Black Friday ‘deals’ not all they seem

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Black Friday bargains may not be quite the money-saving deals that they appear to be, according to a leading consumer group.

Which? has found that 60 per cent of last year’s Black Friday deals could have been obtained for the same price, or less, at other times of year.

The consumer campaigning organisation tracked the prices of 35 of the most popular tech, home and personal care products on sale on Black Friday last year.

Deals investigated included the Neff Slide and Hide oven (featured in the Great British Bake-off) which, when purchased from Currys/PC World,was £494.99as opposed to £599.99 throughout September and most of October. However, the oven was actually cheaper than the Black Friday price for at least 113 other days of the year, retailing at £449.99 just three weeks later.

Also, a Samsung 55-inch Smart 4K Ultra HD curved TV advertised in Currys/PC World as ‘Save £400, now £849’, was £50 cheaper at least 29 times in December, January and April, the same price at least seven times in April, and £79 cheaper at least 18 times in May.

Other items which were not the bargains they seemed included a DeLonghi bean-to-cup coffee machine which remained at the Black Friday price for almost all of December, an Oral B electric toothbrush from Amazon with a Black Friday price of £29.99 which was £5 cheaper on at least two days in July, and an Argos 49-inch LG TV offered as ‘Our lowest price’ on Black Friday which was £4 cheaper a week later and another £16 cheaper at the end of December.

Which? Have offered the following tips for smart shopping this Black Friday

* For top tips on making the most of the Black Friday sales, visit: which.co.uk/BlackFriday

* Do some research – A recent Which? survey found that one in five (18%) consumers who bought something in the Black Friday sales last year didn’t read any reviews.

* Shop at retailers with price promises, which may ensure you can get a part-refund if your item drops in value in the weeks following your purchase.