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?