Every Black Friday, we see plenty of unfair practices that you just shouldn’t stand for.
We heard from thousands of people who were caught out last Black Friday – and we expect to see the same tricks again this year. From fake AirPods to dodgy discounts, here’s what you need to know.
The rules covering what constitutes a sale item are vague and broad. So if you see something that looks like a bargain, go to the manufacturer’s website and look at the recommended retail price (RRP).
Bear in mind that items often sell for less than this all year round. Some websites have price comparisons if you Google the items.
Some sites have been known to artificially inflate prices before a sale in order to offer deceptive “reductions”.
In fact, some sites will advertise items with statements like “Was £500, now £350”, when they sold very few items at the higher price.
You shouldn’t have to put up with this.
The rules say that businesses should be able to show that they’d made “significant sales” at the higher price shown. If they can’t, they may have acted unfairly.
Businesses should also use the most recent price as the point of comparison. This means that businesses can’t continually offer reductions but show only the original price. For example, you shouldn’t see prices that go from “Was £500, now £300” to “Was £500, now £150”.
Want to know more about your rights? Check out our complete guide to online shopping.
It doesn’t matter if you think you can beat the techniques retailers use to get you to cough up your hard-earned cash. The fact remains there’s a huge amount of research, planning and science employed by the retailers as tactics to get you to impulse buy.
Ticking clock timers, glossy images, discounted prices, item offers ‘expiring’ – they’ve thought of it all. The best thing you can do is try to buy only what you’ve planned and budgeted for.
The holiday industry has been told that these practices have to stop – and we think you should expect the same from online retail in general.
If you feel like a company’s site puts you under pressure to buy things, you can always make a complaint via Resolver.
We’ve seen loads of problems with people buying fake products whose listings look completely real. So watch out – especially if you’re buying Apple Airpods or charging devices.
A quick look through the feedback for Airpod listings on Amazon suggests that plenty of people have received empty charging cases or used products.
Some have even received knock-off headphones made by a completely different company. Fake AirPods have all sorts of problems, from sharp edges to broken chargers.
The same is true of Apple charging blocks and cables. It’s really difficult to tell if what you order is legitimate.
If you buy from a dodgy seller, your best option is to contact Amazon directly to get it sorted.
As with other buyer-seller platforms, Amazon will generally protect you against third-party sellers if you’ve made sure to contact the seller through your account first. Always give at least two days for a response. If the seller doesn’t reply, you’ve then got 90 days from the estimated delivery date to make an appeal to Amazon.
We’ve also see plenty of issues with sportswear ordered online. Far too many consumers order big brand listings, only to receive cheap fakes.
When in doubt, it’s always better to buy directly from the brand.