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Key advice for Caithness shoppers as Black Friday approaches

By David G Scott

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Caithness shoppers have been issued with key advice on how to make the most of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and stay safe online.

The country’s national advice service, Advice Direct Scotland (ADS), has launched a week-long social media campaign today to encourage consumers to "stay in the know".

This week’s Black Friday and next week’s Cyber Monday are two of the busiest days of the year for online shopping.

Most retailers are already running a series of offers, with many UK consumers planning to shop online over the coming weekend.

ADS, which runs the free consumeradvice.scot service, has urged shoppers to be aware of their rights when it comes to purchases, know what to do if things go wrong, and how to make the most of their money – while avoiding panic buying.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday label.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday label.

ADS has issued key tips for online shoppers, including:

  • Make the most of your money – check prices with other retailers before any final decisions.
  • Avoid hidden delivery charges – check the cost of shipping to your address at fairdeliveries.scot.
  • Use a credit card if spending over £100 – your purchase will be protected under the Consumer Credit Act.
  • Check the returns policy – retailers have different policies on returning unwanted goods, but you have the right to return most goods purchased online within 14 days for a full refund.
  • Don’t buy fake goods – they may not be safe, and you might not be able to get a refund.
  • Look out for scammers – check the website is secure and that it has a valid UK address, returns policy and terms and conditions.
  • Remember that free, impartial and practical advice is available if something goes wrong – consumeradvice.scot will help you resolve the problem and can be contacted via the website or by phoning 0808 164 6000.

Colin Mathieson, spokesperson for ADS, said: “There are many ways for consumers to ensure they get a bargain when shopping online on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which makes the experience even more worthwhile.

“Don’t forget to shop around – there may be other websites that offer the same products for less. By checking prices with other retailers, you can save money. If possible, and if you are able to pay off your card balance, putting purchases for more expensive items on a credit card is recommended as this provides additional consumer protection.

“Scots should also remember they have more rights online than in store – you have the right to return most goods purchased online within 14 days for a full refund.

“It’s also important to recognise that things can go wrong, so look out for hidden delivery charges, particularly if you live in a more remote part of Scotland, and be aware of scams. If something appears too good to be true, it often is. And always remember that help is available – our advisers provide free, impartial and practical advice for anyone in Scotland.”

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