Navigating Black Friday: 7 Expert Shopping Tips from ECC-Net

Black Friday, the European and even global shopping phenomenon, offers the allure of unbeatable prices and incredible deals. However, not all ad promises hold true. We offer seven vital tips for safer Black Friday shopping, empowering you to separate genuine bargains from the rest.

  1. That new hairdryer is not supposed to give up so soon

Whether it is Black Friday or any other day, you deserve products that last. In Europe, you are covered by a legal warranty, even on discounted goods. This means that if your hairdryer or any other product proves to be faulty, you are entitled to a replacement or a refund for up to two years after your purchase.

  1. Online purchases come with a return window

When you shop online, the convenience of trying on products in-store is not available. Whether it is a pair of trousers or headphones, getting the perfect fit is a concern. To address this, you have the freedom to return your purchases within 14 days without the need to provide a reason. We suggest communicating your decision in writing, such as via email to the trader. However, please note that certain items, such as online-booked travel, perishable goods like food, and personalized items such as engraved jewelry, may not be eligible for a return.

  1. A trustworthy online shop has more to offer than payment in advance

Online shops have the freedom to choose the payment methods they offer. It is their responsibility to inform customers about the available options before customers finalize their orders. Shops that only accept advance payment should be approached cautiously. In case of any issues with the product, the worst-case scenario would be the loss of money. European law dictates that no additional fees should be charged for commonly used payment methods such as credit card, SEPA direct debit, and SEPA bank transfer.

  1. Swipe with confidence: Credit card payments can be undone

While Black Friday brings tempting shopping deals, it can also come with dubious offers and scams. One crucial tip to safeguard your finances: Choose to pay with a credit card. Credit cards provide you with the ability to cancel unauthorized transactions through a chargeback process, addressing concerns such as fraud or erroneous duplicate charges. Your first step should be an attempt to resolve the issue with the trader, and if that doesn't work, contact your bank to initiate the chargeback.

  1. Too good to be true: Beware of that extra cheap cardigan

Have you ever stumbled upon an online store that promises clothing at unbelievably low prices, with each item available in a rainbow of colors? Those pop-up discount notifications seem to follow you everywhere, and they insist that these rice cuts are only available for today, or that the product will be gone in a flash? It is quite possible that this store is practicing dropshipping, which is legal but may come with downsides for customers. The products usually originate from the Far East, which can lead to complications if you need to return them. Furthermore, they may not always meet European health and quality standards and could pose potential risks.

  1. Online shops use ‘almost sold out’ tactics to pressure you

It's a common tactic used by many online shops: messages like 'almost sold out,' 'ten other people have this product in their basket,' or 'only 3 items left.' These manipulative marketing strategies are known as dark patterns, designed to influence and pressure you into making a quick purchase. But is the offer truly as great as it seems if you don't even have time to consider it? We strongly encourage consumers to recognize these dark patterns for what they are and not let them rush you into a decision. If the product does happen to be sold out, remember that there may be alternative, even more affordable offers elsewhere.

  1. Stay zen and save the environment

Our final tip may come across as common knowledge, but its importance cannot be underestimated. Black Friday often symbolizes overconsumption, a throwaway culture, and increased CO2 emissions from online shipping. In other words, it is a dark day for the environment. That's why we suggest the following: For every item that remains in stock, the environment wins, and so does your wallet.

about author

ECC-Iceland

ecc@eccisland.is

Help and advise for consumers in Europe