Q Recent events in the UK and elsewhere have made me fear that there may be a shortage of toys heading into Christmas – especially if a shortage spreads to Ireland. I plan to order all of the children’s toys for Christmas by the fourth week of November at the latest. In the event that a toy I ordered does not arrive in time for Christmas, where should I stand? Can I get my money back – even if the toy arrives a few days after Christmas? Suppose the toy didn’t arrive a week before Christmas and I decide to buy it somewhere else, can I get my money back if the toy arrives right before Christmas? Lisa, Co Cork
A You will have strong rights and protections if something goes wrong with your order, like delivery delays – if you are buying from an EU-based company.
Delivery times will depend on what you agree to when you purchase the items – for example, you may have agreed to have the items delivered within five to seven business days.
However, if the delivery time is not agreed in advance or specified at the time you place your order, then under EU consumer protection law the items must be delivered to you within the 30 days.
If the item is not delivered within the agreed time, and as long as you buy from a company based in the EU, you will have the following options:
First: you could agree on a new delivery date. You can choose another convenient delivery date (eg after Christmas) if you still want to receive your order.
Second: When it is not appropriate to agree on a new delivery date, or when the company has refused to deliver the goods, you can cancel your contract and you are entitled to a full refund.
Remember that a business is responsible for a purchase until it is delivered to you, unless you have arranged your own delivery. This means that if a company arranges a courier service to deliver a purchase to you, they must arrange for its delivery, and if the item is not delivered, they must either arrange for a replacement or give you a refund.
If you buy online from a business located outside the EU (including UK websites) you do not have the same level of rights and consumer protection as when you buy from a business based in the EU.
Therefore, proceed with caution and be sure to check the terms and conditions (T & Cs) on the company’s website – as what is detailed in the T & Cs will determine what you would be entitled to if your order was delayed or not. delivered at all.
Also check what the T & Cs say about defective products and if there are any limits to the company’s returns or defective product policy.
If so, you may want to consider buying from an EU-based website to make sure you have solid rights.
How do you recognize a good deal in Black Friday sales?
Q Hope to get some good deals on Black Friday, which will be on November 26th. I have to buy a new laptop, TV and camera – and I also hope to buy some Christmas presents. How do I make sure I get a good deal on Black Friday? – and do you have any other advice for me before my shopping on Black Friday?
Tom, City of Dublin
A There are a number of things to keep in mind before you buy if you plan on getting a good deal on Black Friday or Cyber ââMonday sales.
First: Before buying online, check where the business is based, as where the business is based will determine your consumer rights and protections.
If you buy online from an EU website, you have strong rights, including the right to change your mind within 14 days of receiving your purchases and an additional 14 days to return them.
Buying from a company based outside the EU, which now includes the UK, means these rights don’t automatically apply and therefore if something goes wrong it can be more difficult to solve the problem.
This is especially important to consider if you are purchasing high value items (such as laptops, televisions, and cameras) in case something goes wrong later.
Second: Be aware that a “.ie” domain does not guarantee that the website is that of a company based in Ireland.
So even if the business website has a .ie ‘or’ .eu ‘address, don’t take this as a definitive sign of where the business is registered or based.
See the Terms and Conditions (T & Cs) section of the website to find out where the business is registered. If the registered address is outside the EU, your consumer rights may be different.
If a business has multiple websites with a number of different domains such as â.deâ or â.co.ukâ, check the address registered on each website before purchasing.
Third: Before buying online from a business based outside the EU, it is important to know that additional taxes and fees may apply.
Be sure to check the terms and conditions section on the company’s website before purchasing – to find out what VAT and import fees you may have to pay. This now also applies to purchases made from UK based businesses, so be sure to check, even if you’ve purchased from them before.
Full information on additional charges is available at revenue.ie.
Fourth: Know that your rights don’t change just because something is for sale. Whether you buy something online or in a store, pay full price or get it at a discount, you are entitled to a replacement, refund, or repair if something is faulty.
If you accept a refund for a defective item that is currently on sale at a discounted price, you should receive the full amount you paid, not the discounted price.
Fifth: Be aware that getting a refund if you change your mind applies to most purchases, but not all. So if you buy online from a company located in the EU, you have 28 days from the date you received your purchase to cancel the order, return it and get a refund.
However, there are a few exceptions: for example, you cannot claim a refund for personalized or bespoke items, such as an item of clothing with a name, jewelry that has been engraved, or furniture built to your exact specifications. The company from which you purchase the goods must clearly state whether a product is non-refundable.
Sixth: If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. At this time of year, there are some great deals on offer, but it’s important to do your research before you buy. If you see something significantly cheaper on a website than anywhere else, beware.
If you’re not sure whether a site is selling genuine products, look for a list of authorized sellers.
It’s also hard to tell if something is a bargain, so for big purchases, check a few different stores to see if the bargain you’re looking for is good value for money.
Research and compare the products you intend to buy a few weeks before Black Friday and Cyber ââMonday and note the total price charged by the company. This will help you decide if the sale price is really a bargain for you.