Black Friday fails as most ‘bargains’ are cheaper or same price months before sales

It is touted as one of the biggest sales events of the year – but is it really? (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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Nearly nine in 10 Black Friday “bargains” were cheaper or the same price six months before the sales event, a probe found.

Consumer watchdog Which? said that on last year’s big day only three out of 219 popular products it had tracked prices for were a real saving.

And with this year’s event days away, it said items were also found to be cheaper or the same price AFTER Black Friday.

Natalie Hitchins, Which? head of home products and services, said: “With many of us stuck at home this Black Friday it might be tempting to scour the sales for a bargain. But we’ve found you could get the same deal or an even better one at another time.”

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Which? tracked prices for scores of items six months ahead of Black Friday 2019 and six months after.

Currys PC World was most likely to have the same or better offers on items six months before the event – for 96% of goods.

At John Lewis, 90% of items were a better buy or the same price in the previous six months and at AO and Argos it was 86% and 83% respectively. Amazon came out best but still offered 57% of its products cheaper or for the same price ahead of Black Friday.

At Currys PC World, a set of Bose headphones was £249 on Black Friday but were cheaper or the same price at least 15 times in the six months before.

A De’Longhi coffee machine at John Lewis cost £1,285 in the Black Friday sale – but had been the same price or less at least 35 times in the previous six months, falling to less than £1,200 on several days in May and June 2019.

And at Argos a GoPro Hero7 White Action Cam was £129.99 on Black Friday, having been that price the week before. It then dropped to £119 for 11 days in February before going back up to £129.99 until May.

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Ms Hitchins added: “Deals that look too good to be true often are, so don’t fall for time-limited offers and if you are looking for something in particular, do some research first. That way you’ll know a genuine bargain when you see one.”

All of the retailers hit back, insisting they offer value-for-money deals.

Meanwhile, Action Fraud is warning shoppers to take extra care during Black Friday after £3million was lost to crooks in the event last year.

And Barclays said its data on scams suggests consumers caught out this week could lose an average £735 each.

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