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Your views: Black Friday 2017

Black Friday

It’s officially the run-up to ‘the most wonderful time of the year’. This means the Christmas lights are on, the mince pies are being eaten and the high streets and the internet are awash with reminders that today is officially (drum roll…) BLACK FRIDAY.

Yes, that’s right. Love it or loathe it, it looks like the US import, which has been gaining pace in the UK since 2010, is here to stay.

But after our investigation into 35 Black Friday deals from last year found that 60% were either available at the same price or cheaper at other times of the year, and the sales starting earlier and lasting longer, it’s no surprise that everyone seems to have an opinion on it.

Here’s what you’ve had to say about the sales event in the past week…

Which? Conversation community member, Bishbut, kicked off our conversation on bagging a bargain by asking why companies are cutting their prices by so much:

Bargains, maybe? But just a way of retailers disposing of things that most people will not want to buy, or things that they might have had for a long time. Another excuse to get people to visit their store to look at a bargain then they can persuade them to buy things they did not need.’ 

Geoffsky made a fair point about where the bargains really come from:

‘If the retailer can offer a super bargain for the goods now, it’s either overpriced in the first place, or just old stock they need to get rid of.’

Over on Facebook, Verity had us thinking not just about the effect Black Friday has on our bank accounts, but also on our planet.

While Janet Davies would rather the event didn’t exist in the UK altogether.

Our poll on Twitter also suggested most of you weren’t fans…

But not everyone is so dubious. DarrenJohnstone remindied us that there are still bargains to be had:

‘Playstation VR £80 off, plus a free SKYRIM game, I couldn’t NOT buy one. Also got an etop up £20 discount. Total £230 collecting from Argos tonight.’

Fabrizio was similarly impressed:

‘Nest thermostat for £155! That was a bargain for me.’

While Suzi Lubi’s interest was piqued by some reduced beauty products.

Now that Black Friday is upon us, we’d love to know what you think. Have you managed to get your hands on an unbelievable deal? Or are you avoiding the event altogether?

Comments

I have today managed to get two important presents and saved over £100 in the process. I’ve been watching the cost for months, and not once had they come down to the price they were today in John Lewis. I think you have to be very cautious but you can do well if you shop around.

Not really. It’s useful at this point in time, though.

bishbut says:
24 November 2017

Which seems to get obsessed by certain things at times Black Friday is another one . All we have had which online for weeks is Black Friday Is there nothing else more important that needs Which than a stupid American idea to get people to waste hard earned money on things they do not really want or need and if they were not advertised as “bargains” they would not even look at never mind buy .Which seems obsessed with other things usually Apple products and buying from Amazon who seemingly intend to buy up all opposition or stop them trading in any way they can so that they can dominate and rule the world

Has anybody a rebuttal to Bishbut,s down to earth and I have to say honest opinion on actual actions on Which . Having said that I do understand the motivation for Which doing it but I would like to hear from some regulars as to whether he has a point or not. I know the advertising department are doing a good job aiming for mass popularity while doing an online polling situation in , as Bishbut would say ( and me ) “American style ” and it works.

Interestingly, I had the opposite experience some years ago, when there was evidence Which? ignored Apple products entirely in favour of Microsft’s sometimes dismal offerings. Their argument at the time was that too few members owned Apple equipment. Now, if that rationale remains the same, it’s the reason why they cover Apple stuff a lot, now.

My argument at the time was that unless a consumer body such as Which? covered the high quality of Apple products fairly, there never would be enough members owning the stuff and surely when reviewing software they should show all the software, and not simply that from a single supplier.

I don’t agree they dwell on Amazon; but a lot of W? subscribers routinely buy through that company, so they should be covered – warts and all.

To be fair to Which?, its latest laptop review provides great value and best buy recommendations at prices from £195 to £1099. Both Apple and Windows PCs are represented (but no Chromebooks).

These days, I doubt that average “gumby” home user needs anything more complicated than a Chromebook – but that’s a separate topic. Other folk with hobbies like photo or video editing, or anything else that needs bespoke software, have reasonable grounds to want more powerful PCs and some may obviously prefer to use the same OS at home as they do at work.

I think Which tend to review products based on their notions of who their readership are, and how much money they are prepared to spend. So if Which? is putting too much focus on the review of “stupidly expensive” products, as opposed to “cheap and cheerful” ones, then us subscribers are to blame.

Which? is a consumer service operated by the Consumers’ Association for consumers who, in most cases, are people who are active consumerists and adherents to consumerism. Black Friday is the apogee of consumerism and should not be ignored.

Which? offers sound advice on how to survive the unfair and exploitative aspects of trading around Black Friday. Whether it comes from America or not is irrelevant if it helps people fulfill their wishes. I don’t take advantage of Black Friday myself but see no reason to decry it. It stimulates trade, enables people to save money on things they do want or need, and takes some of the pressure off the last week or two before Christmas when exploitation is rampant.

Many people target Black Friday for the their major purchases and organise their finances accordingly. For some it is an opportunity to buy a higher specification item at no extra cost than they would otherwise have bought. Really it’s no different to the January sales except it is compressed into a shorter period.

I don’t buy the argument that people use Black Friday to purchase things they don’t want or need – consumers are not that daft and there are no media reports of extensive aftermath misery. The hype has cooled down now and most trade has switched to the internet so panic and stampedes at shop doorways are no longer an issue; crashing websites seems to be the bugbear now but at least no one gets hurt.

bishbut says:
26 November 2017

DAFT ? don’t be sure ! there are many “daft ” people about today Which is trying to help them all the time with many articles of what to do or how to do things If you have to deal with people in any way you will soon learn how many there are

Once again, Black Friday has passed me by. I did look at prices but not having kept an eye on prices in recent months I was unsure of whether they were reductions. Maybe next year.

bishbut says:
26 November 2017

Has it passed ? damn I missed it again in spite of Which obsession with it !

Many Black Friday deals go on until Monday bishbut, so if you are quick……. 😖

There do seem an awful lot of Fridays in November.

I counted four. There are five Wednesdays and Thursdays.

There will be five Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in December plus some extra days off work.

Perhaps we should then rename the shopping festival as Black Week (or Fortnight) 🙂

Aha . . . the penny has now dropped, Malcolm! I was overlooking the fact that every one of the last several days has seen my inbox full of Black Friday enticements. Desperate marketing. All deleted without being opened.

Do they go mad like this on the continent? Vendredi Noir or Schwarzer Freitag?

We seem to be on Cyber Monday now, which seems to last until Thursday according to Maplin.

🙂

Please tell me that the there is a gap between Cyber Monday and the pre-Christmas sales.

There is the ongoing DFS sale 🙁 . I wonder if they celebrate Black Friday by having a “Full Price” event?
Some are averse to the use of “up to” in advertising – see broadband. DFS advertise “Up to half price on our Autumn and Winter offers……..” As half price is 50%, up to 50% could be 40%, 30%…… So might I expect to pay no more than half price, and possibly 30% or less…….?

The less you pay the closer you will get to what the product is worth.

bishbut says:
27 November 2017

Black Friday started as one day ,now two ,three even a week Next it will become Black Week which will go on for a month .Black Month will become WHAT ? Go on for ever and ever ? Amen

I am not a consumerist and event less an adherent to consumerism. I pay Which to protect consumers, including myself, from financial and physical harm, ie from useless, and/or overpriced, and/or dangerous products. In the past Which has also expressed an interest in the environment (eg over packaging) and in society (eg carehomes), surely neither of which will be aimed at consumerists.

Black “Friday” – Some financial harm will be done to some poor saps out there, and thinking otherwise is naive. Environmental damage will also have been done, as described in this article:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/24/black-friday-to-cause-spikes-in-air-pollution-and-plastic-waste-warn-environmentalists

That being said, if like Ian you use Black “Friday” in a clever way, good for you, and Which has no doubt been a useful tool. Just let’s not forget that not all of us have the wherewithal to resist temptation, not all of us are savvy with money. A man’s bargain can be another man’s poison.

Well said, Sophie. Fortunately Which? also provides services and help for those of us who do not identify with consumerism. However, to those who complain about the attention Which? has given to this spend-fest it is unrealistic to expect it not to major on Black Friday. Although a lot of its content has, predictably, been about how to take advantage of it there has also been some useful advice on how to avoid its pitfalls. Personally I wish it would go away, but it won’t.

I’ve managed to ignore Black Friday again. If products are still doing a good job then I carry on using them. If they are unwanted I try to finds someone who might have a use for them.

It’s fun to play with new gadgets but thanks to family and friends there is often the opportunity to see them in action without buying them.

Sneaky yet commendable 🙂