Cumbernauld trading standards chiefs are warning shoppers to beware of “Del-boy dealers” offering dodgy yuletide bargains.
Counterfeit goods – whether supposed branded merchandise, or cigarettes and alcohol (high consumption items at this time of year) – are even more prevalent than usual at this time of year.
Apart from being bogus and poor quality some can also be dangerous.
Trading standards also advise shoppers to use common sense during perfectly legitimate shopping.
There are no consumer rights that cover unwanted gifts, so check seller returns policy before buying.
Take care when using pop-up shops that are only there for the gift-buying season, as if there’s anything wrong with goods bought there they will be very hard to trace later on.
With electronic goods be sure any apps you buy are from reputable stores, and check parental controls are enabled to stop surprise bills.
Buyers are also advised to examine presents straight away and take any defective goods back immediately - the sooner you take them back, the more rights you have.
Meawhile trading standard stresses you’re not obliged to buy a guarantee or warranty, and many give no more protection than you already have by law.
And despite all the festive chaos it’s a good idea to keep proof of purchase in purse or wallet, as without a receipt it can be very difficult to return goods.
If a bargain seems too good to be true ... it probably is.