Given that consumers have become more comfortable shopping online and given rising COVID-19 numbers, the world wide web will continue to be our favoured shopping destination this year. It’s important, however, to stay safe online and know your consumer rights when shopping for the best deal.

That’s the advice from Louise Kirwan of the Farmers Journal. These are her pointers for consumers tomorrow:

SHOP LOCAL, SHOP IRISH, SHOP EUROPE: You have more consumer rights when shopping in Europe as you are protected by EU law.

CHECK THE ADDRESS: It’s important to check where a company is based. Just because a website has a .ie address does not mean it is an Irish registered business. You should also check that the website lists ‘contact us’ information, including a contact email address, phone number and geographical address.  

PAY SECURELY: It’s also important to think about how you are going to pay. Credit cards and pre-paid debit cards are one of the safest ways of purchasing online as potential scammers don’t get hold of your bank account details.

BEWARE OF ROGUE TRADERS:As Paw Patrol and Nintendo Switch top the toy list this Christmas, be wary of items that are sold out everywhere but suddenly pop up on random websites, especially at discounted prices. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

IS IT REALLY A DEAL?: According to the CCPC, of those intending to snap up a bargain, eight in 10 (79%) plan to carry out pre-sale research on prices to confirm that the retailer’s marked discount reflects the previous full price. This is a really good idea as is shopping around.