Black Friday: The day that has become a fortnight

BLACK Friday is around the corner yet again, but is it already here? What was once a one day event originating in the USA has now turned into much more than a one day spectacular.

For years Black Friday has drained residents of their savings, but is it still as popular? The chaotic scenes of shoppers seeking out discounts now seems to have contributed to this change.

With some retailers offering ‘Black Friday’ prices sometimes weeks before the day, it has now developed into a fortnight-long event with customers showing signs of fatigue.

Black Friday adverts are popping up across Southampton

Competition online has certainly contributed to the relevance of Black Friday, contributing to a drop in high street footfall, and a rise in online activity. Let’s not forget that Cyber Monday is at the other end of the weekend too.

‘Which?’, who champion and campaign for consumers, have completed research into Black Friday prices, covering the six months before and after last year’s Black Friday. It found that just four of 83 products surveyed were cheaper on Black Friday than at other times of the year.

Which? has revealed that over half of Black Friday items were cheaper before the event

This means that 95% of the Black Friday deal items they investigated were available for the same price or cheaper in the six months after the sales day.

‘Which?’ have found no evidence that the retailers were breaking sales laws. What happened is that customers are confused by offers that might not be as good as they sounded.

Shops are announcing their Black Friday sales

However, some deals on Black Friday may not be genuine. Here are ways to discover if a deal is real or not: 

  • Check the price of the product on offer across multiple shops. 

This is the most basic check you can do. Do not be too hyped with a price and be tricked into paying a higher price. Try to check other stores with the same product to see if there is any chance they are cheaper somewhere else.

  • Check the price history.

There are websites available to help with this, such as PriceRunner and CamelCamelCamel (Amazon only). These sites can be helpful as they will show you the ‘before’ and ‘after’ prices. 

  • Be careful

Be really cautious about what are you buying. Watch out for unfamiliar stores that significantly undercut their rivals. 

Trustpilot and reviews.co.uk are two examples of sites where you can see reviews and experiences of other clients with their buyings.

by Beatriz Domingues (@Beatrizdoms) Paige Creaney (@paigecreaney) and Katie Woodcock (@katiewoodcockx)