Glaucia Mara Coelho and Paulo Eduardo Leite Marino   Black Friday, a traditional American shopping event already made popular also in Brazil, will once again be carried out by domestic companies this year. Following the American tradition, the clearance sales will take place on Friday, the 27th, in the fourth week of November. The 2015 edition, however, will bring an innovation: the participating companies will be granted with the label "Official 2015 Black Friday", intended to differentiate serious businesses from opportunists, who mainly use e-commerce to deceive consumers.

Glaucia Mara Coelho and Paulo Eduardo Leite Marino

Black Friday, a traditional American shopping event already made popular also in Brazil, will once again be carried out by domestic companies this year. Following the American tradition, the clearance sales will take place on Friday, the 27th, in the fourth week of November. The 2015 edition, however, will bring an innovation: the participating companies will be granted with the label "Official 2015 Black Friday", intended to differentiate serious businesses from opportunists, who mainly use e-commerce to deceive consumers.

The purpose of the label created by the organizers along with the Brazilian Chamber of Electronic Commerce (camara-e.net) is to overcome the Brazilians′ distrust and consolidate Black Friday here. To earn the label, the participating companies must adhere to the newly created Ethics Code prepared by camara-e.net. After taking part in the training workshop provided by the organizers, they will be submitted to an evaluation process whose basic pre-requisite is not to be included in the "list of websites to be avoided", published by PROCON.

Those who adhere to the Ethics Code must follow good business practices, perform their activities in good faith and with respect for the consumer, and in compliance with Brazilian legislation, including the Consumer Protection Code. In practice, the companies will undertake to market products at lower prices indeed, providing consumers with accurate and clear information on prices before discounts, so that it is easy to verify the financial benefit granted solely because of Black Friday. Among other obligations assumed by companies who obtain the label, they will also have to make available to consumers a customer support service ("SAC") specific for the event, ensuring promptness and responses within five days, and making sure that no complaint will be closed before the service is completed.

 

Consumers should pay attention to the provision of the Ethics Code which establishes that Marketplaces - providers of space on their own websites for other companies to advertise their sales - are responsible neither for the information disclosed, nor for the offered prices and the delivery deadlines. This may be questioned in view of the understanding of case law that all participants in the product supply chain are jointly liable.

Companies that do not comply with the Ethics Code may be subject to penalties by the Black Friday Board of Ethics, including warning, termination or cancellation of the right to use the label or prevention of participation in the event during up to two (2) years.

Although the Ethics Code does not bring anything new in terms of guarantees to consumers that had not already been addressed in the Brazilian legislation, in theory, the Official 2015 Black Friday label will bring credibility to participating companies. Nevertheless, the success desired by the organizers will depend not only on the strict evaluation criteria for granting the label, but also on the constant monitoring of offers and complaints on the day of the event. Let′s see how it turns out.