Black Friday 'deals' at John Lewis and Amazon are cheaper at other times in the year, Which? investigation finds

Izzy Lyons
Which? tracked the prices of 94 products for the six months before and after Black Friday and found that nearly two thirds were cheaper at other points in the year - AFP

Black Friday "deals" are available at a cheaper price during other times of the year, a study by Which? has revealed.

An investigation by the consumer advice charity found that out of 94 popular products on offer last year, including TVs, cameras and fitness trackers, 87 per cent of them cost less money at multiple times before and after Black Friday.

Taking place on 23 November this year, Black Friday is a Thanksgiving tradition that was imported to the UK from the US around five years ago. It is widely regarded as the first day of the Christmas shopping season, where many retailers reduce the price of products to boost sales.

Which? tracked product prices at leading retailers including Currys PC World, Amazon, John Lewis and Argos, finding that almost half of products on offer were sold for less in the six months following Black Friday.

The questionable deals investigated by Which? include a 60 inch TV, which Amazon advertised as £799 on Black Friday but was £50 cheaper on at least 62 occasions afterwards.

Amazon was one of the retailers investigated by Which?  Credit:  Leon Neal/Getty Images Europe

A Sony Cybershot compact camera, advertised as £189 by Currys PC World, was also available for less money at least 27 times in the six months leading up to busy shopping day.

The charity, who have said the findings bring “into question the true value of Black Friday”, are urging shoppers not to feel pressured into making a purchase this year and to do research into the price of products in the days before.

They have also advised consumers to be cautious of online reviews, after their recent investigation found that shoppers are being misled by unscrupulous sellers using fake and paid-for online product reviews.

Alex Neill, the managing director of home products and services at Which?, said: “The results of our investigation will disappoint many who are expecting nothing but bargains this Black Friday.

“While retailers are bombarding us with promises of great discounts and time-limited sales, it’s clear that not all deals are as good as they might appear. To bag a bargain, do your research and don’t get carried away by the hype when shopping in the upcoming sales.”

A John Lewis spokesman said that prices are lowered throughout the year as part of its Never Knowingly Undersold commitment.

Currys PC World said they offer customers “pricing transparency” by stating in all channels exactly when a product was available for a higher price, while an Amazon spokesman said they offer “thousands of incredible deals” around Black Friday which save shoppers millions of pounds.