More Black Friday scams as Which? finds just one in 20 discounts are genuine

More Black Friday scams as Which? finds just one in 20 discounts are genuine
Which? declares Black Friday is "all hype".
// Which? says Black Friday is “all hype” with just one in 20 genuine deals
// Amazon, John Lewis and Currys PC World all investigated for price points six months before and after Black Friday

Another investigation by Which? has found only one in 20 Black Friday deals are genuine.

The consumer group examined 83 items on sale on November 23, last year’s Black Friday, and found nearly all were cheaper or available for the same price at other times of the year.

Which? monitored the price of items from retailers including Currys PC World, Amazon and John Lewis six months before the date and six months after.

READ MORE: Shoppers warned not to fall for Black Friday scams

Just four products were cheaper on Black Friday than at other times of the year, while six in 10 items were cheaper or the same price on at least one day in the six months prior to last year’s Black Friday event.

When looking at the two-week period surrounding Black Friday itself, including sale prices in the week before and after, Which? found that 75 per cent of products were cheaper or the same price in the six months after.

The promotions examined included a Samsung soundbar from Currys PC World on sale for £299 on Black Friday, but which within a month dropped in price by £49 for at least five days.

Which? followed the prices of an Amazon Echo on offer at £54.99 on Amazon, but was cheaper on at least 13 occasions before Black Friday, and a De’Longhi coffee machine that was priced at £399 by John Lewis on Black Friday, which was cheaper on at least 64 days in the six months after.

Which? found no evidence that retailers were breaking sales laws, but that consumers were being confused by offers that were possibly too good to be true.

“We have repeatedly shown that ‘deals’ touted by retailers on Black Friday are not as good as they seem. Time-limited sales can be a good opportunity to bag a bargain, but don’t fall for the pressure tactics around Black Friday,” said Which? head of home products and services Natalie Hitchins.

“Our investigation indicates that this popular shopping event is all hype and there are few genuine discounts,” Hitchins added.

Responding to Which?’s report, John Lewis said: “Our commitment to being never knowingly undersold means that we continuously monitor and match the prices of our high street competitors throughout the year. As such, we offer our customers the best value on the high street all year round, including during the Black Friday period.”

“Our customers tell us that they appreciate the increased choice during Black Friday where we have the most deals on at once. When we launched our Black Friday event last year 40 per cent of those products were the lowest price they had ever been,” said Currys PC World in light of the findings.

Meanwhile Amazon retorted to the claims by stating: “We seek to offer our customers great value thanks to low prices all year round as well as a number of fantastic seasonal deals events.”

With Black Friday mere days away, headlines this year have focused on the many ways consumers should protect themselves from Black Friday rip-offs.

Shoppers hunting for a bargain on Black Friday are being warned to watch out for scammers after research from TSB found only 14 per cent of people would consider whether a website is fraudulent when shopping during these sales.

The bank warned that at peak shopping moments, scammers are likely to take advantage of shoppers by putting up fake websites and bogus adverts or commit identity theft.

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  1. The best and obviously clearest are the stores that offer say 20% off, of everything. There were quite a few last year when I went shopping.

  2. I wouldn’t call it a real scam IF the item has been discounted by the retailer AND is selling X% off compared to the price that was offered in previous periods. The fact that the item could be found cheaper somewhere else doesn’t make this a scam. Then we could say that in any case, if you charge a higher price than other retailers, you’re a scam?! Which is obviously not the case…

    I don’t defend companies who trick customers, not at all, but comparing prices to other sellers is not the way to spot a scam.


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