The guide to getting a Boxing Day bargain
Reena Sewraz, from Which?, says there are ways to keep costs down no matter what you’re in the market for.
Make sure deals are genuine:
Some special offers may not be as special as they appear.
Use price-tracking websites to check the history of a price.
Avoid fake reviews:
Be wary of fake, paid-for or misleading user reviews when shopping online.
Red flags include multiple reviews posted around the same time, overwhelming praise, the same phrases popping up in many reviews.
You can sometimes get a more balanced view of a product if you ignore the five-star ratings and check the four, three and two-star reviews.
Be cautious about ‘buy now, pay later’:
It can encourage overspending and leave you with debt.
Take the time to read and understand the terms and conditions – they might not be the same at every shop.
Websites such as Quidco and TopCashback allow shoppers to claim cash back from their purchases.
But you need to purchase your item through the cashback website and it could take some time for the money to reach your account.
It’s still important to compare upfront costs – even the most generous cashback offer may not compensate for a high price.
Watch out for unsafe products and scams:
Which? has found problems with illegal Christmas lights that don’t meet Electrical Equipment (Safety) regulations, baby carriers that don’t meet safety standards and dangerous children’s toys.
Online scams are also rife – be very careful about unsolicited texts, emails and calls from people who may be fraudsters trying to take advantage of uncertainty and the increase in online shopping.
A common one is the message that claims you need to pay an “unpaid shipping fee” with a link to a page where you’ll be told to enter your details – so they can be used by a fraudster.
Always check a message is authentic before you click on any links – if you have doubts, contact the retailer using the details on their website.
Know your rights:
Check a store’s returns policy before you buy something. Bear in mind that you have more rights when you shop online than you do in-store.