Consumer group Which? has a warning for shoppers looking for a bargain this Black Friday (Nov 24). According to its research, just two percent of discounted Black Friday deals were at their cheapest price on the day of the sales event last year.

As such, Which? is urging Brits to take 2023 Black Friday deals "with a pinch of salt". This followed analysis of 208 Black Friday deals last year from major home and technology retailers looking at their prices every day in the six months before and after the sale day on November 25.

The PA news agency reports Which? found just five of the deals were at their cheapest on Black Friday itself. The sales often begin earlier in November and continue after the sale day itself, so Which? also extended the sales period to include November 18 until December 2, taking in 'Cyber Monday'.

It still found that 86 per cent of products were the same price or cheaper at other times of the year. In one example, Apple Airpods (2nd generation) headphones at both Argos and Currys were discounted from £139 to £119.

However, they were cheaper than their Black Friday price every day between May 25 and September 9, when the price varied between £99 and £109. The price only increased in September to £139 then dropped to £119 in Black Friday week.

Meanwhile at Amazon, the Garmin Lily Sports Edition smart watch was discounted from £199 to £149 but Which? found it had been cheaper on 58 days before Black Friday, including at £114.99 during the Amazon Prime Day sale, when the retailer often offers significant discounts.

At Argos, three quarters (75%) of products that were on offer on Black Friday and included in Which?'s analysis were cheaper at other times of the year – the highest proportion for any of the retailers included in the study. Amazon had the second-highest percentage (69%) of products that were cheaper than their Black Friday.

The vast majority of products at Argos were TVs, which typically drop in price after new models are launched in the spring. One TV was £120 cheaper than the Black Friday price the following March.

Which? urged shoppers not to feel pressured into making purchases on Black Friday. Instead, take time to make sure a product was good quality and on sale at a price that genuinely offered value for money. Ele Clark, Which? Retail editor, said: "Our research shows that you don't need to feel pressured to splash out on Black Friday as it's rarely the cheapest time to shop.

"Retailers are not unaware of the extra pressure on household finances this year and will be keen to use Black Friday to attract shoppers looking to get the most for their money. While they're rare, there are some genuine bargains to be had – just make sure you do your research and don't panic buy.

"It's worth comparing the price at multiple retailers and checking the product's price history using a site such as PriceRunner or PriceSpy – that way you’ll know a good deal when you see one"

In response to Which? findings, Amazon spokesperson said: "Which? has looked at fewer than 30 products in their analysis. Our 2023 Black Friday Sale will offer hundreds and thousands of deals to customers, including our lowest prices of the year on a range of top brands including Ninja, Braun, ghd, and our own Amazon devices."

Meanwhile, an Argos spokesperson said: "Which? has leaped to outlandish conclusions, based on just one 'Black Friday' deal at Argos. We offer hundreds of great value deals across a wide range of products each year. This does not exclude these items from other promotions and clearance sales in the future."

Amazon and Currys have been approached for comment.