Do you always get the best discounts on Black Friday?

An investigation into Black Friday prices has found that the majority of deals it tracked over last year's sales period were cheaper at other times of the year.

Which? looked at the prices of 94 products over the year, and is reporting that 87% were cheaper at some point before or after the event, suggesting that Black Friday as the deals period of the year isn't always true.

The study found that nearly half (47%) were cheaper in the following months after the sales, with TVs, cameras, laptops and more all showing cheaper prices outside of the period.

The consumer group found a similar practice two years ago, showing that prices on the Black Friday weekend aren't always the cheapest.

Be clear on what you want

However, the study found that many devices it tracked fell further in price after the Black Friday sales, with more discounts coming in December and January or later in the following year.  

That makes a lot of sense, showing in the UK that there is still appetite for further shopper discounts in the January sales on certain items, despite them getting a Black Friday reduction.

However, some prices were at a higher price point earlier in the year - something we've also noted when poring through the deals we highlight to you.

The study doesn't explain which products it checked, beyond stating 'popular products in TVs, cameras and fitness trackers', so the 87% figure might not apply to cheaper or more niche products that consumers might pick up.

A spokesperson for Currys PC World told Which?: “While our prices – like all retailers – can fluctuate throughout the year, we’re proud to offer our Price Promise across our entire range – and this covers the Black Friday trading period.”

John Lewis pointed to the fact it price-matched its competitors' deals, to explain why certain things are cheaper later or earlier in the year.

How to find the truly good deals this year

TechRadar tracks a lot of deals over the Black Friday period, looking for the deals that offer true value at the point of purchase. We're looking for the top offers out there to help you get real savings on the tech we rate, also tracking key prices over the year.

We're not aiming to flood you with deals - we're looking through all the major retailer offerings to see when the tech we love (or like the look of) gets a meaty discount - and point out when some items shouldn't be seen as great value.

Within the reams of 'deals', there are some decent buys - and this year retailers are spreading the discounts far wider than the traditional Black Friday period in order to offset the panic shopping on a single day, so it makes sense to keep an eye on the time surrounding Black Friday to see if you can pick up more of a bargain.

So make sure you know what you're looking to buy, the budget you're willing to work to and check our Black Friday deals page to see what stuff is really getting a good price drop at the moment if you want to get a decent deal this year.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.