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Winter sales start in Belgium this Friday
Winter sales in Belgium begin this Friday and run until 31 January, with shops offering big discounts to get rid of old stock.
January is one of only two periods in the year when shops are legally allowed to sell products at a loss to clear stock. The summer sales are in July.
"Many traders will offer discounts of up to 70% towards the end of the sales period to clear stock and make room for new collections," said a spokeswoman for retail federation Comeos.
Electrical products bought in the sales are covered by the usual legal two-year warranty as usual. However, shops are not obliged to exchange or refund a product purchased during the sales. Some do so only as a goodwill gesture. If in doubt, ask at the till. Online purchases during the sales remain covered by the 14-day cooling-off period.
A recent investigation by consumer protection body Test-Achats revealed that some stores - notably furniture and appliance stores - are increasing their prices in the run-up to the sales, to then wrongly give the impression that the product is discounted.
Price labels in shops must mention the lowest price charged for an item in the 30 days preceding the start of the sales. "Do not hesitate to lift up price tags to check the price on the label underneath," says Test-Achats.