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Shopping in the sales: Your rights
Published 14 May 2016 by Emily Bancroft
Can you return what you’ve bought?
Whenever you’re looking at buying a big ticket item, it’s always better to find one in the sales. Before the rise of the internet, you had to wait for certain times of the year for sales – Black Friday, Boxing Day or the end of the season. Now, sales are just constant and you really have to hunt to find the best bargains.
But when you’re shopping in the sales, what rights do you have? If a shop accidentally puts the wrong price on something, do they have to sell it you for that price? And if you want to return something you bought in the sale, will you be able to do this? Let’s take a look at the laws.
How much does it cost?
Sales can be busy times for stores and it’s easy to understand when something accidentally gets the wrong price tag stuck on it. But if a £100 iron has a sticker saying it costs £10, does the shop have to sell it to you for this price?
The simple answer is no – stores don’t legally have to let you buy an item at a lower price just because it was advertised at that price. You don’t have to buy it at the higher price though – if you decide it costs too much, you can just leave it.
However, it might be worth asking the cashier if they’ll honour the lower price or at least give you a discount. They don’t have to do this but if you’re polite, you might get some money off.
Do you want a return?
It’s easy to get swept away in the excitement of a sale and come home with a lot of stuff you don’t need. You could return it and get a refund but you’ll need to look at the store’s returns policy before you do this.
If there’s nothing wrong with an item and you’ve just changed your mind, you might not be able to return it for a full refund. You might only get an exchange or store credit and there might also be a time limit for returns.
But if you buy something in the sales and it’s faulty, you should be able to return it for a full refund under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. This states that all goods must be as described, of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose. So if you bought a new fridge but the light didn’t work, you can return it.
You’ve got even more protection if you buy something online in the sales, as you’re covered by the Consumer Contracts Regulations. This gives you 14 days to return anything you’ve bought and the retailer must pay your refund within the next 14 days.