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26 Nov 2021

What not to waste your money on this Black Friday

Hoping to buy a new TV, laptop or washing machine? Don't let a tempting offer persuade you to spend on a Which? Don't Buy

Shoppers are bombarded with offers on Black Friday and there are some bargains to be found. However, there are also some products in the sales that you shouldn't take any notice of u2014 as the TV, child car seat, cordless vac or washing machine is actually a Which? Don't Buy.

What, then, should you steer clear of this Black Friday? Here's our dud deal round-up.

Remember, our recommendations and reviews are written by experts after they've put a product through tough, independent laboratory tests. These help to separate the best from the rest u2014 and help you avoid what Which? calls a Don't Buy.

Make sure you get a great deal on a good product instead - see our expert pick of the Best Black Friday deals 2021.

Hisense 55A7100FTUK: now £419.99

Why avoid? It's a dire TV that does very little right.

When expert testers tell you the only thing worth praising is the remote, you know there are better TVs to buy. The picture quality of this 55-inch TV is shockingly bad and actually has one of the worst 4K pictures we've seen, particularly where motion is concerned. The colours and contrast also leave a lot to be desired u2014 not what you want when settling down to watch the Christmas specials of your favourite shows.

There's an echoing quality to the sound, too, and the reverberation is an unwelcome distraction. All in all, our testers felt the sound quality was paper-thin and puny. This Hisense TV is definitely one to avoid, even when there's a Black Friday deal.

We've seen this TV on sale for this price at Littlewoods.

We'll help you choose a good TV instead:

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14-inch 14DA05: now £269.99

Why avoid? This laptop has an incredibly poor screen and keyboard.

Where do we start with this laptop? It has a bad screen, an awful keyboard and disappointing touchpad, as well as a lacklustre sound. Don't be tempted to snap up a Black Friday deal, thinking you can tick off another person on your Christmas present list u2014 no one in the family is really going to thank you for this heavy, plasticky gift.

Battery life is also poor. The laptop only lasted 6 hours 43 minutes during our video playback test, and web browsing was even more disappointing. The laptop gave out at just 4 hours 40 minutes. This particular frustrating model is not worth buying.

We've seen this laptop on sale for this price on the Lenovo website.

Shark WandVac WV361UK/WV361UK: now £169

Why avoid? It's a cordless vac that's terrible at cleaning carpets.

This cordless vacuum cleaner is designed primarily for use on hard floors, so it's no surprise you can't trust it to keep your carpets clean.Trying to clean behind sofas and underneath coffee tables will be a challenge too, as the cleaning tube isn't flexible. What's more, you only get 12 minutes of cleaning time in minimum power, which is much less than most cordless models.

It's also worth noting that it fails to adequately retain fine dust, making it an even worse choice if someone in your household suffers from allergies or a respiratory condition. And if you share your home with any four-legged friends, the cordless vac is also hopeless at picking up pet hair.

We've seen this cordless vac at this price at AO and John Lewis.

Graco Junior Maxi child car seat: now £26

Why avoid?Our side-impact crash tests found that a child would be exposed to a risk of serious injury.

This child car seat can be converted from a high-backed booster to just a booster cushion. It is legal to sell this car seat in the UK, but it performed poorly in our side-impact test, both with the back on or off.

It's better than no seat at all. So if you're using it, don't ditch it until you've bought another one.

This was on sale at Amazon at this price, where it's listed as a '#1 Best Seller'.

Haier HW90-B14959S8U1: now £409.99

Why avoid? This washing machine doesn't clean cotton clothes.

It's not economical when it comes to water usage, and there's a good chance your cotton clothes won't come out clean u2014 surely that's two good reasons why you should avoid this washing machine, even if there's a tempting Black Friday deal. Parting with your cash will only leave you in a spin, especially when you see it's struggled to get rid of stains on your cottons.

During our tests, we noticed that the programs are incredibly short u2014 too short perhaps, considering how poorly they clean. The mediocre rinse and spin don't do enough to prevent this washing machine being labelled a Don't Buy.

We've seen this washing machine at this price at Currys.

Kenwood KMD70X19: now £579.99

Why avoid? It's a very noisy fridge freezer that takes an age to chill.

Thinking of buying a new fridge freezer to cope with feeding family and friends this festive season? Don't waste your money on this slim, American-style Kenwood model. It may be energy efficient, but there's little else to praise and it may only add unnecessary stress to a Christmas get-together.

Our experts found the fridge was slow to cool, and the freezer was even worse u2014 food risks not being kept in top condition. We don't agree with the manufacturer's recommended thermostat setting either.

If you eat in an open-plan kitchen/diner, the noise of this fridge freezer is sure to irritate too u2014 our experts noted a particularly unpleasant sound made by the compressor. It's not what you need when entertaining.

We've seen this fridge freezer at this price at Currys.

Sony WF-XB700: now £64.99

Why avoid? These wireless in-ear headphones have a pretty awful sound.

It doesn't matter whether you enjoy listening to mainstream pop, classical music or jazz, the sound quality you'll hear while wearing these Sony headphones is poor. Our experts described the sound as dull and disappointing, with an overly heavy bass u2014 someone even claimed it was 'headache inducing' and had a tinny, screechy quality from over-emphasised high frequencies.

Testers couldn't agree whether the headphones were a good fit either. Some said they were OK, but others found them to be too loose or too tight. As such, it was sometimes hard to get a good seal in the ears which lead to some sound leaking out u2014 potentially annoying anyone nearby.

We've seen these headphones at this price at Amazon.

Hoover H-Free 300 HF332PT: now £115

Why avoid? It's a cordless vacuum cleaner that fails at its core job.

Yet another cordless vac to appear on our Don't Buy round-up, this Hoover model failed to impress our experts, as it was dire at cleaning. In turbo mode, it removed less than a quarter of dust from floorboards, and less than a third from carpets u2014 it performed even worse in standard mode.

Don't be sucked in by the bonus pet tool either, as this cordless vac struggled to pick up animal hair. If you're already losing the battle against fluff and fur, don't expect this vacuum to make life any easier.

We've seen this cordless vacuum cleaner at this price at Amazon.

Our Best Buy cordless vacs are fantastic at cleaning all surfaces.

Happy Beds Super Ortho Spring Reflex Foam mattress: now £119.99

Why avoid? It's a poor mattress that will sag significantly over time.

Our expert testers didn't think this open-spring mattress was quite bad enough to be a Don't Buy, but you can buy better, and there are plenty of other options that are more likely to stand the test of time. Disappointingly, this mattress sags dramatically and also becomes significantly less supportive for those who sleep on their back, and for front-sleepers too.

The firm mattress is also one of the least stable we've seen. That means it's terrible at preventing the transfer of movement from one side of the bed, increasing the chance of you being disturbed when your partner rolls over. It's maybe not a Don't Buy, but don't be swayed by a Black Friday offer u2014 this mattress is not the stuff that dreams are made of.

We've seen this mattress at this price on the Happy Beds website.

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