Which? reveals the truth about electrical bargainsThe deals that may not be as good as they appear

15 April 2013

Over 80% of Which? members look out for offers on appliances such as cameras, TVs and washing machines - but new Which? research reveals they may not always be as good as they appear.

We tracked prices for more than five months at Amazon, Argos and Currys and discovered tactics that make it look like you’re getting a bargain when this isn't necessarily the case. We've included our favourite examples in the photo gallery below.

Which? members can read the full article 'The truth about electrical bargains' in the May issue of Which? - if you're not already a Which? member you can read all our investigations by signing up for a trial for £1.

Electrical offers - companies respond

We asked the shops that sold these products about their offers.

Amazon said that two of the recommended retail prices that we mentioned have been updated on its website. It also said that it aims to provide the very latest information for customers.

Currys said that some products don’t have set RRPs and that it set others when an RRP is yet to be established. It said it would investigate why the prices for these four products weren’t updated in line
with its usual processes.

Argos strongly refuted any suggestion that its deals aren’t genuine. It said its offers fully comply with government guidelines and that the items we named had been on sale at a higher price for between 28
and 113 days. However, it refused to say how much earlier these higher prices had applied or which items were only at the higher price for 28 days.

Getting a good deal on electricals

Here are some tips for finding out if you're getting a good deal on appliances.

  • Check how much the maker of the product suggests its full price is - many sell directly online.
  • We found a range of offers that were the same before Christmas through to the January sales. It’s therefore not always worth waiting for the seasonal sales but rather looking out for cheaper prices as
    and when you see them.
  • We compare prices of products we're reviewed to guide you to the cheapest - see our home electricals and technology reviews for the latest prices.

More on this...

  • Find out which are the best places for buying electrical appliances
  • Find out more about dodgy special offers
  • What do you think of special offers on electricals? Join the conversation.