We all love a sale – All shops with SALE in 1 big list

Looking for a bargain? Check out these clearance and sale offers at all these stores.

Sale Now On – Or Is It? How Do You Spot a Genuine Bargain?

Let’s face it, if we can snag a bargain, we will go for it. Whether it is getting a 50% discount on a mobile phone or getting a better price for your car in an exchange deal, we all love to tell our friends about it. It’s like when you bought that new jacket and your friend said how nice it looked, did you just thank them and tell them where you bought it? No. You can’t resist telling them how much you paid and what it was reduced from. People like to appear smart in the head as well as in their dress.

Prices Slashed, 50% Off! Every shop seems to have these signs up wherever you go. Some shops appear to have a perpetual sale on, and there was one famous Closing Down Sale that seemed to go on for years. Everything Must Go, and eventually, it did, but not until there was a massive fire that burned out the whole building. I’ll say no more about that!

Another form of price promotion is the two-for-one deal. This isn’t always as enticing as, quite often the consumer only wants a certain amount, so the deal is only of value if you are likely to use the additional item.

Is SALE genuinely a lower price?

When you shop on the High Street and you see the big signs announcing an Autumn Sale, you can be pretty sure that the prices are lower than they were previously. Why? Because they have to be by law, which states that price promotions have to be fair and genuine. It is a criminal offence to claim that a product is on offer for a limited time if it is continuously at that price, and for introductory offers, where the product is new to the shop and has never been on sale at a higher price. The shop must state for how long the product will be available at a reduced price or “subject to availability”.

The latest guidelines published by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) in December 2016 threw out the old “28-day rule” and instead, introduced a one-to-one ratio. This means that a price reduction can only last as long as the original or higher price period.

However, although this applies equally to online shopping it is much more difficult to check whether the price is genuinely lower on the Internet, unless you are a regular customer, or the shop is a reputable business with a High Street presence.

Check out other items in the promotion

Many merchants, and this applies to some High Street shops, only offer certain products at lower prices. This is why shops appear to have perpetual low-price SALE—they rotate the items on special offer. If the website you are looking at is showing all items as being reduced and it isn’t an annual event such as Black Friday, then the chances are it isn’t genuine.

Anybody can set themselves up in business these days without holding any stock. They build their online store, fill it with lots of products, you place an order and they, in turn, buy the product from their supplier and have it shipped to you direct. This is called ‘drop shipping’. It is perfectly legitimate and there are thousands of people trying to make a living doing this. As a consumer, you have just the same rights and drop shippers are governed by the same laws that affect other retailers. However, not all drop shippers are aware of their legal duty in respect of promotional offers and some intentionally flout the law.

Check out other sites for lower prices

It is often possible to find the same product on other sites, which is probably from the same supplier, so it is easy to check the price against this merchant.

If you find a similar product on another site that is cheaper, but you prefer to use the first site, why not write and ask if they would be prepared to match the lower price? Most retailers are in business to make a sale at a reasonable profit and a low mark-up is better than no sale at all. Of course, they may just point out that the lower priced article is not the same or is of a lower quality, but you have lost nothing by asking, and you may just get a few pounds off.

Look out for that ticking clock! This is an App that pops up as soon as you go on the site and it is intended to make you think that you have to place an order quickly to get that bargain. However, it just resets itself every time you go back—it is there simply to create a feeling of urgency.

Does it matter if the sale is not genuine?

So, what if all items are cheaper all year round? Why should you care so long as you are getting a good deal? Well, it is all a matter of trust. If the merchant is not being up-front about his or her pricing, why should you trust them to get your purchase to you in a reasonable time? Why should you trust the product description? I have purchased items sold as towels for babies that were no larger than a flannel.

One way to see whether the merchant is a good one is to check some of the product descriptions. Many of the items sold by online retailers come from China or India, and when the products are imported onto the site, the titles are crammed with words that together don’t make sense, and product descriptions are in pidgin English. Good retailers will spend the time to change the wording and get rid of all the nonsense, making your experience on their site more enjoyable so you are more likely to buy and come back for more.

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