Sales in Spain start today

The sales in Spain begin today with more ‘aggressive’ discounts than in previous years. It is expected that some articles will be discounted by as much as 70% during the first few days.

Clothing retailers forecast that the amount of money generated during the sales period will account for around 20% of their total yearly sales. According to the Textile and Accessories Trading Association (Acotex) each Spaniard will spend on average 80 euros each in the sales.

Acotex has calculated that the textile sector will take 3,600 million euros during the sales period which is the same amount as last year. The Chairman of the Spanish Federation for Commerce (CEC), Miguel Ángel Fraile, hopes that this year’s winter sales will reach 4000 euros in total which would be a rise of between 2 and 6% on last year. Fraile also believes that the total number of items bought by each person will go up by approximately 10% because as a result of the recession people have spent less and so have more money to spend in the sales.

Average discounts are expected to be around 40% to 50% although some articles are expected to be discounted by as much as 70%.

Consumer Associations have pointed out that the sales should not affect the statutory rights of individuals or the quality of products for sale and have encouraged people to complain if they feel that their consumer rights have been in any way affected by a purchase they have made in the sales.

The Organization for Consumers and Users (OCU) explains that the sales cover a specific period of time in which products that were on sale for at least one whole month at full price are reduced. The OCU also says that articles that in the sales should show their original price as well as the discounted price or clearly indicate the percentage of the discount.

However in some shops there are special conditions governing the use of credit cards and for returning products.

The OCU says that this is legal but that these shops need to make this clear at the point of purchase.

Nevertheless, the Spanish Union of Consumers (UCE) says that it is often the conditions for returning products generate the highest number of complaints during the sales and says that the consumer should be aware that when they buy a product whether it be in the sales or not they have the right to return it for a full refund if the product is defective or broken.

It also points out that the biggest fraud committed during the sales is falsifying the original price of products so that people believe that discounts that have been applied are higher. In addition sometimes products are sold at their original price but with a sales ticket so that it appears that the price has been discounted.

Anothr common fraud is including products which were not on sale before the sales period being sold as discounted items.

The OCU advises people who go shopping in the sales to keep to a budget and to make a list of items that they need to buy. It also advises people to look after their receipts as this is their only proof of purchase.