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Consumer rights

Junior minister urges shoppers to be aware of pitfalls ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Shoppers are being warned to double check the location of the shop they’re buying from, and that the price is actually a discount.

A JUNIOR MINISTER has warned shoppers to be alert when availing of sales this coming Friday and Monday – warning that if people shop outside of the EU, they may not have the same consumer protections.

‘Black Friday’ takes place this week, a retail event that originated in the US on the Friday after Thanksgiving, where retailers offer what they claim are discounts to products.

‘Cyber Monday’ is the name of online sales the following Monday, aiming to extend the spending splurge.

These events have been imported from businesses in the US to those in Ireland in recent years, and there have been increased warnings for people to check that they are actually getting a discount from retailers, as well as what consumer protections they have.

Today, Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Robert Troy has urged online shoppers to exercise caution when availing of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, on both the sales price and the region the product is being sold from.

He said: 

“The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has some excellent advice for consumers about shopping online and being aware of the original price of products before they are offered at a reduced sale price.

It is very easy to compare prices online and then again before you buy so you can be confident you are getting a good deal.

The Minister referenced recent research by the CCPC which shows the majority of those who shop online are guided by the currency and website domain, neither of which should be used as guarantees of a business’s location.

The CCPC are urging consumers to check the Terms & Conditions for a registered address before making any purchases.

Troy said: “I would urge shoppers to spend a little time doing their own research before committing to online purchases. It is extremely important to establish where the business you are purchasing from is based as this can affect your rights after any purchase.

If the business is not based in the EU then consumers need to be aware that they don’t have the automatic strong rights that they have when purchasing from within the EU.

Troy concluded:

“It has never been easier to shop online but there can be pitfalls too. However, consumers can avoid these by doing some research of their own, such as where the business you are buying from is based and also by doing price comparisons online.

“And as always, consumers should be very careful with their own financial details and be sure of the bona fides of the business they are dealing with.”

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