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'The exaggerations are absolutely massive' - Why Black Friday sales aren't such a good bargain

Some retailers are using recommended retail prices from three years ago to claim discounts
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.14 25 Nov 2021


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'The exaggerations are absolut...

'The exaggerations are absolutely massive' - Why Black Friday sales aren't such a good bargain

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.14 25 Nov 2021


Share this article


Black Friday sales do offer discounts, but "nowhere near" what is being advertised.

That's according to Adrian Weckler, technology editor with the Irish Independent.

It comes as shoppers are getting ready for the annual event on Friday, with many retailers already offering discounts.

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However Adrian told Lunchtime Live some items may never even have been on sale for the original base price.

"It's not a spoof, but it's widely exaggerated in terms of the discounts claimed.

"I keep an eye on things like tellys and laptops, headphones and smartwatches.

"Every year - and this year's exactly the same - I do a lot of research and I pay a lot of attention to what the prices were one month, two months, three months before Black Friday.

"And then I compare them to the prices claimed in big ads... and in many cases, the exaggerations are absolutely massive.

"I've examples of televisions with claimed discounts of €1,100, where it's actually only €150.

"I have examples of some retailers using original RRP [recommended retail] prices from three years ago, when the gadget was new and cutting edge, to justify claiming that it's 50% off.

"So the discounts are there, they're just widely over the top in terms of what the reality is".

'New law coming through'

Asked how this can happen, he says the regulator - the CCPC - does not have enough power here.

"The regulator doesn't want to get involved in claims that the law is too weak for it to do anything - that's the Consumer Competition Protection Commission in Ireland.

"I get on to them every year, and every year they say 'No we're not stepping in to do this - the law isn't strong enough for us to do anything'.

"Now there is new law coming through, it's going through the Dáil at the moment which should tighten up things in this area.

"But the retailers know that nobody is going to police them on this; it's literally just reporters like myself and very little else who point this stuff out.

"There is no effective regulation".

He says retailers can base the original price of a product on its RRP, whether or not it was ever actually on sale for that price.

But he adds that some of the the Black Friday deals can have decent reductions.

"As negative as I'm being about it here, and the data and the research that I've done shows, in general you still will get €50 or €100 off a TV.

"Now you might still also get it at the same price in January, in the January sales, but it will still be a little bit cheaper than it was last month.

"Just nowhere near the claimed discount".

Main image: Black Friday deals are seen on computer screens in November 2017. Picture by: Malcolm Park editorial / Alamy Stock Photo

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