Which? have tracked Black Friday prices for a whole year since 2017 and discovered that 87% were offered at cheaper prices outside the Black Friday sale and only 13% of deals really were rock bottom prices and the best deal you’d get all year. Some 46% of products were cheaper than their Black Friday price on at least one day during the six months afterwards.
Which? gathered Black Friday prices for 94 popular tech, home and personal products that were on offer over Black Friday 2017, from six months before the event until six months afterwards. They looked at 59 deals from Currys PC World, 18 deals from Amazon, 14 from John Lewis and three from Argos and compared this data with the price of the products on Black Friday itself.
87% of the products were the same price or cheaper than their Black Friday price at other times of the year. 86% of the products on offer were the same price or cheaper during the six months following Black Friday, and 46% were found at a lower price on at least one day in the six months after Black Friday.
Only 13% of the products Which? tracked were at their very cheapest price of the year on Black Friday (meaning that the same price wasn’t found on any other day). 36% could be found at the same price as on Black Friday at other times of the year.
26 of the products tracked – over a quarter – were the same price or even cheaper before and after Black Friday.
This research suggests what has often been suggested which is that Black Friday is much more about the hype than having the lowest prices. For online sellers this lends even more weight to the argument that you should be highlighting the products you want to sell on Black Friday and, whilst consumers expect a deal, your Black Friday prices doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to give the product away with no margin.
Retailer statements on Black Friday pricing
Which? got statements from the retailers whose products they monitored to give them a right to reply:
“We offer many thousands of incredible deals around Black Friday representing millions of pounds of savings for our customers across a vast selection of products.”
“During Black Friday our customers benefit from a huge range of deals on a wide range of products, all at the same time. This does not exclude these products from other promotions.”
“We offer great value on products throughout the year, and offer customers pricing transparency by stating in all channels exactly when a product was available for a higher price. ‘While our prices – like all retailers’ – can fluctuate throughout the year, we’re proud to offer our Price Promise across our entire range – and this covers the Black Friday trading period.”
– Currys PC World
“Prices are matched throughout the year as part of its Never Knowingly Undersold commitment, meaning that when high street competitors run promotions its prices are lowered to match, and that the Black Friday period is no different.”
– John Lewis