With the arrival of Black Friday on 25 November, many consumers are expected to shop online. Faced with the possible avalanche of online shopping, both the OCU and the Directorate General for Consumer Affairs have launched a list with several tips to avoid possible surprises, not without first reminding us of the importance of rational and sustainable consumption, as well as the need to be vigilant to avoid surprises.

OCU advice for Black Friday

  • According to the OCU, comparison shopping is the best way to save. The consumer organisation provides its users with different comparators that can be accessed, as well as a price advisor that provides information on whether what seems to be a bargain is really a bargain.
  • Consumers can withdraw from the purchase if they are not convinced, and they have 14 days to return the product purchased online without giving any explanation.
  • It is important to make sure that you buy online from sites that offer guarantees. To do this, you should make sure that the page has a security protocol, https, and be wary of pages that are badly translated, with obvious errors, etc. Reading the Terms and Conditions of Use beforehand and paying attention to the tricks of the online shops helps you to shop safely.
  • It is best to pay by credit card or Paypal rather than by bank transfer.
  • Another tip is to keep the documents proving the purchase, as they will be needed in case you need to make a claim.

The OCU carries out a process of monitoring and detecting confusing or misleading information, offers that do not exist, irregularities or bad practices in the indication of prices. In previous studies, they found that some online shops used the maximum price of the previous period instead of the minimum price as the price before the discount, or indicated a reference price that had never existed in that month.

The organisation is therefore calling on consumers to be vigilant this Black Friday 2022. In the event of suspicious offers, users can report their experience on social networks using the hashtag #timofertasBF so that it can be investigated.

Advice from the Directorate General for Consumer Affairs

black friday compra online consejos

  • Review purchasing decisions: It is advisable to check what is already in the household in order to be able to decide whether a certain product is really necessary. It is advisable to draw up a list and a fixed budget.
  • Comparing is saving: As recommended by the OCU, according to the Directorate General for Consumer Affairs, it is advisable to compare the usual prices of the products on the list to check that the discount applied is real. It is also advisable to compare brands and companies.
    Even if it is a sales period, the guarantees are the same. The establishment is obliged to offer the same after-sales service: a price reduction does not imply a reduction in the consumer’s rights. The products offered have the same legal guarantees as always.
  • The price is lowered, but the quality must be the same as always.
  • You should ask for and keep the receipt or invoice, as it is the guarantee of the purchase, and you should ask about the possibility of exchanging the article, as the establishment is not obliged to exchange a product that is in perfect condition, unless it is advertised as such.
  • It is advisable to buy consumer products preferably in establishments that are members of the consumer arbitration system, as this circumstance constitutes an additional guarantee for the resolution of any hypothetical problem that you may have.
  • When buying over the Internet, it is recommended that purchases should always be made on secure sites. This is something that the OCU also talks about. Another way to identify a secure page is the appearance on the screen of a closed padlock or a key. If you double-click on the padlock or key, information about its security certificate will appear.
  • On the website it is also advisable to check the original price of the product, whether it includes VAT and whether or not it has shipping costs, so that you can identify what discount is actually being given. It is important to make sure that you can identify the person or entity responsible for the website or supplier (name, address, VAT number).
  • The consumer has a right of withdrawal, of which he must be informed. This will allow him/her, without giving any reason and without penalty, to cancel the contract for a minimum period of 14 calendar days from the day of receipt of the product.
  • A copy of the purchase operations carried out must be kept. At the end of the purchase order, a page will appear summarising the operation (it is advisable for buyers to keep a copy, even in the event of any type of incident or failed operation due to a computer error). There are also a number of rules in European law, reflected in the EU Code of Online Rights, which protect consumers throughout the process of completing the online transaction.