Initially an American holiday, we soon adopted it all over Europe. (Photo: AP)
Black Friday symbolizes excessive consumption, consumer culture, and increasingly also the problem of environmental pollution, which is strongly related to the latter. The increased CO2 emissions from shipping goods purchased online represent this “black day for the environment”. Consumerism apparently has its own “holiday,” historically following Thanksgiving in the US. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, and the day after Thanksgiving has been considered the beginning of the Christmas shopping season since 1952.
The consumer center, which operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy, prepared several tips for more rational shopping before Black Friday, starting with the purchase of sustainable products. “In Europe, the legal guarantee also applies to discounted goods. This means that in the event of a malfunction of the hair dryer or any other product, you are entitled to a replacement or refund up to two years after purchase,” the center wrote in today’s press release.
They also pointed out to observe the return deadline. You can return the goods within 14 days without having to give a reason. According to them, if the returned goods are excessively used, the refund may be reduced accordingly. However, some products, such as perishable goods and personalized products, may not be able to be returned.
Consumers are advised to pay by credit card, as transactions can then be reversed using a chargeback process that addresses issues such as fraud and incorrect or duplicate charges. They suggest contacting the merchant about the problem first, and then the bank. “When the offer is too good to be true, it is possible for the store to deliver directly from the supplier, which is legal, but can have negative consequences for customers,” they continued. Products usually come from these third countries, which can cause headaches in the case of returns. There is also no guarantee that these products will meet European standards.
The “almost sold out” tactic is also common, with which advertisers want to convince us to make a quick purchase. “If the product is really sold out, don’t forget that comparable offers may be available elsewhere,” the center emphasized.