Don’t fall into Black Friday ‘traps’

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Consumers are urged to do their homework and research online before heading to stores hunting for bargains on Black Friday.

The Cyprus Consumers Association has issued guidelines for shoppers, warning them not to head out before researching items that interest them, going to the stores or studying online catalogues.

“Identify the products that could interest you and take note of the price tag they are carrying now to have a clearer picture of the discount on Black Friday.

“Your aim should be to buy products that are not on sale during the rest of the year,” the association announced.

It also advises shoppers not to take hasty decisions, believing the items will be sold out if they take their time to decide.

“Buy products you really need.

“Avoid purchasing products you don’t need just because they carry an attractive price tag”.

The public is advised to check the characteristics of the goods they want to buy to ensure that they fit their needs and demands.

“Go online and find reviews on the product.

“Always evaluate whether the product and its final price on Black Friday suit your needs, not the discount’s percentage”.

It encouraged shoppers to use the internet, not only for shopping and finding prices of products before Black Friday but also to look for alternative products.

“Be wary of buying products online that carry a big discount.

“Especially if the sellers’ details, such as their exact address, are missing or the product details are incomplete”.

It argued the price should not be the only criterion when buying a product, especially electronic devices such as mobile phones and computers.

“It is important to consider sellers’ reliability and after-sale services.

“Ask other consumers about their experience on issues like warranties and after-sales services”.

Consumers are advised to consider their budget and ask about return policies.

Meanwhile, retailers are hyped over their Black Friday sales campaigns, hoping to see their return take off after two years of COVID restrictions, with all bets placed on the World Cup feel-good factor.

This year’s Black Friday falls on 25 November, coinciding with the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which started on Sunday in Qatar.

The World Cup, held every four years, always takes place in the summer, when there is no action in most leagues across the globe.

However, this time round, the tournament was awarded to Qatar, where temperatures in the summer are far from ideal for football matches.

Black Friday, a tradition started in the USA that usually sees stores selling their products at very low prices, has caught on in Cyprus recently as more businesses look to increase pre-Christmas sales.