2021-11-22 08:30Press release

One in four deals online are fake

Black FridayWatch out for fake deals on Black Friday

Although Black Friday is one of the cheapest days of the year to bag a bargain, prices have already started going up ahead of the big day this week. Research shows that last year, one in five deals on Black Friday were fake. Right now that number is one in four, or 24 percent of thousands of deals online.

A survey from YouGov, commissioned by comparison service PriceRunner, shows that one in four Brits never trust the deals they see on Black Friday. They are right to be sceptical, as there is always a great number of fake deals on Black Friday.

Last year, PriceRunner found that every fifth deal on Black Friday was fake, meaning prices had been increased before the day by at least 10% and then lowered by at least 5% or more on the day, creating an unrealistically inflated impression of a sale.

I am sure there will be an abundance of great deals online this Black Friday as usual, as the ecommerce industry will have to compete with physical shops, compared to last year when most physical retail was closed. But consumers should be wary of fake deals this year too, as our research shows there could even be more than last year.“ said Christine Gouldthorp, Consumer Expert at PriceRunner.

One in four deals online are fake

What Brits really feel about Black Friday

According to the YouGov survey, 33% of Brits plan to buy a discounted product during the Black Friday sale this year, where 35% of these will spend up to £500 on bargains during the day.

Half (51%) of those who said they are planning to buy products during the Black Friday sale said they will primarily be buying their products online, even though physical stores are open again.  

When respondents could select all answers that applied to them, 39% of those who said they will not be buying any bargains on Black Friday claimed the main reason was that they buy what they need as they need it, regardless of if the product is on sale.

A further 36% said their main reason for not doing any Black Friday shopping this year was they did not want to contribute to overconsumption and buy things they didn’t need.

Which products should you avoid on Black Friday?

To find out what the possible number of fake deals could be this year, PriceRunner has been keeping track of prices on more than 23,000 products from the UK's 50 most popular retailers since August.

Prices have increased on 13% of the products in the analysis, where these have on average increased in price by 19% (as of 22nd November). This indicates the possibility of a large number of fake deals during Black Friday this year as well, as currently 24% of all deals in the analysis are fake.

When looking closer at the products in the analysis, a few products and categories had a lot more fake deals than others. PriceRunner revealed the products and categories to watch out for right now.

Top 20 categories with most fake deals:

Best tips for shopping the Black Friday sales

Giving her advice on how to get the most out of the sale, Christine Gouldthorp, Consumer Expert at PriceRunner, shared her top tips on how to bag a bargain during the Black Friday sale: 

  1. Use a comparison site to get the best price today on the product you want to buy, don’t just check a couple of your favourite websites as there is a high likelihood of a better deal somewhere else
  2. When you’ve found the product you want, remember to check its price history to make sure the price hasn’t been increased before the sale
  3. Keep track of the products you want by setting a price alert for them, getting an email or app notification when they drop in price, letting someone else do the work for you!
  4. Make a list of what you actually need during Black Friday to avoid getting carried away by deals and buying things you don’t need.
  5. The best deals are usually found on Black Friday, although some retailers have extended their sales period to the full week. However, there are often even greater price reductions on Cyber Monday on the products that are left, just don’t wait too long as stock will likely run out quickly this year.

About PriceRunner

PriceRunner was founded in 1999 and is the UK’s largest comparison service with 2.2 million products from 6,000 retailers in 21 different countries, who all deliver to the UK. The company has 170 employees in Stockholm, Sweden and Nykøbing Falster, Denmark. Our services are used every month by consumers who can compare products, prices, specifications, read professional product tests and consumer reviews of products and retailers. PriceRunner is a completely independent company. We are not owned by any manufacturers and are not dependent on them, retailers or other organisations with an interest in providing biased information. Our goal is to help consumers find the right products to the best prices. Every month, we help consumers find better and cheaper products while saving money by using PriceRunner's services.