In a statement on the approaching Black Friday sale, the Cyprus Consumers' Association urged customers to undertake careful market research before making any purchases of potentially discounted items.
Since it originated in the US, Black Friday has come to signify the beginning of the holiday shopping season and is frequently marked with steep discounts and other retail-related promotions.
The Cypriot Consumers' Association recommended consumers in its statement to make a list of any things they might be interested in buying and to note their pricing before any discounts.
The statement added that "This would allow consumers to more easily assess the reality of the situation in terms of the discounted amount that will be in place for Black Friday."
The group further asked customers to buy only what they truly needed, to avoid impulsive purchases, and to avoid making purchases simply because something is on sale.
"Use the internet, not only to make purchases, but also to find alternative products, reviews of the product you are interested in, as well as the selling price of the product from other suppliers," the association advised.
The watchdog organization continued, "We also recommend exercising caution on deeply discounted products that do not have all the necessary information provided, including accurate details of the seller’s address or a full description of the product’s features."
The group further emphasized that "price should not be the only criterion," particularly if the buyer plans to purchase a high-value item, and that "it is important to evaluate the reliability and quality of service of each particular seller."
In addition to the aforementioned, the Cyprus Consumers' Association has recommended customers to plan their spending beforehand, learn about the store's return policy before making a purchase, and consider if the potential retailer abides by the consumer code of conduct.
The organisation has also urged customers to check out if the retailer they are considering is a member of the dispute resolution process or one that is similar, such as the one provided by the Cyprus Consumers' Association.
Similar advice was given to consumers in the UK, where it was suggested they check to see if the Black Friday goods they were considering were actually good values.
Given the serious cost of living problem, Which? retail editor Reena Sewraz advised the Guardian that most marketed "deals" should be viewed with skepticism.
Sewraz continued, "Retailers will be aware of the extra financial pressure on people this winter and they’ll be looking for ways to attract customers by focusing on value for money but our advice is to not fall for the hype and do some research to make sure you end up with a genuine bargain."
By fLEXI tEAM