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Hoping to bag a bargain this Black Friday? You need to know this first ...

Robin Bowman

Robin Bowman
Nov 20, 2017

If you’re planning to try and bag a bargain on this week’s Black Friday, you might want to think again.

New research from a leading consumer group has found that around 60% of ‘discounted’ goods appearing in the sales can actually be bought for less at different times of the year.

Which? carried out an investigation tracking pricing data over a year on the most popular tech, home and personal care products that were sold on Black Friday 2016. 


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60% of those items were sold cheaper or for the same price at other times during the year. 

Which? concludes that there are bargains to be had on Black Friday, the key is to do research before spending. And for some buys, you’ll do better by resisting the hype and holding off until later.

The best advice is to check prices, not what is advertised as the saving.

"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," said Alex Neill, the group's managing director of home products and services. 

Among the goods Which? tracked were:

  • A Neff Slide and Hide Oven from Currys/PC World, which was cheaper than the Black Friday price on at least 113 other days of the year
  • A Samsung 55-inch Smart HD curved TV advertised in Currys/PC World as "save £400, now £849", which was actually £50 cheaper on 29 other days of the year and £79 cheaper on 18 other days of the year
  • A 49-inch LG TV advertised in Argos at £499 with the tagline "Our lowest price," which was £4 cheaper a week later and another £16 cheaper at the end of December
  • An Oral B electric toothbrush advertised on Amazon as "save 26%," when it was actually £5 cheaper on at least two days in July

How to get the very best savings

And don’t forget: the best and biggest savings you can make throughout the year are on energy bills – over £300 on average, just by switching to a better provider when your fixed-rate deal ends. Not only that, but think about broadband savings, along with those on car and home insurance.

Tips for shopping this Black Friday

  • Look at the price, not the "saving"
  • Find out whether retailers will match prices
  • Sign up for online accounts with the biggest retailers a few days in advance so you can complete purchases more quickly
  • Research the products you want beforehand - make "wish lists," sign up to retailers' newsletters and follow them on social media to track prices and see what's on offer
  • Research prices online before hitting the shops
  • Be wary of unusual brands
  • Make a list of retailers selling the same product so you don't miss out if websites crash and stocks run out
  • Avoid crowds by checking if retailers will let you buy online and pick up later
  • Start early - some retailers begin promotions a week or so before Black Friday
  • Don't forget about deals on offer during "Cyber Monday" - the Monday after Black Friday
  • Check retailers' returns policy


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