not all deals are as good as they might appear. To bag a bargain, do your research and don’t get carried away by the hype when shopping in the upcoming sales.”