The Cyprus Consumers’ Association on Monday released a statement on the upcoming Black Friday sale, calling on consumers to conduct thorough market research ahead of any purchases of potentially discounted items.

Black Friday, which started in the United States, traditionally represents the start of the Christmas shopping season and often involves heavily discounted items and other promotional activities in the retail sector.

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In its statement, the Cypriot Consumers’ Association advised consumers to identify the products they may be interested in purchasing in advance and note their prices ahead of any discounts.

“This would allow consumers to more easily assess the reality of the situation in terms of the discounted amount that will be in place for Black Friday,” the statement said.

In addition, the association urged consumers to refrain from making any hasty purchases, to buy what they really need and not to proceed with any purchases of any products solely because they have been put on sale.

“Use the internet, not only to make purchases, but also to find alternative products, reviews of the product you are interested in, as well as the selling price of the product from other suppliers,” the association explained.

“We also recommend exercising caution on deeply discounted products that do not have all the necessary information provided, including accurate details of the seller’s address or a full description of the product’s features,” the watchdog added.

What is more, the association stated that “price should not be the only criterion”, especially if the consumer intends to buy a product of high value, adding that “it is important to evaluate the reliability and quality of service of each particular seller”.

Further to the above, the Cyprus Consumers’ Association has advised consumers to determine their budget in advance and to be informed about the store’s return policy before making a purchase, while also factoring in whether the store they are interested in adheres to the consumer code of conduct.

The association has also asked consumers to find out whether the store they are interested in participates in the consumer dispute resolution mechanism or another similar mechanism, such as the consumer dispute resolution mechanism offered by the Cyprus Consumers’ Association.

Similar statements were also issued in the United Kingdom, where shoppers were advised to determine whether Black Friday deals represented genuine bargains.

“Most of the advertised ‘deals’ should be taken with a pinch of salt,” Which? retail editor Reena Sewraz told the Guardian, particularly in the context of a severe cost of living crisis.

“Retailers will be aware of the extra financial pressure on people this winter and they’ll be looking for ways to attract customers by focusing on value for money but our advice is to not fall for the hype and do some research to make sure you end up with a genuine bargain,” Sewraz added.