Test Aankoop reveals fraudulent sales

An investigation undertaken by the Belgian consumers' organisation Test Aankoop has revealed that a number of stores increase their prices just before the start of the sales. During the sales period these products are then reduced to their original price.

Test Aankoop compared prices now with those advertised in May, June and July of the past year. This comparison showed that nine out of ten clothes shops including stores selling shoes and leather goods were offering real discounts. Test Aankoop says that that is not so surprising because many firms work with international price tags.

The consumers' organisation claims that it's above all electronics stores and furniture shops that are trying to fool us. Too often it appeared that a greater price discount was being claimed than was actually being offered.

Test Aankoop cites the example of a TV set sold for 259.99 euros. During the sales the price remained the same, but the store was claiming it had been discounted from 299.99 euros. “That was a lie" said Test Aankoop's Ivo Mechels.

The consumers' organisation favours the abolition of a sales period regulated by law and also the scrapping of the buffer period before the sales during which discounts are not allowed.