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gyzmo

Some shopping tips for the sales to protect yourself!

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As the sales are getting underway, many will be on the hunt for a good bargain in the sales. However, excess alcohol, blood divertion from brain to stomach (damn those sprouts...) or whatever may cause some to go for a bargain that isn't one at all..... so here's a few pointers (some obvious, some not so) to help

 

0. NEVER TRUST A REDUCED PRICE

 

The old rules, where a sale was only a sale if the higher price was available for 28 days or more etc etc is now gone. Instead, it has been replaced with the requirements in the CPUT regs. Basically, they are so wooly in their meaning and so difficult to enforce that shops can get away with whatever they want to, nearly. What you should do is look at the price it is selling for and make your decision on that alone. Ignore any higher price. Unfortunately, many traders are taking full advantage of the new regs and making a killing from it. For example, one famous seller of cheap sports gear has huge sale signs saying everything reduced. Reduced, that ism from the RRP and not from their normal sale price. Same stores lso say "ask for 20% off if not already discounted", making one think that one will get 20% off the asking price. You won't.

 

1. Know what you want before buying it.

If you are buying something specific, make sure you know what it is you want. For example, will a TV fit in a corner? Will that shelf hold the weight of the stereo you want to buy? Is your aunty really a size 10 (for that dress she keeps looking at)? Will it do what you want it to do? Have you shopped round for the best prices? Remember that the law does not protect you from a bad bargain - if there is nothing wrong with the item then you can only rely on the sellers goodwill policy (no fuss returns etc). A little bit of research first of can save money, time and stress later.

 

2. Pressure, pressure pressure.....

No, not tyre pumps, but tactics used by some sales staff. Though now prohibited under unfair practice directive, it does still happen. "Offer available today only" and the likes should set off warning bells. Don't be forced into buying something if you have not had a chance to check elsewhere. Any reputable seller will allow you to come back and take their offer. If you have done some research you should have a good idea of what you want, thereby limiting any chance of pressure tactics working on you. Always remember that YOU are in control and can leave at any time - you are under no obligation to buy anything!

 

3. If it ain't in writing....

Remember that although something said to you may induce you to buying something, you will have a hard time proving a verbal statement. If you are told something (be it a timeframe for delivery, the opportunity to get a refund if not liked, etc), ask for it to be written on a receipt and signed by the seller. If they do not want to do that, then treat what they say with a hefty dose of salt.

 

4. If it is in writing....

READ it and ask to take away a copy. It's boring, yes, but you are bound by documents that you sign (but note unfair terms etc that are automatically unenforceable). Not reading something is not an excuse. And if you are told something which is attractive, as for it to be pointed out (see above). Make sure you question anything you do not understand. Again, a responsible seller will be happy for you to come back later after having had time to examine documents and should gladly explain the main provisions.

 

5. Beware rogue traders...

I would like to include the majority of high street retailers here but never mind. Watch out for mock auctions, shops that suddenly pop up but are closing down already, street traders and mobile markets. Mock auctions are illegal but loopholes still make it possible for them to happen. You will not get fantastic Wii for a fiver, nor a plasma TV for fifty quid - you will get a bag of sh**e - and don't expect a refund or even think of asking for one unless you like hospital food. As for the others mentioned, they may be selling fake gear (which is illegal and the goods are often dangerous or of very poor quality), but even if not, you will have difficulty in trying to enforce your rights. More than likely, the seller will have disappeared soon after you have bought the item. There is one that opens in the same place in Manchester every year - flogging watches with a supposed value of £300 for £25. Yeah right.

 

6. Your rights

You still have the same right in sales as you do with anything else. If there is something wrong with an item on sale and the price has been reduced becasue of it, then this must be pointed out. Remember to keep receipts (and I usually put the price sticker on the back of the receipt as well) as prrof of purchase. It is not the only proof, but it is the best one. Watch out for signs that try to restrcit your statutory rights (e.g, no refunds, credit will only be given on refunds etc) - these are illegal. Although they have no effect in law, you might want to consider whether a shop that has them is really somewhere you want to buy from.

 

7. Extra protection..

Not talking condoms here...but do use plastic if you can. Credit cards provide protection on high values purchases, and if things go wrong you can take issue with the credit card company. Remembe that you alos have action against a creditor as well as the supplier for goods bught on loan etc. Also remember that shopping online allows an automatic "any reason" cancellation (with some exceptions) period for you to examinethe goods. Make sure you buy from reputable sellers and always read terms given before buying the item as well as the information sent to you afterwards.

 

8. If things do go wrong...

Act quickly. The time will determine whether you can get a refund depending on the circumstances. Once you have "accepted" goods, you will generally be entitled to a repair, replacement or (partial) refund in that order, and it is down to the seller to choose one that is proportionate and of minimum inconvenience to you. It is also for the seller to prove that the problem did not exist at the time of sale within the first six months- NOT for you to prove that it did.

When complaining, be calm, polite but firm. Remember that your contract is with the seller and it is for them to sort it, so do not be fobbed off by being told the manufacturer needs to sort it. If you do not get any luck in store, write to the company (more information on this available all over this site).

Also report the matter to Consumer Direct. They will provide information on what to do. They will also record the details, and if it is found taht there is a widescale problem with a seller, Trading Standards can take action against them as a whole.

 

So there you go. Happy hunting and happy new year. And if anyone knows of someone in Manchester who does REALLY cheap driving lesson (and I am talking cheap here - nearly free in fact!) then do drop me a note - I desparately need to pass test to get my dream job but am totally brassic!

Edited by gyzmo
New point added (0 - couldnt be bothered renumbering), addition to point 5
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Awww shucks, you're making me blush now!


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I am trying to find a forum entry for help over a mobile telephone I bought from Asda Direct. I have had nothing but trouble since day one. I don't see how to even create a new entry to start a new thread. Can someone please help.

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Re paying by credit card. Not a lot of people realise that it's the 'credit' bit that is governed by the law. Consumer Credit Act '74 S25 makes the credit grantor liable alongside the seller. So ANY credit deal is covered. That means a debit card as well if you have an overdraft (and a store card) It's your right. Don't let the bank fob you off.

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Great article!

 

It's interesting that people sometimes seem to accept things like faulty sale goods because they were reduced anyway, and not do anything about it.

 

People still have consumer rights under Distance Selling Regulations and the Sale of Goods act if they shop in a sale

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Great article!

 

It's interesting that people sometimes seem to accept things like faulty sale goods because they were reduced anyway, and not do anything about it.

 

People still have consumer rights under Distance Selling Regulations and the Sale of Goods act if they shop in a sale

 

Common consumers are more concerned with the flash and surface of what they see. :) It's easy to concentrate on the big "REDUCED" sign over everything, and think about how much of a great deal it is while ignoring the fact that the price is still higher than you could get elsewhere. Fact is, most consumers don't research what they want to buy... They see a display sign in a store, ponder it, and then choose to buy that specific model unless a salesperson convinces them otherwise. I'm guilty of this, too! I bought a lot of baby clothes for my grandchildren without looking around. I just walked into a store, saw that they were for sale, bought a few, and then realized I could have gotten the same clothes in the store down the road for a few pounds cheaper... Not smart.

 

The worst is in the grocers, though... Reduced signs are NOT to be trusted. At least not with vegetables, fruits, and meats. It is so rare to actually get something that is still good to eat and then you're left with bits and pieces that you paid money for that maybe could have better been spent in something else. Making money off of "faulty" goods, as you described it.

 

Good opinion to keep with you: Anything with a reduced or quick sale sign should be treated with suspicion until proven genuine and safe. That's what I do now.

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Great advice - especially the point on 'pressure'.

 

If you can always sit with the idea of a potential purchase for 24-hours before committing. It's surprising how often it doesn't feel a purchase doesn't feel as vital the day after/

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style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 1770 days.

If you are trying to post a different story then you should start your own new thread. Posting on this thread is likely to mean that you won't get the help and advice that you need.

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