With retailers bracing themselves for one of the busiest shopping days of the year, people are being reminded about the importance of knowing their consumer rights.
Black Friday is 25 November and shoppers are expected to spend around £4 billion on the latest technology, clothing, toiletries, toys and other household goods.
And with people on the hunt for even better bargains because of the additional cost of living pressures, Staffordshire County Council’s trading standards service wants people to do their research, know their rights and stay alert.
Officers are also pre warning people not to fall for scams or be duped buy counterfeit goods.
Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council said: “With many families facing additional cost of living pressures this winter, Black Friday can be a good time to pick up some bargains or gifts without breaking the bank.
“However, shoppers are also increasingly targeted by criminals and scammers at this time of year too, so it’s important that people stay alert.
“As in previous years, much of the shopping will be online, So it’s important that people are aware of the latest consumer rights and laws. Research can also be your friend. Think if you really need the item in the first place. Check comparison websites to check if the price really is a bargain. Only buy your items from trusted websites or where there are positive reviews.
“While all the usual major retailers will be offering deals, it’s also worth considering buying locally. This way you can help support Staffordshire businesses and your local area.”
The latest consumer rights include legislation to allow people to obtain a full refund on faulty goods within 30 days of purchase, an ability to challenge unfair terms and conditions and to demand poor services are redone or that there is a price reduction.
Some tips for safe and secure shopping include:
Do your research
Be wise to scams in disguise
Ways to pay: Beware of a seller who asks you to pay by direct bank transfer. Bank transfers have limited protection if things go wrong, so avoid using them.
Know your consumer rights If you encounter a problem with a purchase, contact the seller and give them a chance to put it right. If that doesn’t work - reach out to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline
Concerns about the sale of counterfeit goods can be reported to the Staffordshire fight the fakes hotline on 01785 330356.