Well, it's finally here. Black Friday. And depending on how much you love a bargain, it is either the greatest time of the year or the absolute pits.
If, though, you are one of those who is planning a fairly aggressive shopping spree this weekend, then you may want to have a read of this first, as a study claims that there aren't as many great deals to be had as we are led to believe.
A report by the folks at consumer magazine Which? claims that just one in 20 products on sale this weekend represents a saving.
Advisers tracked the prices of 83 products on sale on Black Friday (23 November) in 2018 for a year, from six months before the consumerist bonanza until six months after.
They found that just four (5 percent) products on sale at places like PC World, Currys, Amazon and John Lewis were cheaper on Black Friday than at other times of the year.
But that's not it. Which? also found that six in 10 (61 percent) of the products on offer, including speakers, soundbars, and kitchen appliances, were cheaper or the exact same price at least once in the six months before Black Friday.
And after analysing the two-week period surrounding the long-awaited sales event, they found that three quarters (74 percent) of products were cheaper or the same price in the six months after.
For example, last year the Samsung HW-MS650 soundbar was £299 at Currys PC World on Black Friday, but within a month the price dropped by £49 for at least five days.
And if that wasn't enough, you could have picked it up for £279.97 at least 13 times in the six months after.
Shoppers also snapped up the Amazon Echo (2nd Gen) which was on offer at £54.99 (a massive 39 percent off) on Amazon, for it only to be cheaper at least 13 times before Black Friday.
So, if you're not careful, you could find yourself paying over the odds for your 'bargain'.
Speaking about the shocking findings, Natalie Hitchins, Which? Head of Home Products and Services, urged shoppers to do their research and know exactly how much they should be paying for an item that's supposedly 'on sale'.
She said: "We have repeatedly shown that 'deals' touted by retailers on Black Friday are not as good as they seem.
"Time-limited sales can be a good opportunity to bag a bargain, but don't fall for the pressure tactics around Black Friday.
"Our investigation indicates that this popular shopping event is all hype and there are few genuine discounts."
But despite the fact that it's a bit naff to think you've paid over the odds for something when it's supposedly the time you should be getting the best deal, Which? says there's nothing illegal about it.
The lesson of the story is, don't be fooled by all the hype.
Featured Image Credit: PA