2022-11-09 09:01Press release

PriceSpy calls for an end to fake sales this Black Friday

Person holding up cardboard sign which says 'Stop Fake Sales'Person holding up cardboard sign which says 'Stop Fake Sales'

  • Over a quarter of products more expensive on Black Friday

  • Early indicators of ‘fake deals’ to come

  • Despite prevalence of fake deals, Black Friday is the cheapest day of the year to shop according to PriceSpy - with average savings of 21%

PriceSpy, the fully impartial price and product comparison service, is calling on retailers to stop promoting fake sales* and instead use transparent pricing and marketing tactics this Black Friday - and beyond. 

With the cost of living crisis showing no signs of abating, PriceSpy says retailers must not exploit consumer appetite for spending by promoting fake sales.

Black Friday has been plagued by fake sales in recent years

On average over the last three Black Fridays, 13% of products increased in price between 1st October and the Sunday before Black Friday, to then be ‘reduced’ on Black Friday. A demonstration of ‘fake sales’ in action.

Looking more recently, PriceSpy data shows that shops have been steadily increasing prices over the last month, with almost a quarter (24%) of products rising in price in October - 12% increasing by 10% or more. 

Based on insights from previous years, this is an early indicator of retailers preparing to slash prices on Black Friday and promote discounts which are bigger than they really are. And potentially on a wider scale than previous years.

Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett, UK country manager at PriceSpy, says:

"October’s price activity is a cause for concern, most notably for those shoppers who are pinning their hopes on securing genuine bargains on Black Friday to help spread the cost of their Christmas.”

A recent survey** from PriceSpy found that almost three in 10 (28%) people plan to shop on Black Friday this year, hoping for discounts of over a third (34%).

Liisa continues:

“Not only may shoppers not get the level of discounts they’re looking for on Black Friday, they might inadvertently end up paying more for products than if they buy at a different time.”

On average over the last three Black Fridays:

  • Over a quarter (26%) of products were more expensive on Black Friday compared to the start of November

  • Almost one in five (19%) products were cheaper two weeks after Black Friday than they were on the day

Shoppers are becoming savvier

However, fake sales may be beginning to lose their shine. Over a fifth (21%) of people are not planning to shop on any sales days this year, with lack of trust in the discounts being offered by retailers a key factor:

  • Over four in 10 (41%) people don’t trust the discounts offered by retailers on sale days

  • Almost a fifth (19%) say the savings aren’t big enough 

  • 17% have regretted a Black Friday purchase in the past, with 30% saying they found the item cheaper after Black Friday

This, in addition to the cost of living crisis being a further reason for people refraining from sales days:

  • Almost nine in 10 (88%) people are worried by the current cost of living crisis

  • A similar proportion (89%) have already reduced their spending in response to the crisis

But…Black Friday is still the cheapest shopping day of the year

On average over the last three Black Fridays, over four in 10 (42%) products were cheaper on Black Friday compared to the start of November. With average savings of just over a fifth (21%) when looking at products with discounts above 10%.

Liisa concludes:

Despite disingenuous deals, for those wanting to snap up bargains in the run up to Christmas, Black Friday is the best day of the year to do so. As long as shoppers keep their wits about them by checking the price history of a product, as well as comparing prices in real time, they can indeed get some great offers on the day.”


Notes to editors

Pricing data throughout this release is based on PriceSpy’s proprietary data

*’Fake sales’ refers to the practice of hiking prices before a key sales period, to then reduce the price and display a saving based on the difference against the previously inflated price 

**Survey of 2,061 consumers in the UK undertaken by Censuswide, on behalf of PriceSpy, between 30th September - 3rd October 2022

About PriceSpy

PriceSpy is a fully impartial, comprehensive price and product comparison service. It helps millions of consumers every month to find, discover, research and compare products.  Since the business first started in 2002, its purpose has been to help consumers make better purchasing decisions. PriceSpy does this by collecting and sharing authentic, transparent information about shops, products and prices. PriceSpy has over 700,000 indexed products from over 6,000 shops. PriceSpy is part of Schibsted and is operational in: the UK, France, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and New Zealand. The PriceSpy app is available to download for free via the App Store and Google Play.


Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett
Country Manager - PriceSpy
Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett