Auckland Transport prepares for Black Friday traffic after Newmarket chaos

There's a dark warning for Kiwis ahead of Friday's much-anticipated Black Friday.  

Some online offerings in the mega sale are nothing more than a scam - and even shop deals may not be the bargain they appear to be.  

Known as "deceptive discounting", the practice is already twice as common as it was four years ago.  

Shops can easily sneak up prices over time then slap them down in a day, so tech expert Tim Provise said don't simply assume you've snagged something half-price.  

"It can be a little bit but not much," he said. 

Price comparison website Pricespy said 15 percent of sales last year were fake sales, up from 7 percent in 2019. The trend is going one way.    

"So, it is becoming a thing; a strategy, as they say," Provise added.  

Adding to the fake sales are the downright scams. The Banking Association has released advice for online shoppers, urging people to go with trusted retailers.  

And there's the adage - if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  

Auckland's Westfield mall in Newmarket had a three-hour wait just to get out last weekend so Auckland Transport will be pulling out the stops from Friday. 

"We'll be monitoring those shopping centres and the roads around them to make sure we're optimising that flow as much as practicable," Auckland Transport's Stacey van der Putten said.  

Shoppers are being urged to take public transport. Unless, of course, they're purchasing a fridge or a sofa.  

There's good news for those worried about the traffic on Friday - compared to last weekend, the weather is set to be good. That might be just enough to persuade some people to go to the beach instead of the mall.  

Westfield Newmarket said it too will have staff on hand to manage the flow and. if the worst happens, they'll be providing water and food for customers in their vehicles - or coffee vouchers for those who choose to re-enter the centre.