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Super Saturday Shopping Sale Preparation

The biggest shopping days of the year are upon us. Whether you hit the stores on Black Friday, clicked your mouse on Cyber Monday, or are waiting for deals on Super Saturday picking the perfect gift at the best price is on everyone’s mind this season.  The National Retailer’s Federation anticipates Super Saturday, the last Saturday before Christmas, to be the biggest shopping day of the year with almost 150 million American consumers expected to participate.  Before you head out to do your holiday shopping and prepare for inevitable returns, it is important to know your rights as a consumer.

At the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR), we know that the best consumer is an informed consumer.  As of today, there are only twenty-four days left to shop before the 2021 holiday season is over.  Protect yourself and your wallet this year by brushing up on your shopping rights.

Advertising and Sales

When it comes to how a store is advertising a product, beware of bait and switch tactics. It is illegal for a salesperson or a store to make false or misleading claims about a product to persuade you to make a purchase.  Bait and switch occurs when a salesperson makes false claims about the product’s quality or quantity, or refuses to deliver the item within a reasonable period of time.

Additionally, if a retailer misrepresents an item price in an advertisement, the advertised price must be honored until there are corrective signs up in the store, or a correction is made in the same medium (i.e. online, newspaper, flyer, etc.) as the original advertisement.

Return Policies

In Massachusetts, a retailer must clearly post their return policy somewhere for shoppers to view prior to completing a transaction.  Merchants can decide on what is within their return policy as long as it is available to patrons.  However, defective merchandise must be accepted for return, replacement, repair, or refund regardless of the individual policy.

Item Delivery

If you ordered goods that require shipment or delivery the merchant must follow the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Mail Order Rule. The Rule states that:

  • The seller must ship your order as promised at the time of purchase. If there was no time period provided, shipment must happen within 30 or 50 days depending on payment.
  • If the item is not shipped when promised, you may cancel your order to receive a full refund.

The FTC’s Mail Order Rule does not apply to: photo finishing, recurring magazine subscriptions, seeds and plants, and credit orders where your account is not charged until after the goods are shipped.

Know your rights and shop safely this holiday season.  For questions about your shopping rights, call the OCABR Consumer Hotline at 617-973-8787, Monday through Friday between the hours of 9am and 4:30pm; or visit the OCABR Massachusetts Consumer Guide to Shopping Rights online.

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