Survive the hype this Black Friday

November 18, 2016

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up, next weekend is set to be one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. You may be hoping to pick up bargains in the run up to Christmas, so take a look at our tips to make sure you know your rights and avoid a spending splurge:

Remember your rights

Your rights are the same on Black Friday and Cyber Monday as they are any other time of the year:

  • If you buy an item in a shop and it turns out to be faulty, you are entitled to a repair, replacement or refund, depending on what the fault is. Remember, if you want to bring something back, you will need proof of purchase. This can be your receipt but could also be a copy of a credit /debit card statement.
  • If you buy something in a store and you simply change your mind, you are not automatically entitled to return it for a refund or exchange. However, some shops will give you a refund with proof of purchase or allow you to exchange the item. This is shop policy and not consumer law. Some shops may change or shorten their ‘change of mind’ returns policy if an item is on sale. Make sure you know the shop policy for returning something if you change your mind.
  • When you buy online from an EU-based website, you have a cooling-off period of 14 days – starting from the date you receive your item – to cancel the order and get a refund. You don’t have to give a reason to cancel, but you may have to pay for the cost of returning the item. You must return the item within 14 days of telling the business you want to cancel the order.
  • If you buy something online that turns out to be faulty, you have the same rights as if you bought it in a shop. You should contact the business by email immediately and ask for a refund or replacement. If the item you bought online was faulty, or not what you ordered, you do not have to pay for the cost of returning it. If you look for a refund, you are also entitled to any delivery costs you paid.
  • You don’t have the same protections if you buy from a website outside of the EU. Just because it has an .ie or address it doesn’t mean it’s an EU site. Make sure that you check the business’s geographic address on the website. If you are buying from a business based outside the EU make sure that you read and understand that site’s returns policy beforehand.


Spend, but don’t splurge!

  • Plan your spending – Before you shop, make a list. This will help you avoid impulse buying, or buying things you can’t afford. It will also make it easier to keep track of your spending, so you can make sure you are staying within budget.
  • Use cash where you can – Avoid a massive credit card bill in January and use cash or a debit card where you can. If you do use your credit card think about how much you are spending on it first. It’s easy to splurge, when you don’t have to repay it immediately. However, your bill will have to be repaid eventually, and interest can mount up quickly.
  • Be wary of store cards – You can be tempted by offers on store cards – these are credit cards that only work in a particular shop. However, you should check what the interest rate is on store cards before you sign up for them.
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