THE sexta-feira Negra, the date on which stores carry out promotions and offer special discounts, is next Friday, 26. With the promise of unmissable offers by retailers, many consumers who are already planning to buy a specific product are waiting for the day to take advantage of the lower prices.
But the event, which became one of the main dates of the business in the country, it can also present dangers, such as fraud and false discounts. For those who are determined to make purchases during the promotion, it is necessary to be cautious and be aware of scam attempts – and also your rights as a consumer.
As this year’s Black Friday takes place amid high prices inflation and of the fees, it is also necessary to carefully assess whether the purchase decision really pays off.
Experts consulted by the state give tips for consumers to enjoy Black Friday without any major problems. Check it out below.
What precautions should be taken when making a purchase?
Black Friday is a very important date for the e-commerce. Second survey of Brazilian Association of Electronic Commerce (ABComm), virtual stores in the country should move BRL 6.38 billion on the next 26th. In 2020, sales were around BRL 5.1 billion. When shopping online, it is important that consumers take some precautions – and during Black Friday, it will be no different.
To take advantage of the headache-free deals, experts recommend tracking the average product price in advance to assess whether the discount offered during Black Friday is real. It is also recommended to compare promotional values between different stores before finalizing the purchase. Prices well below the competition on online shopping should arouse distrust.
“Don’t trust fancy offers,” he says Rodrigo Jorge, Neoway’s Executive Director of Security. “The scammer will want to attract the victim by filling her eyes with a product much cheaper than is possible. It is necessary to check in other stores if that offer exists. This goes for offers in advertisements, on websites, everywhere on the internet”, he advises.
Still in relation to e-commerce, Jorge says that consumers should never click on links that claim to have promotions and that arrive via email, social networks, WhatsApp or text messages. These links may contain malicious software or even direct the consumer to a cloned website.
“Scammers can clone big store websites. They put a fake website online and the consumer thinks they are buying from the real website. That’s why, when shopping at well-known stores, it’s recommended that you type the link yourself, carefully, to actually enter the real site and not be directed to these fake sites”, says Jorge.
It also indicates the use of antivirus, which detect fake websites – this service, however, is usually only available in paid versions of these programs. For mobile purchases, he recommends always using the stores’ official apps.
To check if an unknown site is safe, Jorge recommends gathering as much information as possible from the page, checking if there is one. CPNJ, check the CNPJ on the website of IRS, identify an address and verify that it exists, and also search the page’s reputation on sites like Complain here, for example. O Procon-SP also provides a list of company websites which are poor suppliers and should be avoided.
Regarding payment methods for online purchases, the specialist recommends the use of digital wallets, which offer more data security, or the credit card virtual offered by banks. “And never save physical credit card data on websites,” he says.
In relation to the pix, Jorge warns that, if the consumer makes the transfer to a scammer, it is more difficult to get the value back. Other precautions when shopping online are never to use public Wi-Fi networks and never repeat passwords to access different shopping sites – you must have a password for each.
Cautions when shopping on Black Friday:
- Monitor product price fluctuations, to check if the discount is real;
- Be wary of very low prices;
- Do not click on links received by email, social networks, WhatsApp or text messages;
- Use antivirus;
- Make sure you access the stores’ correct websites, by typing the link, or using the establishments’ official apps;
- Do not use public Wi-Fi networks;
- Use different passwords for different sites;
- On unknown websites, check information such as CNPJ and store address, in addition to searching for reputation;
- Use digital wallets or virtual credit card for payments.
It is important that consumers are also aware of their rights during Black Friday purchases. Second Milton Delgado Soares, professor of the Law course at Candido Mendes University, one of the points that must be observed is the right to information, in a clear and transparent way.
“O Consumer Protection Code states that he must be properly informed about products and services. The supplier has to clarify everything for the consumer”, he says.
Soares also highlights how, especially on Black Friday, when the sales volume is very high, there are many cases where the product is not delivered. In cases like this, the consumer can try to charge the store itself, but, if there is no agreement, it is possible to file a lawsuit in the Special Civil Court for small claims.
“In my opinion, it would even be possible to request indemnity for moral damages, due to the frustration of not being able to take advantage of what was created an expectation, which is the product”, says Soares.
The lawyer Renata Abalém, president of the Consumer Law Commission of OAB – GO, cites another important right: the right of repentance for purchases made at a distance, online or over the phone. The consumer has up to 7 calendar days, after receiving the product, to return and receive back the full amount paid, or request an exchange.
In physical stores, the right to exchange only occurs if the purchased product has a defect. The claim must be made within 30 days for non-durable products and 90 days for durable products, in order for the exchange to take place.
“The stores may have their exchange policy, generally in which it is possible to exchange the product that has no defects within 20 or 30 days. This is how you can exchange a gift that you received and didn’t like, for example. But it’s something they do to win over the consumer. Physical stores are only required to change in the event of a defect”, says Renata.
If the product has a defect outside the period in which the exchange is allowed, but it is proven that the product was already defective, which is called a hidden defect, the store will have to arrange the repair.
Renata also points out that, in cases where the consumer bought a product on Black Friday and then realized that the discount was false (that is, the product had a high price and then dropped on the promotion day), he can complain and even , file a lawsuit.
However, if the consumer perceives the practice of false discounting in a store, but has not purchased any product, he can only report the establishment to the consumer protection agencies. The report can often be made anonymously and requires evidence.
Consumer rights to keep in mind on Black Friday:
- The consumer must be properly informed by the store about products and services;
- In cases where there is no delivery of the product and the store does not solve the problem, the consumer can file a lawsuit;
- When shopping online or over the phone, the consumer has 7 calendar days from when he receives the product, to return it and receive the money back, or request an exchange – there need be no reason;
- In physical stores, the exchange of the product can only be requested if there is a defect, within 30 to 90 days;
- If there is a hidden defect, noticed after the period in which the exchange is allowed, the store must repair the product.
Is it worth shopping on Black Friday?
Guilherme Dietze, economic advisor at Fecomércio-SP, explains that, due to the high inflation scenario, it will be difficult to find cheaper products this year compared to last year.
“There may be one or another product that the retailer has remaining in stock and has managed to maintain the price. But the trend is for the values to be much higher”, he says. There are situations, however, where the purchase can pay off. This is because the amount of discounts may vary from one segment to another.
Some sectors, such as those affected by the scarcity of inputs and therefore have stores with less stock, will have a smaller share of products on sale. Others may have more competitive prices, such as the clothing sector, for example – the segment comes from a period of weak demand and needs to get rid of stock for the arrival of new collections next year.
“In addition, prices have not risen as much as electronics and other products that had import problems, so the sector is able to make more aggressive promotions”, adds Dietze.
From the consumer’s point of view, however, careful evaluation is necessary to make the decision to make a purchase during Black Friday. With the current economic scenario and the loss of purchasing power in the country, Klaus Suppion, coordinator of the Accounting Sciences course at UMESP, recommends caution. “These specific actions for promotions are aimed at motivating consumption. Often, from products we don’t even need. We have to be careful with money, because money is scarce”, he says.
For him, to determine if a purchase on Black Friday is worth it, it is necessary to assess three points: if the consumer really needs that product; whether he has the resources available to pay for the product; and whether the product actually received a discount (or went through a price increase before Black Friday to be lowered on the date).
“The most important issue is the question of necessity. If I have money available, it’s possible to assess whether it would be interesting to save or make an investment, instead of a purchase on Black Friday that might not be so useful”, he explains.
What to know to decide whether to buy on Black Friday:
- Due to inflation, the trend is for prices to be higher than last year;
- Some segments will have a smaller share of the products on sale;
- On the other hand, other sectors, such as apparel, are likely to have more attractive prices;
- It is necessary to analyze if there is really a need for the product, if there are resources to buy it and if the discount given on Black Friday is real.