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New rules on balances: Find out what has changed this year

If you choose to shop during the sales season, you should try to be well informed because there are new rules.Actually, the new rules have been defined in decree-law since December 2021, but only came into force in May of this year. The objective is to provide greater clarity and transparency in the communication and procedures that form the prices. In other words, the new rules aim to increase consumer protection in order to protect them more and more against “illusions”. We speak, from the outset, of the price fixing on sales which, sometimes, is subject to early increases just before the promotion or sales period. Thus, the new rules result from the transposition of a Community directive on consumer protection, which translates into the adoption of new practices and behaviorsparticularly in periods of low prices. Read also: Season of sales: know your rights and what care should be taken

Sales vs promotions: they are not the same thing

In practice, for many people, sales and promotions can look the same. However, they are different. Thus, the balances have as main objective quickly sell items in stock yet to be sold. Promotions, on the other hand, aim only increase sales of certain products or simply launch a product not yet marketed to date. 11 new rules that you should know before going to the sales. Also read: Sales or promotions: what are the differences?

11 new rules on balances

Lowest price in the last 30 days

The price to be charged during the promotion period or sales must be the cheapest of the last 30 days (previously the period was about 90 days and did not include previous price drops) to the price drop period;

Indicate the previous price

the merchants must always indicate the previous price so that the consumer can compare the current price in force on sales;

Indicate % reduction

Traders, if they so wish, can also supplement this information with an indication of the percentage of reduction;

Product launch only in promotions

In the event of a product launch, this can only be promoted. In this situation, the discount is equal the difference between the price charged during the course of the reduction and after this period.

Right to repentance

The consumer is entitled to repentanceregardless of whether the product have or not defect proven. On the other hand, it can still be claimed up to 14 working days. The same applies to online shopping.

Different deadlines and timings for sales and promotions

Promotions can take place on any time whenever the trader sees fit. On the other hand, in sales there is a maximum limit of days per year that must not be longer than 124 daysfollowed or interpolated.Pay attention to in-store payment methods. With the new rules on balances, merchants are not required to accept any specific means (cash, card or check). However, if they allow a certain modality outside the sales season, then they also have to accept it in periods of low prices. Any restrictions must be posted in a conspicuous place in the store.

Equal rules for services and products

According to the new rules on balances, these pass to apply equally to a service or productsold in store or online, namely content.

defective products

In the case of explicit sale of defective products, the merchant must inform the consumer and highlight the point of sale in the store space.Also read: Tips to make the most of your sales

New rules on balances: product exchange

The new guarantees on the sale of movable property allow the exchange of any product within the following three years for sale in the event of a proven defect;

Notify ASAE

The rule remains for previously communicate price reduction actions to ASAEie:5 working days on balances; and 15 working days for liquidations.

What happens in case of non-compliance?

In the event of any default, traders run the risk of paying fines between 250 and 30 thousand eurosmaximum value applicable to legal persons. In the event of any incident in which you feel injured, assert your rights on your own platforms. Either in the store complaints book or with the Food and Economic Security Authority (ASAE). In short, the new rules on balances come increase consumer protection and defense as well as promote transparency and clarity in prices. Be attentive and make your purchases with conscience. Also read: Tips to make the best use of sales

Anton Kovačić Administrator

A professional writer by day, a tech-nerd by night, with a love for all things money.

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