Winter sales 2023: tips for better consumption

The 2023 winter sales run from Tuesday 11 January to Tuesday 7 February inclusive. Sale dates are postponed:

  • Meurthe et Moselle, Meuse, Moselle and Vosges starting from 2/01/2023.
  • Guadeloupe, 01/07/2023, Martinique 11/01/2023, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon 18/01/2023, Reunion 04/05/2023, Saint-Bartélemy and Saint-Martin 06/05/2023.

Here are some tips from DGCCRF to get the most out of sales in stores and online:

Consume wisely!

Find and compare upstream of the prices of the goods and services you wish to obtain to verify the reality of price reductions. The seller must clearly indicate the discounts offered in relation to the reference price corresponding to the lowest price applicable in stores and on the Internet during the 30 days preceding the discount. Thus, it is forbidden to increase the price of the product before the sale period in order to convince that the promotional offer is greater than it is.

Don’t rely on reviews when they appear on websites, they are sometimes fake or lined up to convince you to buy (see our video – Online reviews: avoid fake reviews!).

Always take time to think before buying something “favorite”.

Use your right of withdrawal for online shopping. For certain purchases made online from a professional in the European Union, you benefit from a 14-day withdrawal period starting from the date of delivery, regardless of whether the product is on sale or not. Before completing the order, the presence or absence of the right of withdrawal must be indicated (no right of withdrawal, for example, buying tickets to shows or individual products, etc.). If the withdrawal period exists, the form must be available according to the given model.

Do not buy with your eyes closed. Make sure the sites you shop from are reliable: legal notices, seller identity, company name, contact information for a consumer mediator in the event of a dispute, etc.

The amount of shipping costs or any customs duties, delivery dates, etc. pay attention to certain information such as

For online purchases, make sure the payment is secure (https or padlock logo next to the URL). In general, beware of phishing: this method is used by fraudsters who impersonate well-known companies in order to obtain your personal information, especially bank details.

Claim the warranty. It is illegal to limit statutory warranties on products sold. The sale product benefits from the same guarantees against manufacturing defects, lack of conformity or after-sales service as any other product.

When a hidden defect is discovered, the seller is required to replace the item or pay the consumer. If a non-conformity is found within two years of purchase, the seller must offer you a repair or replacement of the non-conforming item or, if these two options are not available, a refund for the item.

In other cases, the merchant is not legally obligated to proceed with the exchange or refund, but may do so purely for commercial purposes. In any event, the merchant is required to enforce any advertised exchange or refund provision either on display in the store or on receipts or other means.

Consume regularly

Check the repairability index. For certain electronic products and household appliances, the repairability index must be specified by a specialist. This index allows you to evaluate the possibility of repairing the product. The warranty applies to washing machines, smartphones, laptops, TVs and electric lawn mowers. As of November 4, 2022, the following products are also affected:

  • top loading washing machine,
  • Dishwasher,
  • high pressure cleaner,
  • corded, cordless and robotic vacuum cleaners.

As of December 15th, a repair bonus is in place to encourage you to extend the life of your equipment rather than buying a new one. The bonus applies to products that are no longer under warranty when the repair is carried out at a labeled repair center. This is between €10 and €45 depending on the type of device, which is about 20% of the total repair fee. For example, 10 euros for a coffee machine, 25 euros for a washing machine or 45 euros for a laptop. Thirty product categories are currently of concern: consult the list of relevant devices and bonus amounts.

Consider the impact of products on the environment. The AGEC law, also known as the anti-waste law, requires manufacturers, importers or those responsible for placing waste-generating products on the market to provide “product sheets on environmental qualities and characteristics” in dematerialized form and free of charge. This includes, in particular, informing consumers of:

  • compostability, availability of recycled material, recyclability,
  • the presence of rare earths or hazardous substances,
  • geo tracking,
  • bonuses or penalties paid for environmental performance for each product.

Please refer to the product sheets of your future purchases to know all the features.

Avoid packing and over-packing. Packaging and over-packaging is a huge source of waste. Many actions are possible to reduce their amount: use eco-responsible, bio-based, recyclable packaging; opt for bulk products using your own containers; reuse empty boxes…

If a company has a consumer problem or you think you have, you can report it in a few clicks on the SignalConso platform. DGCCRF and the professional will be automatically notified and the latter will be invited to respond to you or resolve your possible dispute.

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