12° Nicosia,
21 July, 2024

Navigating 'Black Friday': Discounts vs. reality

An Insight into Black Friday Deals, Consumer Concerns, and the Call for Transparency in Retail Practices

Maria Eracleous

Maria Eracleous

Discounts of a few euros, or even cents, are being advertised by electronics and appliance companies in anticipation of Black Friday. However, market activity does not seem to meet the expected levels for the Black Friday period, and it is certainly considerably lower compared to the peak observed in 2018 and 2019.

In recent hours, users on social media have been commenting on advertisements from stores offering discounts of a few euros or even cents on products with a selling price over 100 euros. However, as reported by the Cyprus Consumers Association, there is no specific framework defining the amount of discount a company must impose on a product. Nevertheless, it is clear that such offers may not attract consumers to the market.

In any case, the current circumstances do not favor shopping in the next two days, mainly due to the high prices, and the general conclusion is that, due to inflationary pressures, consumer behavior will adjust and focus on essential expenses.

Meanwhile, complaints and reports about purchases during the Black Friday period have started to arrive at the offices of the Cyprus Consumers Association. From the beginning of November, with the start of Black Friday offers, until today, there have been ten complaints, most of which concern companies selling electronic and electrical devices.

- Two complaints involved discounts of up to 20-30%, presented by businesses during the Black Friday event, where the discount was not calculated when paying for the products. The Association contacted the companies, which refunded the money to the consumers. On behalf of the Association, Mrs. Virginia Christou stated that consumers should be very careful and examine the receipt before leaving the cashier, so they know what they have paid for, facilitating the exchange process.

- One complaint about the non-disclosure of prices. It concerned a company presenting products on Black Friday offers without stating the price. In this case, the complaint will be forwarded to the Ministry of Commerce for information purposes.

- A case in which the business did not state the original price but only the final price of the product.

- One complaint about a company that offered a specific product on Black Friday promotion without differentiating the price before and after the offer.

- The last complaint concerns the return of a product purchased before the discount period and is entitled to a refund. An issue for which there is no legislation, and it clearly depends on the return policy of each business.

We hope, stated the legal advisor of the Consumers Association, that a proper and mature bill will be submitted to resolve this specific issue with the unanimous consent of all parties involved. In any case, she added, the return policy of each company should be clearly stated next to the cashier so that the consumer is informed before purchasing the product.

She also noted that consumers are now vigilant and are urged to report cases of unfair commercial practices either to the Association or to the Ministry of Commerce to proceed with their complaints.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

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