Black Friday, this traditional commercial operation from the United States, will take place this year on November 26.
If it has become an unavoidable event before Christmas for bargain hunters, are all the promotions worth the “cost”? What to look out for before frantically clicking on the small price displayed? The European Consumer Centre France gives you its advice to take advantage of the good deals or to consume differently.
Before buying, compare prices!
Before clicking on the first promotional offer that seems tempting, compare prices before Black Friday or before Cyber Monday (Monday, November 29, 2021).
“To be sure to get a good deal, it is better to compare prices before and during Black Friday, both on the official websites of brands, on websites that display attractive prices and also in stores” recommends Lion-Joed Char, Lawyer at CEC France.
Good deals after Christmas
Many sites use and abuse alarmist mentions (“only 5 items available”, “10 other customers are also looking at this product”) to encourage consumers to buy. But there is no point in clicking, sometimes you have to be patient.
“It’s often after Christmas that the best deals are available on the Net. So if you’re not in a hurry, it’s better to avoid impulse buying and let this frenetic shopping period pass” advises Lion-Joed Char.
Beware of counterfeits!
If you are looking for a pair of shoes of a specific brand, beware if you find it on another website than the official website of the brand and for much less money. You may be disappointed when you receive the shoes: very poorly finished shoes with rough seams. Even if nearly 10 million ads have been removed from the Net in three months for counterfeiting, we can fear, as every year, an explosion of fraudulent offers on the occasion of Black Friday.
To avoid falling into the trap of counterfeiting on the Internet, follow the clues given by the CEC France to spot fraudulent sites in search engines, with the brand or on the site itself.
Beware of the delivery times of dropshipping websites !
More and more Internet sellers practice dropshipping, which means that they sell online products that they don’t own, that they don’t have any stock of, and that are directly sent by the manufacturer (often located on another continent) to the consumer. If there are of course serious dropshipping websites, this practice often reserves bad surprises: very long delivery times, hidden fees, product blocked in customs, out of stock, poor quality or counterfeit products…
Faced with the problems of late delivery or shortage that affects especially products from Asia, redouble your vigilance with regard to sites practicing dropshipping that display very/too competitive prices!
What to do if the product has a defect ?
For all purchases in the European Union, you have a minimum 2-year warranty. Called the legal guarantee of conformity, it allows you, in case of a defect on the product, to ask the seller to repair or exchange it, or if these two solutions are not possible, to reimburse the sums paid. And this guarantee will evolve as of January 1, 2022 to extend to digital products and services.
How to enjoy Black Friday as a responsible consumer ?
To consume differently during Black Friday, here are some options:
- Choose delivery in a relay point to avoid unnecessary transport in case of absence, or less polluting means of transport.
- Use the size indicators, look carefully at the photos and read the comments of other buyers. This way, you will order the right size directly and know the product better. This will avoid unnecessary returns.
- Choose a brand or a seller that is part of a movement against overconsumption such as “Green Friday” or “Make friday green again”.
- Buy second-hand. This will extend the life of a product, while saving money and resources. Good to know: in 14 European countries, you get a 2-year warranty even on second-hand goods.
About the European Consumer Centre France
The European Consumer Centre (ECC) France is the contact point for French consumers who have a question about their rights in Europe or a dispute with a European professional. The ECC France belongs to the ECC-Net, present in each EU country, in Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom. The ECC France is located at the border Strasbourg/Kehl, grouped together with the ECC Germany within the Franco-German association “Centre Européen de la Consommation”. Its services of information and legal assistance to consumers are free of charge.