26th November 2020

Brexit a factor for UK online shoppers

CTSI is warning UK shoppers to be aware of changes caused by Brexit when buying online


By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
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With the uncertainty of the EU Exit negotiations, I advise consumers to be careful if purchasing products from companies outside the UK

With COVID-19 restrictions closing much of the high street, this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday, on Friday 27 and Monday 30 December respectively, are likely to cause a surge in online sales.

CTSI is warning that an uncertain outcome to the Brexit negotiations means that some EU-based sellers might not honour their commitments in the case of no-deal and that purchasing from UK-based online retailers is a safer option.

According to Statista, Black Friday sales in the UK reached £8.57bn in 2019 and this year sales are expected to soar once again.

Robert Chantry-Price, Lead Officer for Product Safety at CTSI said: “With the uncertainty of the EU Exit negotiations, I advise consumers to be careful if purchasing products from companies outside the UK as some may choose to not refund or replace goods in the event of no deal.

“Consumers should check that, for UK-based retailers, their website provides a UK address and landline telephone number. This will help considerably should the product not arrive or if it proves to be faulty, or needs to be returned to the supplier.

“Consumers should always thoroughly check the terms and conditions of the sale, but especially during these uncertain times. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals can appear to be great, please do not forget to check the terms of sale, location and reputability of the retailer.

“Consumers should also be aware of the increased costs of returning products. A 1kg parcel returned within the UK costs over £3 while returning the same package can cost over £6 or £16 to the EU or the Far-East respectively.

“I hope this advice minimises the potential pitfalls of online purchases and stops further disappointment in a year that has been deeply challenging for everyone,” Chantry-Price added.