YOUPIIIIIIIIII IT’S SALE! We have the Saturday afternoon walkabouts, the endless queues in the cabin and at the checkout, the foundation stains on the latest model of little white dress in our size and overconsumption. When it’s the sales, we’re sure of one thing: we’re going to blow our wallets to buy ugly things that aren’t our size just because it’s cheap. On the other hand, we are a little less aware of the laws in force on the question. Only one solution to remedy the problem: read this top.
What they are not allowed to do
1. Replenish stock especially for sales
This is the rule for limiting the stock of sale products. The latter prohibits merchants from restocking only for sales. Similarly, and in accordance with Cass. Com., January 28, 2004, No. 01-16381: the stock of goods is predetermined and non-renewable during the period. A merchant who does not comply with this rule is liable to a fine of 15,000 euros for a natural person and 75,000 for a legal person.
2. …and sell clothes that never went on sale
In accordance with article L310-3 of the Commercial Code, sale items must imperatively have been offered for sale for at least one month before the start date of the sale.
3. Only display the discounted price
It’s all new, all beautiful: since May 28, 2022, a European directive, transposed into French law, specifies the method of determining the reference price by professionals. From now on, when the latter apply a reduction, they must display the lowest price practiced during the 30 days before this offer. Objective: to protect consumers from bogus discounts.
4. Raise the price before sales
A point that completes the previous one. It goes without saying, but it costs nothing to remember. Raising the price of a product before the sales, in order to make the consumer believe that he is saving a lot of money when not, it is prohibited. And fortunately. Hi Zara.
5. Do not take back the clothes, in certain specific cases
Sale items benefit from the same guarantees as all non-sale items in terms of manufacturing defects (hidden defects), or after-sales service. “During the sales, neither taken back nor exchanged” is therefore an abusive formulation, even if we often come across it. Be careful to understand the nuance! The obligation to take back or refund only concerns products with defects not visible at the time of purchase. On the other hand, if it is a question of color, size or cut, he is entitled to refuse to cooperate.
Online, merchants are obliged to give you a withdrawal period of at least two weeks, sales or not.
6. Organize the sales outside the official dates
Dates set for the vast majority of France, with the exception of certain border departments (Alpes-Maritimes, Corsica, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle, Vosges and Pyrénées-Orientales) and overseas departments, collectivities and territories, by the Commercial Code. The sales take place twice a year, over a period of four weeks, and are determined this way: in winter, they start on the second Wednesday of January (or the first Wednesday, if the second comes after the 12th of the month). In summer, they begin on the last Wednesday of June (or the penultimate if the last Wednesday falls after June 28).
7. Mix discounted and non-discounted items
Merchants are required to differentiate between discounted and non-discounted items. In fact, in stores, the two types of items should not be mixed. A comforting thought to all the sellers who spend whole days rearranging their racks and redoing their labels before AND after the period. Strength to you.
What they have the right to do
8. Not doing the sales
We already told you about it here a few weeks ago: a merchant is, in fact, under no circumstances obliged to lend himself to the exercise of sales. So there’s no need to insult him because the little wool that you spotted last season hasn’t changed in price. He is within his rights. By the way, you don’t have to do them either… Really not.
9. Sell at a loss
Selling at a loss is normally strictly prohibited… Except during sales! This permission is as beneficial to the merchant, who sells his stock more quickly, as to the consumer, who can buy at particularly attractive prices. Apart from this exception, selling at a loss can be punished by a fine of 75,000 euros.
10. Stop sales before the official date
As explained above: sales only concern products already in stock and cannot be restocked. So, bah… If there’s more stock, there’s more sales, what!
11. Practice other discounts outside the sale period
The sales are largely framed, but they are not, however, the only promotions that can be carried out over the year. One-off promotions to boost sales, or stock liquidation before closing or destocking to make room: it’s ok. On the other hand, it is strictly forbidden to speak of “sales” to qualify these commercial operations, outside official periods!