As major retailers advertise heavily discounted items in the run up to Christmas people are being urged to do their research and find out the true value of goods before they buy. South Ayrshire Council conducted research in the run up to the so-called Black Friday and found that not all bargains lived up to their marketing.
South Ayrshire Council's Trading Standards team monitored prices from five leading High Street retailers from the beginning of September until Black Friday on 26 November and included items such as furniture, electrical and leisure goods.
The research showed that of the 50 items monitored only two were offered at a lower price in the Black Friday sale than had been charged at any other point in the monitoring period. In contrast two items labelled as Black Friday sale items had actually been at a lower price earlier in the period. Of the remaining 46 items, eight went out of stock, eight remained at a constant price throughout and 30 were the same price on Black Friday as had previously been charged at another time during the monitoring period.
South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Sustainability & the Environment, Councillor Ian Cochrane said, "If this research teaches us anything it's the importance of doing your research before purchasing items you assume must be bargains.
"Don't be rushed into buying something because you think sales are coming to an end; the likelihood is that the items will return to the sale price at some point later in the year.
"The tactics being adopted by the retailers aren't illegal as long as previous prices and reductions in price are accurate. However the research conducted around Black Friday would suggest that it is just a sale like any other which retailers run at many times throughout the year."
Anyone wishing to speak to Trading Standards about the information provided or for further information should contact the Council's Customer Services on 0300 123 0900 and ask to be put through to Trading Standards.