The infamous Black Friday deals are set to kick off on Friday the 29th of November with some retailers starting their sale a week in advance. With shoppers eager to get the best discount, navigating bargains can be overwhelming. This may mean ‘panic buying’ and deals not being as good as they first may seem ensue.
With budgets for students usually tight, student search for ways to save money in any way they can. Retailers offering Black Friday deals see floods of students on their websites and in their stores. How can students ensure they are really getting the best deals and make sure they are buying items they really need during this chaotic time?
A Which? Investigation has released its findings to show that only one in twenty bargains are cheaper than the usual price. Many ‘discounted’ items can be seen at the same price, or cheaper, at other times of the year to their Black Friday counterparts. This would mean students would be lured in with the hype and use of clever advertisement to buy items that can be seen at a cheaper price various times in the 6 months leading up to the event.
The consumer-focused champion investigated discounts from companies ranging from John Lewis to Currys PC World. This resulted in only 5% of products being less expensive on Black Friday. Natalie Hitchins, Head of Home Products and Services for Which? said “We have repeatedly shown that ‘deals’ touted by retailers on Black Friday are not as good as they seem. Time-limited sales can be a good opportunity to bag a bargain, but don’t fall for the pressure tactics around Black Friday.”
A spokesperson for John Lewis counterargued the findings by saying “As a participating retailer in Black Friday, we offer hundreds of deals across technology, home, beauty and fashion. In addition to the variety of offers we have in-store and online during the Black Friday period, our commitment to being Never Knowingly Undersold means that we continuously monitor and match the prices of our high street competitors throughout the year. As such, we offer our customers the best value on the high street all year round, including during the Black Friday period.”
Save the Student, a student money advisory website, releases tips to allow its readers to navigate the deals that are out there to make sure they are being savvy enough to get the best value out of their money.
Jake Butler, a Save the Student media representative, has a lot of advice for students looking to bag a bargain. He said “The most important advice of all is to approach all the offers with a little bit of scepticism. There are defiantly loads of great deals to be had but quite a few retailers use the “Black Friday” tag in order to maxamise sales, sometimes without having a real discount.”
Although, there is no hard evidence of any retailer breaking the law, these findings prove that for struggling students, Black Friday deals may not be the time to splurge.Which? encourages consumers to do their research of the pricing of the product and the quality of the goods before the decide to buy. Jake also advises students to use research as a guide before buying by saying “Some quick research can mean that you find the same item elsewhere for cheaper. Or eve that the same retailer was selling it for cheaper earlier in the year. Google is your friend here”.
The annual discount day may encourage people to get caught up in the ‘hype’ rather than truly offering anticipated discounts. Save the Student advises to apply the usual deal hunting tactics of looking for student discounts and voucher codes to get the extra discounts where possible, even on Black Friday.