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How to report online sales and promotions

By 25 de January, 2019 October 25th, 2019 No Comments

E-Commerce: How to communicate online sales and promotions?

Price reduction practices are not always communicated in a transparent and noticeable way for consumers, especially when it comes to the online environment. Care is then taken when applying discounts to goods and services, and avoiding sanctions by ASAE.

Restrictive commercial practices of fair competition, with a view to consumer protection, have known mismatches that intend to be mitigated with Decree-Law No. 70/2007. The problems stem either from a ‘poorly formulated regulation of retail price reduction practices’ or ‘distortion of these practices in the face of current market needs’. Thus, in view of the primary protection of the consumer and therefore of the market, it is necessary to take into account some warnings that, in the first instance, promote fairness and trust in the markets, and which prevent the e-commerce manager himself from having fusses about engaging in law-abusing practices, many of which are not always aware. Not infrequently, the e-commerce manager becomes aware of non-compliance with the law when he receives a notification from ASAE with a penalty in the form of a fine, which may be of varying order.

First and foremost, clear communication with the consumer is crucial, and the consumer should therefore be aware of both the total price of the products – including fees, taxes, transport costs or other charges – and of the way in which price reductions are to be made. be practiced. This is the first step and one of the reasons for the imposition of fines. Price reduction arrangements include promotions, balances and settlements.

Each of these practices has particular characteristics and characteristics that both companies and consumers must take into account for a fair and fair business commitment.

Promotions are sales of products or services with more advantageous conditions aimed at boosting the sale of a good, in a certain period, and whose product or service will see its normalized price after this period. Promotions may be held at any time and do not have to be reported to ASAE.

Sales aim to accelerate the outflow of stock and should not coexist with promotions. They may also be carried out at any time of the year, provided they do not exceed four months in total, and shall be notified to ASAE at least five working days in advance.

For this practice, companies should take some precautions such as merchant identification and merchant address – which in the case of online stores, e-commerce, is meant to be the website -, tax identification number (NIF) and start date / balance period.

This can be communicated to the regulator by two means: the traditional postal mail or the online form available at the Entrepreneur’s Desk. Settlements are the least usual practice of selling a disposable product at a price. After the correct and undoubted definition of the type of price reduction to be practiced and its communication, or not, to the ASAE, it is necessary that the consumer is fully aware of what the price variation suffered for the good or services you want to purchase.

In the case of online stores, the price reduction should be clearly visible on the product page itself, as it communicates with the consumer more intuitively and immediately, referring to the previous price, the current price and the percentage discount.

Example No. 1

Examples of correct communication

–  Price reduction visible on the product page;

–  Product discount percentage;

–  Price reduction period with start and end date.

Example No. 2

Examples of wrong communication

–  Price reduction visible on the product page;

–  No percentage discount on the product;

–  No indication of the price reduction period, with the start and end date.

Example No. 1

Examples of correct communication

–  Price reduction visible on the product page;

–  Product discount percentage;

–  Price reduction period with start and end date.

Example No. 2

Examples of wrong communication

–  Price reduction visible on the product page;

–  No percentage discount on the product;

–  No indication of the price reduction period, with the start and end date.

At this point, will an e-commerce manager be free of any notification from ASAE? Not yet. A clear definition of the period in which price reductions occur and, therefore, of the start and end date of the practice is essential.

This information should follow the aforementioned and should never be marginalized, otherwise the tools for fair and fair online trade are given, but this article does not dispense with careful reading of the Decree Law. It is also important to warn that if you receive a notification from ASAE, the eCommerce manager should seek expert legal advice in the area and decide whether or not to challenge the fine.

If you decide not to challenge, you will have to pay the fine after the defense period granted by ASAE expires. If, on the contrary, it decides to appeal the penalty, it is only after the ASAE’s decision on the claim has been taken that the fine is awarded and the company can pay it.

The fine amounts vary depending on the number of persons concerned, that is, whether we are dealing with a legal person, that is to say, a company, or if in turn we are dealing with a natural person. In the first case, the fine ranges from 2500 € to 30 000 €. In the second case, the value decreases considerably and goes from 250 € to the maximum ceiling of 3700 €.

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