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Don’t be fooled by “too good to be true” Black Friday deals

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Between Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, this weekend is expected to see more online shopping in Ireland than ever before.

With the country in its second Covid year and announced shortages in a number of areas, the European Consumer Center (ECC Ireland) expects many of us will try to do much of our shopping online. before next month.

The first point to emphasize here is that local retailers continue to experience a drop in footfall due to the pandemic.

Bronwyn Connolly and Meadhbh O’Leary Fitzpatrick of Wild Design Collective at a previous Green Friday launch.

For this reason, everyone is encouraged to turn Black Friday into Green Friday and buy local. That’s not to say you shouldn’t buy online, but if you do, don’t default to major international sites.

Many Irish stores have significantly improved their online offerings over the past 18 months. Look here first.

And when you shop online, don’t let excessive marketing and a sense of urgency overwhelm your common sense. Before you type in your credit card number, make sure the deal is genuine.

Few years ago,
consumer magazine Who? tracked 83 products that went on sale during Black Friday, just to see if the sales were actually offering value. The result? Some 95% of those products were available at the same price or cheaper within six months of the sale, and 61% were at the same price or cheaper six months before Black Friday.


All of this to say that just because they tell you you’re getting a good deal, it doesn’t mean you are.

ECC Ireland recommends that you follow the price of the product to ensure that the final sale price represents a true net reduction after taxes and shipping costs.

ECC Ireland warns that the deals coming to you this weekend are unlikely to be the best deals of the year: “Particularly this year, when more people have migrated online for their purchases, the reduction in price generated by increased sales volumes means that discounts are better and more frequently. “

The consumer agency recommends that consumers compare prices and offers from retailers for the same product in order to get the best deal.

It’s also a good idea to aim for a higher value product that is more durable and long lasting, which means you ultimately get more from the purchase.

You may also want to consider a low carbon product, which means you save on shipping costs and do your part for the environment.

Beware of deceptive offers online.
Beware of deceptive offers online.

Beware of the “while supplies last” tag. When you see this, it usually means that only a very small amount of a particular product is available, which means most consumers will be disappointed.

This time of year, consumers are inundated with promotional ads for heavily discounted deals, some of which are genuine, but others are not. In addition, some of the sites on which these offers are offered may not themselves be the genuine article.

Make sure you shop on secure websites with verified payment processors and use a credit card or third-party payment app. This will help eliminate the risk of being a victim of online fraud and allow you to benefit from a chargeback, which can be invoked if a transaction is fake.

Consumers should verify that the ratings and reviews of promoted products are genuine and avoid superlative and unsubstantiated claims such as “best for”, “number one for”, “first destination”, “leading manufacturer”.

Search Reviews

If you’re buying from a site you’ve never visited before, research the reviews on that site before committing.

Nowadays, it can sometimes be difficult to know exactly where the site you want to buy from is located. Please keep in mind that not all .ie websites are owned by companies based in Ireland. Legitimate international companies based in the UK or outside the EU can do business with Ireland using a.ie domain.

To avoid misunderstandings, just check where the company is located under the “About Us” or “Contact Us” tab. Conversely, if you are buying from Ireland on a .com site, be sure to purchase on the .ie version as the terms and conditions will be different for each market.

In terms of establishing where the order is actually shipped from, note that many companies have their shipping handled by the manufacturer (dropshipping) or a third party (outsourced distribution). Although this is a common practice in global commerce, it is misleading to deliberately hide company details or terms of sale and shipping that could affect a consumer’s buying decision. .

Businesses based here and in the EU / EEA must comply with all EU consumer protections. In addition, EU websites are required to notify customers of any additional costs before a purchase is made. These rights are not guaranteed when consumers deal with companies doing business elsewhere.

Currently, when you buy from a merchant based outside the EU, additional charges may apply and as a result your purchase may cost more than you realize. According to Revenue, if your goods have a customs value (including cost, freight, insurance and handling charges) of $ 22 or less, you do not have to pay any customs duties or VAT.

If the intrinsic value (the value of the merchandise alone excluding transport, insurance and handling costs) is greater than € 150, then you will have to pay customs duties. Before ordering from a UK trader or any other trader based outside the EU, check for any VAT or import charges you may need to pay in addition to the original cost of the goods.


If things go wrong when shopping online, here’s where you can go for help:

  • Consumers residing in Ireland who have a dispute with a trader also based in Ireland should contact the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission at CCPC.IE or 01 4025555.
  • For consumers residing in Ireland who have a complaint about a merchant based outside the EU / EEA, the most reliable recourse option is to raise a disputed transaction through the bank’s chargeback process. Contact your bank for details.
  • For any questions regarding VAT / Import / Customs charges on deliveries from anywhere outside the EU (including Great Britain, excluding Northern Ireland), consumers should check with the Irish Revenue Commissioners on revenue.ie.
  • Consumers residing in Ireland who have a complaint about a merchant based in another European Union country, Norway, Iceland or Great Britain, and who have tried to resolve the issue directly with the merchant to no avail, should contact the European Consumer Center of Ireland. All information on consumers’ rights to cross-border online shopping in the EU, as well as how to get redress if something goes wrong, is available at eccireland.ie or by calling 01 8797620.