Black Friday Sale: beware when buying bargains

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Exclusive offers, deals and savings campaigns: Black Friday at the end of November sees many unbeatable prices online and in stores. But these promotions don’t consistently deliver what they promise. AK Consumer Protection clarifies the situation and provides tips for safe shopping.

Black Friday is popular in Austria
Every November, Black Friday is one of the most important shopping events for many online retailers. This year, it takes place on November 24. Even in the days leading up to Cyber Monday on November 27th, companies are tempting shoppers with bargains. But it’s worth taking a closer look.

Comparing Black Friday offers pays off
Even if platforms offer around 25 percent off everything, there are always many exceptions in the small print. In addition, many of the items on offer, especially in the technology sector, are often older models. Consumers should also not be swayed by marketing tricks such as countdowns or “strictly limited” quotas. “Comparison portals such as idealo.at or geizhals.at are useful tools for finding the ‘best price’ for a product,” recommends AK consumer protector Christina Gruber.

AK warns against fake stores for online purchases
If you have any doubts about the reliability of an online store, it is better to stay away from it. “It is important to check the website for a complete, error-free legal notice, terms and conditions, withdrawal and return rights, data protection regulations and quality marks,” says Gruber. Current fake stores can be found on the platform watchlist-internet.at. Prepayment should generally be avoided with unknown stores, and it is better to pay by direct debit, credit card, PayPal or “buyer protection.”

Consumers should keep an eye on additional costs
Shipping always accounts for a significant proportion of the costs, meaning the supposed bargain is significantly more expensive. Customs fees, for example, must be expected, especially for orders from the USA or other non-EU countries.

Be aware of different rights of withdrawal
If you don’t like the product after all or it doesn’t meet your expectations, there are different rights of withdrawal to consider. “Online purchases within the EU can be canceled for 14 days,” says Gruber. The situation is different for in-store purchases. Here, it would be best to find out individually about the possibility of withdrawal, preferably before making the purchase. This is because there is no general right of withdrawal here.

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