Black Friday and subsequent January sales are the biggest shopping frenzy times of the year. Retailers as well as online shops offer up to 80 % price reduction on most of their goods. However, these sales are not always what they seem to be. The majority of shops increase their prices prior to any big „sale“, only to be able to advertise a huge price reduction; in fact, the consumer saves only an average of 10 % of the usual price. It is a well-known commercial trick, but it has got out of hand in the last couple of years. Some online shops have provided a real reduction of only 1 % or even increased the prices for Black Friday. As a result of that, EU has decided to put an end to this practice.
Directive 2019/2161 came into force in the beginning of 2020, amending four other directives and aiming to increase consumer protection. The amended wording of Article 6a of the Directive 98/6/EC now stipulates that „Any announcement of a price reduction shall indicate the prior price applied by the trader for a determined period of time prior to the application of the price reduction. The prior price means the lowest price applied by the trader during a period of time not shorter than 30 days prior to the application of the price reduction.“. Other amendments include increased sanctions for breaches of consumer protection rules up to 4 % of the company's annual turnover, ban on false consumer reviews and recommendations manipulated by the trader, or a broader definition of dual quality of products. EU member states are obliged to implement the Directive to national law until November 2021 with the new rules being effective no later than May 2022. In the Czech Republic, an amendment to the Consumer Protection Act regarding the dual quality of goods is scheduled for the first reading in the Chamber of Deputies, but for obvious reasons (COVID-19) it is not a priority at this moment.