Regret Black Friday and Cyber Monday impulse buys? Here's what to do

25 November 2016
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The majority of Moneywise.co.uk users plan to spend up to £500 on Christmas, our latest poll results revealed. But has the temptation of buying bargains on Black Friday and Cyber Monday taken you over your spending limit? If so, impulse buys can be returned.

James Walker, founder of consumer rights and complaint resolution website resolver.co.uk, says: "When the dust settles on Black Friday, many people will be sitting at home looking at their credit card bills and the packages all around them thinking 'why did I buy this?', 'what do you mean this is now on sale for less elsewhere' or 'how am I going to afford all this?'

"And that's the issue with Black Friday, it's very easy to get carried away and then learn your lesson and rue your bargain-hunting, especially when in front of a computer ordering lots of things to try on or to try out.

"What's important to remember is generally you aren't stuck with the things you bought. Stores always have a returns policy, if even just for an exchange, and your consumer rights for online purchases kick in as soon as you receive your goods.”

“Shop more wisely next year”

Mr Walker adds: "If you did over order, you can get out of it as long as you stick to the correct timelines and are quick enough. If you bought on a credit card, then purchases of more than £100 are also covered by extra protection if there's a problem with them or a company goes bust before the goods turn up.

"What's crucial though is next year to remember the hassle and shop more wisely on Black Friday in November 2017."

Resolver’s five tips for making returns, if:

  • You’re unhappy with the purchase: Many stores will offer you a refund or exchange if you are simply unhappy with your purchase, but not all will so check the terms carefully. Your Consumer Rights actually say you cannot return something unless it is faulty, not as described or it is unfit for the purpose it was intended. You have 30 days if there is a fault/issue to get a refund for a product you have bought.
  • You bought it online: When buying online, you can cancel the order or send the goods back at any time up to 14 days after you buy it. This is great for buyers' remorse and online retailers accept this as they know you need to see things first. Just keep all the packaging, try not to open stuff if you don't need to and be careful not to cause any damage or to remove labels from clothing or footwear.
  • Your purchase is broken: If something is broken, and it’s within the first six months of ownership, the onus is on the store to prove it was fine when you bought it. After six months, the onus switches to you to prove you didn’t break it.
  • You just don’t like it: If something works, but you just don’t like it - especially for Christmas gifts - most stores will accept returns, but may only give you store credit or replacement. You won’t always get cash. If you get a gift receipt with your purchase it helps a lot.
  • Your purchase was damaged in transit: If a product you ordered online on Black Friday has been damaged in transit or is ruined by a delivery company who put it in an unsafe or unprotected place, take pictures and complain to the store involved. They have the contract with the courier, not you.

Also read Moneywise’s guide to Your rights when parcels go missing

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