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26 December 2023

Five tips for shopping the 2023 Boxing Day sales

We share 5 tips to help New Zealanders spend smarter and navigate the frantic marketing frenzy this Boxing Day.

We share 5 tips to help New Zealanders spend smarter and navigate the frantic marketing frenzy this Boxing Day.

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1. Shop carefully

The Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) provides great consumer protection, but doesn’t require retailers to provide a refund if you buy something and change your mind about it.

“It’s easy to get swept up in a buying frenzy when something on special catches your eye,” said Jessica Walker, Consumer communications and campaigns manager.

“Once you’ve bought it, the retailer is not obliged to provide you with a refund just because you change your mind or your circumstances change. But check with the store, as some have generous returns policies.”

2. Don’t fall for the hype

Walker wants to warn shoppers that promotions are often not what they seem.

“Don’t fall for a massive discount on a ‘usual’ price without checking the ‘usual’ price. The actual savings could be very different from the advertised offering,“ says Walker.

“Different stores will have different ‘usual’ prices, too. Check out PriceSpy and PriceMe to gauge the real value of any items that catch your eye.”

3. Don't believe the disclaimers

Limitations or blanket disclaimers on sale items like “no refunds” or “no exchanges” are misleading.

“Whether you purchase an item on sale or not, you have rights under both the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) and the Fair Trading Act (FTA). We think a store that displays a ‘no refunds’ sign is breaching the FTA.”

“If you get your heavily discounted air fryer home on Boxing Day and it doesn’t work, you are entitled to a refund – even if the retailer said ‘no refunds’.”

4. Don’t waste your money on warranties

Under the CGA, manufacturers and retailers must guarantee the products they sell. This includes guaranteeing that goods are of acceptable quality and fit for their purpose.

“If your product develops a fault when it’s still reasonably new, the retailer is required to sort the problem – even if the manufacturer’s warranty has expired,” says Walker.

"You’re already covered. Say no to extended warranties, and don’t be fobbed off by a store trying to tell you a product is out of warranty.”

5. Know your consumer rights

Research from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment found that almost 50% of 18-26-year-olds are likely to leave a complaint unresolved due to gaps in consumer knowledge.

“The CGA gives people powerful rights, but we can’t exercise them if we don’t know about them.?

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