Fake promotions: 3 tips to avoid being fooled

Fake promotions: 3 tips to avoid being fooled

2023-05-31 17:35:56

Beware of fake bargains. The consumer defense association UFC-Que Choisir filed a complaint against 8 e-commerce sites, including Amazon, Zalando and Cdiscount for “misleading commercial practices”. According to the association, these sites choose “freely a reference price with which to compare their product, so as to present their offer as a bargain not to be missed”, such as “recommended retail price”, “old price”, “price average on the marketplace”, “average price on competing sites”, “price entered by the seller”.

However, the European Omnibus regulation imposes the display of a price reduction on the basis of the lowest rate charged by the seller during the previous month. To avoid being fooled, Raphaël Bartlomé, head of the legal department of the UFC-Que Choisir association gives you three tips.

Look at the price and not the promotion

“You should not be sensitive to the percentage and the crossed out price. These are hooking biases, ”he explains. The only factor to take into account is the price. “Be aware that real promotion, that is to say based on a really applied price, is a rare pearl,” he says. And to clarify that it is forbidden for businesses to sell at a loss, so a huge reduction could signal a wolf. So be very careful when you see it.

Compare the prices

After paying attention only to the price, go to other sites that sell the same type of products to compare the labels. Sites even exist to do it for you. “During our analysis, we found that some sites are really legit. It is therefore necessary to delay putting in the basket and first to compare, because you will sometimes find the same article cheaper without promotion elsewhere, ”advises Raphaël Bartlomé. It may be worth taking that time.

Read the asterisks

When referring to the additional mentions on the product, you will sometimes see “-80% compared to the recommended price in 2019”. This should be a red flag for you. Four years ago, the good could be much more expensive – because it had just left the factory – than what it would be worth today. The reduction is then a trompe-l’oeil. “Consumers should not have to scrutinize the ads, that’s why the UFC-Que Choisir is complaining,” exasperated Raphaël Bartlomé of the association.

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