Experts reveal if Black Friday is worth the hype

Black Friday, a day typically full of mad dashes to secure top-notch deals and, in some cases, eye-watering discounts.

Been eyeing up a new 4k smart TV? A new coat? A new sofa or coffee table? Perhaps you’re simply desperate to get your hands on some cut-price Christmas gifts and toys.

Whatever the case, it’s important to make sure – before you hit Amazon or whack out the credit card – that the deal you’re getting is really worth your cash.

And that you’re not being swept up by the promise of major savings – especially if the item is something you didn’t originally need to buy or even want.

To examine whether Black Friday sales are really worth it, has spoken to some of the UK’s top analysts and consumer experts to dig deeper into the phenomenon.

Are Black Friday’s deals all hype and no substance?

Shorecap retail analyst Clive Black tells that the major shopping trend is, effectively, just a cash grab by retailers – and has been ‘losing its lustre for a few years’.

He says: ‘Shoppers should be very selective about where they spend their time online with respect to both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

‘Quite a few companies tried to sell consumers a whole load of stuff that was pre-meditated, or pre-bought specifically for Black Friday. As opposed to being a genuine sale.’

Clive notes that it’s on the decline – with several major UK supermarkets ‘barely participating’ in recent Black Fridays.

He also says that, for 2021 in particular, there won’t be a huge spread of deals at all – partly due to a serious lack of stock and shipping delays to Britain.

Latest Deals (which has a dedicated Black Friday app) co-founder Tom Church reckons there is something left in Black Friday for shoppers., says: ‘The key thing to do is to make sure you’re actually getting a bargain – not just a hyped up price cut.

‘If you are going to bag a bargain on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, don’t go in blind. Start by making a wish list and noting what the current price is for the items on it.

Which? discovered some shocking information in a 2019 investigation: 85% of products advertised in Black Friday sales were cheaper at other times of the year.

Their research found that only 1% of 219 home or technology products advertised as ‘Black Friday deals for 2019’ had been at their lowest price on Black Friday itself.

The vast majority (85%) cost either the same price or less before and after the big sale day – with a whopping 98% actually cheaper to buy after Black Friday.

Camel Camel Camel to monitor when the item you want is usually at its cheapest.

Meanwhile, Price History is useful for Argos purchases – or do a wider search on various retailers using Price Spy or PriceRunner.

When it comes to the hundreds of Black Friday guides on the web, make sure you’re reading a brand you trust to give you solid advice (like this one). has its own picks for top beauty deals, tech buys and more here.

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Don’t get suckered in

And finally: if you’re feeling iffy about a purchase, it’s not the end of the world to click ‘delete basket’.

Deals often continue throughout Black Friday weekend to Cyber Monday. And the January sales are just weeks away….

James says this could be the ticket to an even better bargain, adding: ‘You can sometimes find better deals during end of season sales, Boxing Day sales or a couple of days before Christmas itself.

‘Meanwhile, some retailers discount products in the days and weeks after Black Friday to get rid of stock left over from the big event.’

MORE : Why is it called Black Friday?

MORE : Ebay’s Black Friday 2021 deals include Nintendo Switch and Google Home

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