Consumer group Which? has warned consumers about the many "duds" that are on sale at major retailers including Amazon (AMZN), AO.com, Currys and John Lewis this Black Friday.
Each year the group puts thousands of products through laboratory tests. Those that fail to perform effectively and should be avoided at all costs are labelled as a "Which? Don’t Buy".
This year the list includes a dangerous car seat for children, a poor quality TV, a substandard laptop and a washing machine that failed to remove basic stains.
“A product that doesn’t do what it is supposed to is going to be a terrible deal, no matter how cheap it is – and this year we’ve found some absolute duds in the Black Friday sales,” said Lisa Barber, Which? head of home products and services.
“If you’re in the market for a quality product at a price that offers outstanding value for money, there are deals to be had, but we suggest you steer clear of these 'don’t buys' and seek out reliable reviews and independent testing that you can trust.”
One example of a "don’t buy dud" is the Graco Junior Maxi child car seat, which offers little side-impact protection. This means a child could be exposed to the risk of serious injury, the report said, and is currently available on Amazon for £26 ($35).
Another item customers have been informed about is the Hisense 55A7100FTUK TV, which is currently on sale at Littlewoods for £419.99 – down from £559.
The picture quality of this 55-inch TV is “shockingly bad”, Which? said, and has “one of the worst 4K pictures” seen by testers. What’s more, the sound quality was also rated as being of poor quality.
Another tech item Which? has warned users not to purchase is the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14-inch 14DA05 which is on the Lenovo website as a Black Friday deal down to £254.99.
Screen, keyboard, touchpad, sound and battery life were all well below par.
In terms of household appliances, the Shark WandVac WV361UK cordless vacuum, being promoted as a Black Friday deal at AO.com and John Lewis at £169, was found to be “terrible at cleaning carpets, only removing around a quarter of dust".
Which? said the vacuum was “completely hopeless” at picking up pet hair and limits cleaning time to 12 minutes on a full charge, which is much less than most other cordless models.
At Currys, Which? said the Haier HW90-B14959S8U1 washing machine which was on sale at Curry's £399.99 instead of £450. is not economical when it comes to water usage and is ineffective at getting rid of stains on cotton clothes – “a fundamental flaw for a washing machine”.
Also at Currys, the Kenwood KMD70X19 fridge freezer is now £579.99 reduced from £629, but was found to be too slow to cool, with an inadequate freezer.
The Sony WF-XB700 headphones — reduced from £69.99 to £64.99 on Amazon – were also on the list. Which? experts found the sound to be "tinny" and "dull".
And while the Happy Beds Super Ortho Spring Reflex Foam double mattress did not make it to the list, Which? said it is a poor choice as it was found to "sag dramatically" in durability tests.
This mattress was reduced to £69.99 down from £289.99, which might tempt many consumers.
Earlier Which? revealed that nine in 10 Black Friday deals are the same price or cheaper in the six months ahead of the big event, and warned shoppers not to rush into any purchases without doing a little research first.
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