Sales in Spain – Know Your Consumer Rights
So many bargains, so little time! For several months of the year, the summer and winter rebajas (sales) are on in Spanish stores. Your consumer rights aren’t affected at these times, if in doubt read on to see what you can and can’t do.
Sales Items Bought In Store
Normal consumer rights remain the same, in other words you have no statutory right to return items simply because you don’t like them.
Larger stores with nationwide branches tend to be more flexible and allow exchanges or returns even if you’ve changed your mind. Watch out though with clothes for special occasions, they may have different rules to avoid people wearing them once and returning.
Returns are normally refunded by the same method of payment, if you paid by card you’ll get a credit on your next statement.
Smaller stores may put up signs saying no returns during sales periods, so check before you buy. Even if a sign is visible, this does not affect faulty items as these can always be returned. Additionally some small stores won’t accept payment by credit card during sales or may increase the threshold below which cards aren’t accepted.
National / Regional Regulations in Spain
Sales items should have been on offer at a higher price for a least a month prior to the sales commencing, the label should show the previous price and the new reduced price.
During the sales regional inspectors carry out checks on stores to ensure that they are following the regulations, however fines are few and far between!
Sales periods differ depending on each region, with summer sales generally held in July and August and winter sales in January and February. However legislation is changing and some regions may be able to hold sales at any time of the year.
Warranties are not affected by the price of the product and neither are any post-sales services.
Use the official claims form. Stores cannot refuse to give you one. If they do just tell them you’ll be fetching along a local police officer to deal with the issue, this tends to be enough for them to hand over a form!
In our article “Buying Online in Spain” we mention the 14-day “cooling off period”. This is when you can return clothing or shoes just because you don’t like them with a right to a full refund.
If you find it hard to resist a bargain, buying online is a great way to ensure you can return items (no questions asked!)
In order to avoid paying postage, check if the store allows returns for items bought online in any of their stores.
If you need to return a gift (whether bought in the sales or not), check if you’ve been given a “ticket regalo” (a receipt that doesn’t show the price).
You can exchange the item in store, but if you opt for a voucher / gift card, rather than an exchange, check how long it will be valid.
In order to save money, make a list of the items you really need. It’s easy to be swayed by attractive bargains which never get used. Don’t forget to keep all your receipts just in case!