At the end of a disastrous year Irish retailers are gearing up for the annual Black Friday sales.
And as this year’s Black Friday sales coincides with the expected easing of Covid Level 5 restrictions retailers are hoping that consumers will be out in force and help fill the coffers with some badly needed cash from sales. And who can blame them?
The sales may also prove a lifeline for people who lost income during the past six months but still need to shop for Christmas. Big stores like Harvey Norman which supplies computers and electronic goods so popular as Christmas presents are already headlining massive discounts, as are others like DID Electrical.
Boots is another popular destination pre-Christmas and it is offering cuts on a range of products.
But not all retailers join in the Black Friday sales frenzy and those who do often see record numbers of returns from people who panic buy after a rush of blood to the head. So what are your rights returning sale items?
Follow his handy guide before you shop in store or hit the sales online this Black Friday.
Buying in store
Do your research before you buy and check what the price was before the discount so you know what exactly you are saving.
You have the same rights if you buy a sale or full price item. Just because the price is reduced it does not mean your rights are. If an item is faulty you are entitled to a replacement repair or full refund depending on the fault. The exception is if the item is marked ‘sold as seen’.
Change of mind? You don’t have an automatic right to exchange or refund although most retailers do offer the option as a gesture of goodwill. Check the T&Cs on the receipt or ask at the till. Don’t forget to check the time period for returns.
Keep your proof of purchase. If you lose the receipt a copy of the debit or credit card will suffice.
Online sites like Amazon are hugely popular for pre-Christmas shopping. But before you buy online from any site in the Black Friday sales do the following:
Check if the price includes any taxes including excise duty if buying outside the EU.
Check the information on delivery and returns.
Only buy from reputable websites and check reviews. TrustPilot is particularly helpful for this and always use a secure payment method.
Check the company’s physical address. Some websites use the .ie or.com domain but they are not necessarily based in Ireland or the UK. And if they are outside the EU you cannot rely on consumer rights.
If you buy online from a business based in the EU you can cancel your purchase within a 14 day ‘cooling off’ period and get a refund even if you have simply changed your mind. But check the postage policy.
Does it look too good to be true?
Finally, if it looks too good to be true than chances are it is. While that’s not the case with genuine retailers, some non-EU sites offer branded goods at massive discounts but if you haven’t done your homework, they may not be all they seem. Always check the manufacturer’s website for authorised sellers to make sure the item and seller is genuine.
If you have a consumer problem or query contact email@example.com. This column provides general guidance on consumer legislation and is not intended to replace individual professional advice on consumer disputes.