Sales 2023: 6 tips to avoid scams in stores and on the internet

This Wednesday, January 11 marks the start of the summer sales in most departments of metropolitan France.

This discount period will last four weeks, until Tuesday, February 7. Each year, agents from the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) report misleading commercial practices.

Beware of inflated starting prices!

Some traders are increasing the item’s reference pricethat is to say the base price from which the discount is calculated, to make believe in a reduction which is not one.

To avoid being fooled, it is best to identify the prices of the products that interest you in stores and on the Internet beforehand.

These discounts that do not correspond to the real price…

Sometimes a retailer may advertise a discount that doesn’t match the price displayed on the sale item’s tag. For example, a down jacket at 130 €, on sale at 30%, must cost 91 € and not 95 €, 96 € or 100 €! Before going to checkout, take the time to check if the price is right by using your smartphone calculator or a mobile app. If the price is wrong, do not hesitate to report it to the seller.

The Sales Calculator application, available free of charge on Google Play and the Apple Store, is very easy to use. You enter the initial price, select the percentage of the discount and you get the markdown amount and the final price.

Discounts that are sometimes too attractive

Other offense regularly observed: a newsletter from an online sales site or a shop window announces high discount rates when in reality only a tiny part of sale items is sold with such discounts.

This type of practice is similar to misleading advertising.

Pay attention to the words “neither taken back nor exchanged”

Even if some merchants display the words “neither taken back nor exchanged” on their articles, they are obliged to apply the legal guarantees of conformity and hidden defects. A product on sale “benefits from the same guarantees in terms of non-apparent manufacturing defects, lack of conformity or after-sales service”recalls the Repression of fraud.

If the purchased product has a hidden defectthat is to say a defect which is not apparent, the seller must replace it or reimburse you for it. “In the event of a lack of conformity identified within 2 years after purchase, the seller is required to offer you the repair or replacement of the non-conforming good, or, if these two options are impossible, to reimburse you. good “, says the state agency.

But in the absence of a hidden defect, the store has the right to refuse any exchange and refund of sale items, unless it has agreed to do so.

In addition, for purchases made on the Internet, you have a withdrawal period 14 days from receipt of the item to return it, without having to justify it. The seller must then reimburse you within fourteen days of the date on which you inform him of your decision to withdraw.

Products that are too recent to be on sale

Reductions can only relate to products on the shelves and paid for at least one month to the supplier on the start date of the sales period (article L.310-3 of the Commercial Code). Also, beware if you see a new jacket in your favorite store! It could be from a previous collection or it could have been specially designed for sales with poor quality fabrics.

Track down non-compliant labels!

A sale product label must include three pieces of information: the non-sale price, the sale price and the discount rate. If not, it is non-compliant. Pay attention to items sold in bulk bins indicating “everything at X euros”, they are often unlabeled. And in this case, you are not sure to get a good deal.

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Sales 2023: 6 tips to avoid scams in stores and on the internet


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