Data conducted by price comparison website PriceSpy reveals that Black Friday sales aren't always worth the hype.
While there are savings to be had, PriceSpy found that one in almost 10 products listed on its website actually increased in price on Black Friday, and that discounts offered on some products were way below what consumers expected from the flash discount day.
READ MORE: • Black Friday guide: Where to find the best deals
More than 50 per cent of Kiwis surveyed by PriceSpy said they expected to save between 30 and 90 per cent on Black Friday. However, historical data shows the average discount across products listed on its site was just 12 per cent.
Perfume increased by an average of 3 per cent during the Black Friday weekend last year, its data shows, and some laptops, televisions and electronics increased in price.
Laptops where found to offer the biggest savings on Black Friday, some down 16 per cent in price on the day. About 68 per cent of televisions were found to be cheaper during the sale weekend.
Headphones were among other products that increased in price on Black Friday.
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Research conducted by British consumer organisation Which? advises that consumers intending to shop during the discount period have a plan of what they want to buy and an idea of what they are willing to spend to maximise savings.
"While certain deals may be the same, if not better at other points in the year, consumers are still able to use this promotional event to get the best deal at the right time for them," said Zoe Mills, GlobalData retail analyst.
"There is no doubt that some retailers do use the occasion to hype promotions that are not quite what they seem, but this is not particular to Black Friday.
"Black Friday discounts do not always stand out when taking a longer-term view of prices, this is due to the fact that retailers are having to offer discounts much more frequently in order to drive sales in the current difficult retail climate."
PriceSpy data shows the popularity of Black Friday in New Zealand is at an all-time high.
Forty-seven per cent of Kiwis say they intend to buy something on Black Friday this year, and close to 30 per cent say they plan to spend more than $300 on the event.
More than 50 per cent of Kiwis say they will do most of their Black Friday shopping in store rather than online, according to PriceSpy's survey.
Last year, Black Friday sales surpassed those of Boxing day, one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Experts are predicting the same again this year.
The commercial holiday falling a day after America's Thanksgiving is seen as the unofficial start of the Christmas spending season, and increasingly Kiwis are lapping up the discounts on offer.
Kiwis spent $442 million over the Black Friday weekend in 2018, up more than 85 per cent from the $238m spent a year earlier. On the Friday, New Zealanders spent $69.7m at non-food retail shops, surpassing the $68m spent on Boxing Day last year, according to figures from Paymark, which processes 75 per cent of the country's electronic card transactions.
Like China's 11.11 shopping day, impressive sales figures come out of Black Friday - which retailers use to sell unwanted stock at discounted prices. The name lends itself to shops' accounts going from red to "in the black".
This year more Kiwis are expected to participate in Black Friday, and it is hard to come by a retailer in this country who isn't either holding pre-Black Friday sales or advertising their participation in the event on Friday.
Preparing for the chaos
NZ Post said it is preparing for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the week to follow to be its busiest week of the year yet.
The state-owned enterprise delivers more than half of all parcels bought online, and its own research has found that one in three New Zealanders made purchases online in Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
Its own data shows that New Zealanders spent in total $130m over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend of sales compared to under $80m on Boxing Day, and 35 per cent of Kiwis said they intended to buy something on Black Friday.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have contributed to New Zealanders spending 30 per cent more online at this time of year, NZ Post general manager of business marketing, Chris Wong, said.
"Kiwis tend to use the opportunity of Black Friday sales to buy things like clothes and shoes as well as homewares and electronics," Wong said. "Our experience shows that a few days after these sales we start to see huge volumes of parcels coming through our network. We're expecting a record-breaking week of parcel delivery following these sales."
NZ Post's delivery business is growing at record rates year-on-year. In the months of November and December last year it delivered 14.5 million parcels.
With three in every five New Zealanders now shopping online and more than 70 per cent of the country storing at least one card online or in an app, Mastercard warns that Kiwis should think twice about where spend their money and remain alert to online fraud.
The Banking Ombudsman says consumers should double-check if they are dealing with a legit business when shopping online and to remember that if the savings on offer sound too good to be true that they probably are.
How to stay safe shopping online
• Don't rush into a purchase. Check that you are dealing with a legitimate business by confirming their company details and research feedback.
• Look for the padlock on web browsers. Only enter your details into a secure web page. A secure web page has https://at the beginning of the address bar and a padlock icon.
• Never send your bank or credit card details via email.
• Don't use public wifi or computers to make purchases or online banking.
• Don't store passwords - and update passwords regularly.
• Frequently check account statements for fraudulent activity
Source: Mastercard Cyber Safety Guide for New Zealand Shoppers