Know your rights when buying electrical bargains in the sales


The post-Christmas sales are an excellent opportunity to pick up an electrical bargain.

If you’re after an iPad, hair straighteners, a coffee machine, or some new tools, you should know what to look out for - and what your rights as a consumer are if you buy items in a sale.


Watch out for:

Sales tickets – they must show both the previous price and the new, discounted sales price.

Items must have been on sale at the original price for 28 consecutive days or more in that store, unless a sign explains different offer terms.

Goods shouldn’t be sold at the sale price for longer than the higher price unless a sign explains how the sale differs from the rules.


If the goods aren’t faulty:

You may not be entitled to return it. You need to check if the retailer has a returns policy allowing you to exchange it or get a refund.

Shops don’t have to have a policy, but they must stick to it if they have one.

Many shops which do have a policy put a time limit on returning goods which aren’t faulty – like 28 days. Check before you buy.


If the goods are faulty:

If something you buy is faulty you have the right to return it under the Consumer Rights Act even if it was bought in a sale.

The act applies to all purchases made on or after October 1 2015.

Items must be as they were described and of satisfactory quality. They must also be fit for purpose.

You are entitled to a refund, a replacement, or a repair if goods are faulty, and no retailer can try to limit this in their sales.

If you return a faulty item within 30 days, you should be given a full refund – unless you were told about the faults before you bought it.

If a retailer refuses, Which? has a template letter you can send to complain. You can find it here:


What are your rights when shopping online?

You have extra rights if you buy items in an online sale – thanks to the Consumer Contracts Regulations.

You must return the goods within 14 calendar days and refunds must be paid after the return of the goods – make sure you get evidence of postage.

You can cancel your order for items bought online any time from when you place your order to up to 14 days after to receive them.

Read more about your online rights here:


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