Shops in Greece are banking on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to kick-start consumer spending, which has been battered by inflationary pressures.

Black Friday is traditionally a US-based phenomenon that kicks off the holiday shopping season through heavy discounts on consumer goods the Friday after the US holiday Thanksgiving (this year November 24), and is followed by sales on electronics on Cyber Monday (November 27).

Despite the lack of observance of Thanksgiving in Greece, the sales period has been increasingly embraced by the Greek market over the past few years as stores look for ways to drive purchasing. And many Greek online and retail shops have already launched their advertising campaigns for the 24th.

Markets are cautiously optimistic, with any enthusiasm grounded by the fact that roughly 50 percent of consumer spending goes to covering foods and essentials.

The Consumer’s Ombudsman of Greece and the European Consumer Centers Network alert consumers to exercise caution during the sales period so they do not fall victim to fraud.  Some guidance includes: don’t sign up for online newsletters from unknown companies that ask for personal data in exchange for being alerted ‘first’ about exclusive offers; conduct your own research before purchases to be familiar with market prices, pay attention to product availability and the delivery dates of anything purchased online, and avoid online purchases from shops that channel everything through social media accounts.

The age-old adage remains applicable for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers, particularly in the online realm: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.