Avoid Black Friday blues! Know your rights before you shop

November 22, 2019

With Black Friday only a week away we have some tips to help you if you are shopping online or in-store.

Shopping online for Black Friday

  • Know your rights: If you buy from a business that is based in the EU, you have strong rights. One of these rights is a 14-day cooling-off period, which means you can cancel your order for any reason, even if you just change your mind. However, there are some exceptions. And, you may have to pay for the cost of returning the item if it is not faulty.
  • Do your research: Buy from a reputable website or one with positive reviews. Check if any of your friends have used the site and check out discussion forums.
  • Check the physical address of the business: If a website’s web address ends in ‘.ie’, it doesn’t necessarily mean the website is based in Ireland. So make sure to check for details of the postal address of the business before you buy.
  • Look for all the information: Before you buy, you should get information on the full price you are paying, including any taxes. So read the terms and conditions as well as any information on delivery, returns and price. By law you should also be given full contact details, including the business’s address, so you know where they are located and how to contact them. However, these rules only apply within the EU. If you are buying outside the EU check the business’s returns policy so you know what your options are if you want to return your order.
  • Paying for the items: Always use a secure method of payment, such as a debit or credit card.
  • Taxes and charges: You may have to pay VAT and excise duty on items you buy from outside the EU. You can find out more on Revenue.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is: Find out the recommended price of the item and be wary of websites which offer branded goods for sale at big discounts. If you are not sure if a site is selling genuine products, check on the manufacturer’s website for details of authorised sellers.

Shopping in store on Black Friday

  • Do your research: Do your research before Black Friday and find out the price before the discount so that you know if you are really getting a bargain. Also read the small print of an offer, so that you are clear about what you’re buying.
  • You still have rights even if what you bought was a Black Friday bargain: If an item is faulty, your rights don’t change just because it was on sale. Your contract is with the business who sold it to you so they are responsible for resolving the problem. Under consumer law this means providing you with either a repair, a replacement or a full refund depending on the nature of the fault.
  • Change of mind? If you change your mind about something you bought on Black Friday, for example, perhaps the item doesn’t fit, you don’t have any rights under consumer law to return the item and get a repair, replacement or refund. However many shops will allow you to return something, with proof of purchase and may offer you the option of a refund, exchange or credit note so it’s always worth asking.
  • Keeping proof of purchase: If you need to return the item, shops will want you to give proof of purchase. This doesn’t have to be a receipt, it can also be a copy of a debit or credit card statement or bill.




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