/ Shopping

Are those sale items really good value?

With mince pies still settling in stomachs and a mass of Christmas packaging overflowing in recycling bins, it’s now officially Christmas sales time. But how can you be sure you’re getting a real bargain?

The savvy shopper among us will be expert at finding the items they really want at an AMAZING KNOCK DOWN PRICE. They will have identified what they want weeks or even months in advance and will be first at the checkout as soon as the sales start.

But let’s be honest. The pull of a great sale often entices us into buying things that we don’t need, will rarely use or wear, and on reflection don’t even like.

Our survey of more than 2,000 Brits found that four in 10 are planning to shop in the sales. Of those hoping to bag a bargain, 72% are intending to buy clothes and accessories, and 45% are planning on buying CDs, DVDs and computer games.

Is it really a bargain?

Whether you manage to buy something that you really want (pat yourself on the back) or end up with something you really don’t want (we’ve all been there), there is satisfaction to be gleamed from knowing you bagged a bargain. But how can you be sure of this?

If a shop is running a sale, it has to follow certain Government rules (the Pricing Practices Guide) that ensure it’s a genuine sale. This includes having to sell items at the non-sale price for 28 consecutive days in that store immediately before the sale, unless a sign explains the terms of the offer.

Shops are also required to clearly display the original price along with the sale price so shoppers can see the discount they’re getting.

Last week, we revealed the dodgy deals on electrical goods we’d uncovered. They clearly illustrate that you need to keep on your toes when you’re shopping for an actual bargain. And we want the Pricing Practices Guide amended in a way that puts an end to dodgy deals that we think are misleading shoppers.

What about your return rights?

Our survey revealed that younger people are far less likely to know their sale return rights – 67% of 18-24 year olds are unsure, compared to 35% of the over 65s.

If you regret your sale purchase bought on the high street, you don’t have an automatic right to return it unless it’s faulty. Of course, if something is on sale as a result of being damaged in some way, you also won’t have an automatic right to return it. Also you can only return non-faulty goods for an exchange or refund if a retailer has a sale returns policy, which they must stick to.

Shopping online gives you extra protection under the Consumer Contracts Regulations. Regardless of whether you bought something in the sales or not, you have 14 days from the day you receive your goods to return them. Some light relief for those prone to rash sales shopping.

Are you intending on shopping in the sales? Are you a savvy sales shopper who knows your rights? Have you got any sales shopping antics to tell?

renniemac says:
26 December 2014

you can buy good bargains in the sales, but have to be careful. I am always dubious of the higher price sold from and to bit, they inflate the price sell it at the inflated price for a month or so then bring it back to its pre-inflated price. therefore saving nothing. but there are goods to be had. in the run-up to Xmas 2 weeks before big event I received on-line vouchers for Debenhams. found bag I wanted to buy as Xmas present, £88.00 bag reduced to £39.00. I bought it. When I received the bag I loved it, and the quality, so decided to go back on-line and buy myself one, only to find it was back at £88.00. gutted, never mind the recipient of the bag will never find out I originally bought it for them! “get the picture” my friends Birthday is in January, received more vouchers bought her an even more expensive bag from Debenhams for knock down of £46.00. so there are bargains to be had. have had an eye on new fridge freezer from curry’s just seen ad fridge now a whopping £150.00 cheaper, should I buy it,! what do you think…
The company I receive the vouchers for sales if anyone is interested is.
http://www.vouchercodes.co.uk you receive vouchers every couple of days from large retailers, usually the sale is 2 or 3 days long. so as was the case of the bag if you don’t get it when you receive vouchers then you lose out. good luck saving the pennies.

Anita Britton says:
3 January 2015

Today I returned two items to New Look shop in Scarborough,only to be told I could have a credit or an exchange, not a refund. I asked where this was shown when I came to buy my items, and nothing even now is showing to alert anyone to this policy. The manger came and pointed out the small print at the back of my receipt ,but as I explained all a bit later when I’d already finished the transaction. Apparently all mayor shops are doing this in this sale after Christmas, but I,m not amused at all and as a shop keeper myself I find it very bad practice ,I wouldn’t survive treating my customers like this. So be warned before parting with your cash ,ask your rights , I wish I had.

That surely must be illegal practice to quote written terms and conditions after the transaction has taken place. They should be reported to Trading Standards.

Anita Britton says:
3 January 2015

You can show my name ,but not my e.mail.