Know your consumer rights this Black Friday

Don't be tempted to snap up a bargain unless you're sure it really is one

Simon Read
Personal Finance Editor
Friday 20 November 2015 11:06 GMT
A cheap tv is only a bargain if you were planning to pay more for it in the first place
A cheap tv is only a bargain if you were planning to pay more for it in the first place (Getty Images)

Next Friday has been designated Black Friday by retailers. But don’t be fooled by shops’ expensive adverts and marketing tricks; this is not a day for consumers to snap up bargains, it’s a day for retailers to clear their shelves of old, hard-to-shift stock.

Pretending they’re doing us a favour by offering rock-bottom prices is an ancient shopping trick that sensible Bargain Hunters will be wise to.

Just because something is labelled as cut-price, that doesn’t mean it’s a bargain. You only get a bargain if you had intended to buy the product at a higher price and could therefore save some cash by snapping it up at a discount in a sale, whether it’s labelled Black Friday or Suckers’ Saturday.

You still have rights in sales

If you do end up buying something on Black Friday, that doesn’t mean you’ve got fewer consumer rights because you bought in a sale. If fact your rights were strengthened last month, meaning retailers have to give you more time to return faulty items.

Lewis Shand Smith at Ombudsman Services, says: “With the new Consumer Rights Act, consumers are better protected than ever before, If you are let down by a retailer, you have the right to complain.

“If you’ve spoken with the retailer and your complaint remains unresolved after a reasonable amount of time, you can take your problem to the Consumer Ombudsman – a free and easy alternative to a small claims court. It takes just 10 minutes to complete an online form at”

Every day is bargain day

Forget Black Friday, you can actually get better discounts on other days of the year, reckons Stuart McClure of

“The reality is that most retailers have sales on all the time. Every day, there are actually hundreds of thousands of items on sales; the only difference from seasonal and flash sales is that it’s not advertised.

“There’s rarely a need to pay full price for a product – regardless of what it is.”

Black Friday 2015 is on 27 November.

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