Shoppers are being reminded to know their rights and do their research ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday next week.
A new survey from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) reveals that almost 40% of consumers plan to make a purchase in the sales.
Black Friday is next Friday the 26th of November and Cyber Monday the 29th – but many sales have already started - both in store and online.
The research shows that consumers are pretty savvy, with 80% planning to carry out pre-sale checks on prices, to make sure the retailer's marked discount reflects the previous full price.
However, speaking on Morning Ireland, Grainne Griffin, Director of Communications with the CCPC said 34% of those surveyed didn’t realise that they have the same consumer rights when it comes to buying sale items.
"It is really important that as consumers prepare to go shopping next week, they are aware that they do have rights and that they do apply when they're buying from European websites and Irish stores," she said.
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Ms Griffin said if the sale goods you buy are faulty, you do have the right to redress.
Secondly, she said consumers do have the right to change their mind when shopping online.
"Within 14 days you can look for your order to be cancelled and to return the item to the store," she said.
Location of business
The CCPC is also warning people to do a few checks when shopping online.
It is encouraging shoppers to find out where the company is based, as this will determine your rights if something goes wrong or if you change your mind about the purchase.
"If the website is based in Ireland or elsewhere within the EU, then your European rights do apply," Ms Griffin said.
She said consumers need to remember that European rights no longer apply to purchases from UK websites following Brexit.
While many retailers are experiencing stock shortages and delays in the run up to Christmas, the CCPC is urging businesses not to mislead consumers when it comes to delivery timelines.
"We are aware that it is a challenging time for businesses, however it is really important that businesses don't over-commit," Ms Griffin said.
"If you are aware that you may not have products in stock, it is really important that you don't advertise them for sale and that you don't commit to delivery times for consumers that you can't meet," she added.
Ms Griffin said businesses should only advertise and sell products that they are confident that they can deliver by the delivery date in question.
"In the case where a business goes ahead and makes a commitment that they can't meet, a consumer can then cancel that order and get a full refund if the order doesn't turn up," she explained.
If businesses deliberately mislead customers, the CCPC can take action.
"The CCPC does have the right to take enforcement action in that event," Ms Griffin said.
"We have recently taken enforcement action against a business for exactly that kind of activity - and we will be continuing to monitor the situation over the coming weeks to ensure that any such activity is addressed quickly," she said.