Everyone loves to get a bargain on sale. And this year, many shops are offering great discounts on everything from clothes to mobile phones. But when you buy something on sale, does that affect your rights as a consumer?
When you buy something as a consumer, your rights are protected by both Irish and European legislation. One of the main pieces of relevant legislation is the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980.
Under this Act, as a purchaser of goods you have a number of rights including:
- Goods must be of merchantable quality – this means the goods should be of reasonable quality taking into account what they are designed to do.
- Goods must be fit for their purpose – they must do what they are reasonably expected to do.
- Goods must be as described – this means the goods must fit the description given of the goods either orally by a salesperson or an advertisement.
When you buy goods in a sale you have the same rights as when you pay full price for the goods. This is protected by legislation and these rights can’t be taken away from you by the shop. You might see signs saying “No cash refunds” or “Goods on sale not exchanged” during the sales. These signs don’t affect your rights.
If you purchase a good and you later find out it’s faulty, you can argue that the good is not of “merchantable quality.” Whether you bought the good at full price or on sale, you have the same rights. As a general rule, when goods are faulty the seller has a few options. They can either repair or replace the item or give you a refund. If the item had been marked “imperfect” or you were told about the fault before you bought it, the shop would not be required to give you a replacement or refund. It’s also important to note that the shop is entitled to ask you for a proof of purchase so it’s important to hold on to your receipt.