Shop wisely this sale season and avoid getting less than you bargained for with top tips from Citizens Advice Wiltshire
It may be the season to bag a bargain, with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the festive holidays just around the corner. But sometimes we get less than we bargained for, and lots of people are coming to us about fake or faulty goods that they’ve been sold online.
We don’t want that to happen to you, so stop before you shop.
To help you bargain-hunters shop safely online, we’ve shared our top tips on how to shop wisely
Citizens Advice Wiltshire’s top tips for shopping wisely:
- Do your research: Before buying from a site you haven’t used before, spend a few minutes checking it out. See what people have said about the person or company you’re buying from by looking at reviews on different websites - don’t rely on reviews the company has put on its own website. If you’re worried that something you’ve seen online might be a scam, you can get help from the Citizens Advice consumer helpline
- Be wise to scams in disguise: If a bargain seems too good to be true, it probably is. If it’s branded but a lot cheaper than it appears on the brand’s website, it could be fake. It could be a legitimate ‘look-a-like’ product. Either way, it might not be the quality you were hoping for
- 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. You should only send and receive money through the online marketplace app or website using a debit or credit card, or via trusted methods of payment such as PayPal
- Know your rights: If you’ve bought from a retailer you might be entitled to a replacement product or a repair of your faulty goods. You can even claim a full refund if you can prove the goods are faulty. If you’ve bought from an individual, perhaps via an online marketplace, you have far fewer rights. In fact, you have no right to return, so long as the goods are ‘as described’. Always be sure to take a screenshot of the description, and be sure to check and double check before you buy
- When things go wrong: Sometimes things just don’t go to plan. If you’ve bought something that is broken, damaged, unsafe or not what you expected then 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
The top tips mark the start of National Consumer Week (Monday 14 November - Sunday 20 November). The annual campaign is run by Citizens Advice in collaboration with the Consumer Protection Partnership (CPP), which includes Trading Standards and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
For information and advice, contact Citizens Advice Wiltshire on freephone 0800 144 8848
(Lines are open: 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Closed on public holidays) or