The Citizens Advice Bureaux is offering shoppers advice for ensure the do not lose out with this year's Christmas deals.

The service has been offering advice and tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The tips include that even though the prices are reduced, shoppers' consumer rights are fully protected.

Other tips include:

  • Unless you made your purchase online, shops aren’t legally required to accept returns for unwanted goods If something’s gone wrong with an item you’ve bought, you may be entitled to a refund.
  • Be careful not to end up with a counterfeit item. Secure websites should start “https” and have a padlock symbol in the taskbar.
  • Be wary of spelling or grammar mistakes, and companies that don’t provide an address.
  • Spend time shopping around, researching what deals are on offer and getting advice.
  • Always look at the total amount you will have to repay when borrowing money. A shorter repayment period may be better than a slightly lower Annual Percentage Rate (APR) amount.
  • Take care when looking at buy-now-pay-later deals. It might seem like a good option but you'll need to make sure you pay on time in future. If you don't these deals can be very expensive.
  • Never borrow money on the spur of the moment. Think about payment options beforehand. Work out your budget and stick to it so that you can afford the repayments.

Kathy Kentish at Citizens Advice South Essex said: "At this time of year many people may feel the pressure to part with their money.

“It is important that anyone thinking about turning to credit or taking out a loan to help pay for Christmas understands the full costs involved and if they can actually afford to pay it back.

“If you are struggling with your finances, it is important to do something about it as soon as possible. You can get free debt and money advice from Citizens Advice to find a way forward and avoid struggling with money worries.”