Decide What You Are Looking to Buy
That might sound like something so obvious it doesn’t need to be said. Still, most retailers will hope that you don’t have a shopping list because that means that you will be up for buying everything in sight. Before you go out shopping in the sales, take a look through your house and see what needs to be bought or replaced. Work out what it is that you need to purchase so that you can avoid purchasing on impulse.
Check the Quality
Consumers in their own interest are advised to ensure that they are fully satisfied with goods before a purchase is made. Check goods thoroughly before you buy them. If you are unsure about anything regarding the goods to be purchased, check with the shop assistants.
Know Your Right
Under the relevant Irish consumer legislation, anything you buy from a retailer must be of merchantable quality, fit for its normal purpose, and reasonably durable, and as described, whether the description is part of the advertising or wrapping, on a label, or something said by the salesperson.
When you buy goods from a retailer, you make a contract with him. He agrees to provide certain goods to you for a certain price. If your purchase turns out to be faulty, the retailer, not the manufacturer, is responsible to you and must sort out your complaint. You are entitled to a refund, a replacement or a repair.
Your Rights during a Sale
Your rights under the Act also apply to regular quality goods purchased at sale prices. They must be of merchantable quality, fit for their particular purpose and as described.
“Sale Goods” – If goods are being sold as seconds or shop-soiled, however, you cannot expect the same standard. Beware of ‘special purchase’ goods, as these are often bought in by the shop specially for sales. They may be inferior quality goods or old stock, rather than superior quality goods which have been reduced in price simply for stock clearance purposes. These will normally be marked specially, and if you are aware of this when making your purchase, your normal rights do not apply. As in every circumstances when making a purchase, inspect the good fully prior to purchase. If you notice any flaws, ask the shop assistants.
Return of Goods
If in any doubt, consumers should ask the trader if he/she operates a returns/refund policy for unsuitable goods. Consumer should also remember to keep receipts safe as they will in almost all cases be requested by the trader when returning goods. Consumers should also be aware that traders are not legally obliged to provide replacements or refunds where unsuitable or badly chosen goods are returned.
This applies regardless of whether the goods were bought in the sales or otherwise. Many traders operate their own goodwill policy of providing replacements or refunds for unsuitable goods returned. Traders may change their policy during sale period as they so wish as it is not a legal requirement to operate such a policy in the first instance.
Issues / Problems
Seek redress from the shop immediately you become aware of a problem. Check out the ValueIreland Top Tips on How to Complain.