As shoppers prepare for bargains on Black Friday, the Consumer Protection Service has stepped in with some useful advice for consumers.
Black Friday first started in the US in the 1960s and marks the start of the Christmas shopping period. This year, it falls on November 23, and given that shops in Cyprus will also be offering special offers on that day, the Consumer Protection Service is advising the following:
- Carry out your market research from now. Locate the products that you may be interested in and take a note of their price so that you know how big the discount is on Black Friday.
- Do not make hasty purchases. Buy what you really need. Do your research carefully, comparing the price and the quality of the products on offer.
- Do not buy something just because it is on offer. Make sure the product satisfies your needs by checking the specifications and where possible by reading up on reviews on the quality. Make your decision based on the final price and not on how big the discount is.
- Use the internet. Use the internet not only to make purchases but to find alternative products, reviews as well as to compare prices.
- Price is not the only criterion. Particularly if you are planning to buy something of value, for example a mobile telephone or a computer, it is important to examine the reliability and after sales service of the supplier. Ask other consumers about their experience, for example, as regards the suppliers’ response on guarantees.
- Set your budget before you go shopping. There will be a large number of offers on Black Friday and it will be easy to get carried away. Decide on the maximum you plan to spend, taking into consideration your finances.
- Find out about the shop’s returns policy before making a purchase. Under EU law, there is no legal obligation on this issue and it is up to each shop to decide whether its policy is to accept returns or offer to exchange. This does not apply to purchases over the internet where consumers have up to 14 days after delivery of the product to change their mind.