According to recent research conducted by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), of the consumers who said that they intend to buy in the sales, 49% stated that they do not trust the accuracy of the discount information provided.
When responses from all consumers are considered (including those who don’t intend to buy in the sales), trust rates fall further with only 35% of consumers trusting the accuracy of displayed pre-sale discounts.
The data indicated that trust levels are highest among young people (15 -24 years), while those aged over 55 report the lowest levels of trust in discounts.
Grainne Griffin, director of communications, CCPC, said, "It’s clear from our research that consumer confidence in the legitimacy of advertised discounts is very low. Only 35% of consumers trust that discounts or pre-sale prices displayed during sales are accurate.
"Misleading advertising is illegal and consumers should be able to trust in advertised discounts. The CCPC looks forward to the upcoming enactment of the Price Indication Directive which will tighten up the rules on sales advertising and empower the CCPC to take enforcement action when businesses mislead consumers through discount advertising.
"We also encourage businesses to play their part in building consumer confidence by providing clear and transparent pricing history to consumers during sale periods.”
Griffin noted that the CCPC's research shows that over one in three consumers are planning on shopping in the Black Friday sales this year.
While slightly down on last year, this still represents a very significant percentage of consumers who, on average, intend to spend almost €400.
"Our advice to consumers who are planning on purchasing is that they have stronger consumer rights when they buy from an EU website and a ‘.ie’ domain is not a guarantee that a company is based in Ireland," she added.
"Consumers should shop around to compare offers, and focus on selling prices rather than advertised discounts."