/ Shopping

Black Friday: are you really getting a good deal?

Black Friday

For those of you looking to grab a bargain pre-Christmas, chances are you’re anticipating next week’s Black Friday. But are the deals on offer really worth your while?

I can honestly say I’ve never actively sought to shop in the Black Friday sales and am yet to be taken in by this recent shopping phenomenon.

However, that may well change – having recently set up home, I seem to have spent a fair whack on appliances over the past few months, but I’m still lacking a dishwasher.

As this is a fairly non-essential appliance, my plan has been to wait for Black Friday to hopefully nab a bargain. But new Which? research has left me wondering if these sales are really all they’re cracked up to be.

Black Friday deals

Last year, more than £1bn was spent in the UK on Black Friday, but our research into the 2015 Black Friday sales has cast a light on some questionable savings.

We price tracked 20 popular types of tech gadgets and home appliances sold by five major retailers (Amazon, AO, Argos, Currys and John Lewis) in the three months leading up to Black Friday, and the two months after.

But instead of seeing all prices drop during the sales period, we found that only half of the products sold were at their cheapest on Black Friday. The remainder were cheaper either before or after the day.

In fact, one in ten were cheaper at some point in the months leading up to sales event.

We also found that retailers AO and Currys appeared to inflate the ‘was’ price, making discounts look a lot more impressive than they actually were. Many of you will know that the ‘was’ price should actually be the most recent price a product was sold at for at least 28 consecutive days.

And although we found that one in ten discounted products were cheaper on Black Friday than on any other day, four in 10 were cheaper in the weeks after it.

Dud deals

So it seems to me that while there may be some bargains to be had in the Black Friday sales, there are plenty of dud deals, too.

If you’re thinking of searching for bargains next week, don’t be fooled by advertised ‘was’ prices – do your research and check out the prices in the days leading up to sales. This way, you’ll know whether it’s a dud deal or not.

It’s also worth shopping with retailers with price promises so you can get a refund if the product drops in price in the weeks after your purchase.

I’ll be keeping a close eye on the advertised prices for the dishwasher I’m after, as I’m still hopeful I can make a saving on Black Friday. Should that fail, I’ll stick to my Marigolds and Fairy until the January sales…

Are you looking to grab a bargain in this year’s sales? Have you spotted any questionable savings recently?

Are you hoping to pick up a bargain in the Black Friday sales?

No, I'll steer well clear (79%, 585 Votes)

Not sure (16%, 116 Votes)

Yes, I only ever buy products in the sales (6%, 44 Votes)

Total Voters: 745

Loading ... Loading ...

Why do we think retailers are going to give away their profits? It is rare to get something for nothing; even “sales” seem not like they were, but a regular marketing tool to lull us into thinking we’ll pick up a bargain. Once they moved surplus stock, old models, shop display or soiled goods. Now they seem to consist of so-called “special purchases” – aka cheaper quality stuff sold “cheaper”.

Many appliances are “non-essential” Lauren. You can wash clothes in the bath, sweep your carpets with a dustpan and brush, but appliances are much more convenient. You may find you fall in love with the dishwasher once you have it. After dinner, load it up, stick in a tablet, press the button and go and relax.

My advice for what it is worth:
– buy one with a top cutlery tray (Miele, Siemens, Bosch I think all do them). Much better than a basket.
– buy a decent quality one that does the washing-up properly
– don’t bother with expensive tablets. We use M&S at 10p each and they do a great job.
– you’ll have to ask your family and friends to buy you more crockery, particularly cups and mugs, for birthday and Christmas. Then you can save up the dirties for a full load and still make cups of tea.


Have you ever had to wash clothes in the bath Malcolm? I have been doing it for several months now since the washing machine broke and waiting for our new kitchen to be finished. It really is a back-breaking job. It’s just lucky I haven’t got rid of my old spin dryer.

We are getting a Siemens dishwasher with a top cutlery tray, and my trusty manual dishwasher gets to retire at last. I have already bought the top 2 brands of dishwasher tablets on special offer to see which ones are best but will keep M&S in mind. We have plenty of mugs but like drinking out of the sames ones every time. My trusty dishwasher has a habit of breaking crockery and we have very few every day plates left so time for a new kitchen crockery set.


I remember the time when my washing machine broke down. I put all the dirty washing in the bath and invited all the children to remove their shoes and socks and jump up and down in the bath. The kids had a whale of a time and all the clothes were washed at the same time!


Having been given the job of loading and unloading a top cutlery tray when staying with family, I cannot think of a bigger waste of time. The ones I’m thinking of keep each item separate to prevent scratching. Decent cutlery does not deserve to be put in a dishwasher and laying everyday cutlery in neat rows makes little sense to me.


I think if you owned a dishwasher with a decent cutlery tray you would realise the benefits. It gives more capacity, saves cutlery dropping through some holes in a basket and fouling the spray arm, keeps cutlery separated so all gets a better wash.


Having used both, I prefer the traditional basket, which can sit on the worktop to be loaded and taken to the cutlery drawer to be unloaded. If a cutlery basket is properly designed, cutlery will not fall through the holes.


The basket bottom can become damaged and the webs break, letting smaller items through. You also lose considerable capacity and versatility in using the space in the main basket. mrs r would not go back to a cutlery basket after years of experience. But each to his own. Maybe Which? could compare wash results for a top tray and a basket full to capacity?


Well yes, if you use damaged goods you cannot expect them to work properly. As you say, each to their own.