Money Wellness
Red illustrated image with a black tag hanging saying Black Friday
category iconMoney Saver
calendar icon23 Nov 2023

Countdown to Black Friday

There’s just one day to go until Black Friday (24 November) but the price cuts have already started and there’s seemingly some good deals to be had all over the place.

But are those deals too good to be true? Apparently so, with 98% of Black Friday ‘deals’ having been cheaper at other points in the year.

Consumer champion Which? analysed more than 66,000 prices in the six months before and after Black Friday in 2022 and found only 2% of products were at their cheapest price.

Discounts on technology seemed to be the most misleading. Some of the biggest turkeys – excuse the pun – it found was Apple Airpods (2nd Generation) at Argos and Currys that’d been discounted to £119 from £139 for Black Friday but had been on sale for £99-£109 between 25 May and 9 September. And a Samsung HW-B430 2.1 sound bar with wireless subwoofer discounted from £225 to £215 at AO on Black Friday was actually cheaper (£175) on 35 days between August and September.

Which? also compared leading retailers and found 75% of products on Black Friday offer in Argos were cheaper at other times of the year, while 69% of Amazon’s Black Friday offers were not what they seemed. At Very, AO and Richer Sounds you’ll also have a good chance of finding a lower price outside of Black Friday – 54%, 50% and 47% of products were cheaper the six months before or afterwards.

Your best bet for true Black Friday bargains seems to be John Lewis (37%), Currys (30%) and Boots (21%).

With 35% of people planning to splurge on Black Friday sales this year, here’s Which?’s tips to ensure you can shop with confidence knowing you’re getting the cheapest deal:

Check the deal price

Use a price comparison website such as PriceRunner to see how much a product has been sold for previously and work out whether the sale price is good value.

Create a wish list

Some retailers such as Amazon let you set up a wish list for all the things you want to buy, making it easier to notice when their prices drop. You can then easily click into your list to see what’s on offer.

List products and research them ahead of the day

Every year Which? finds products in the sales that aren’t worth buying. In 2022 it even found products that failed safety tests. Research what you want to buy ahead of the sale day to ensure you don’t feel pressured into buying sub-par products.

Use price promises to your advantage

Retailers such as Richer Sounds will match prices you’ve spotted elsewhere, meaning you can buy from reputable retailers offering a good warranty but pay the lower price you’ve found on a rival site.

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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