Below are today's top HMV deals, fully checked and verified by our team of voucher hunters. Get 'em while they're hot!
Full DOs and DON'Ts
Whether it's a retailer or restaurateur, airline or air-conditioner seller, computer shop or car rental company, there are always two main risks. Either it's a dodgy company, or it's a legit company that has financial problems and goes bust.
The aim of these tips is to help you minimise the risks.
Quite simply, its customers are immediately transformed into creditors. This hits hardest if you've ordered goods or tickets from them, and not had delivery, as then you become one of a line of people trying to get your money back out of the company's assets, and you usually get back much less than you paid in.
Even if you've had delivery, if the company you bought from goes under and there's a problem with the goods, it can mean you've no comeback.
While MoneySavingExpert.com endeavours to check deals are valid, we don't check companies ' finances. Even huge names like MFI and Woolies have folded, so it's very important you use the right strategies to stay protected where possible.
Pay by credit card for something over £100, and Section 75 laws supercharge your consumer rights.
Unlike debit cards, cheques or cash, pay in full or part (even just £1) on a credit card and by law the lender's jointly liable with the retailer.
This means you have exactly the same rights with the card company as you do with the retailer. So if it goes bust, you can simply take your complaints there instead and get money back if there's no delivery.
Yet it's important you ALWAYS REPAY IN FULL each month, so there's no interest cost. See the full Section 75 guide.
Section 75 doesn't apply to purchases under £100, but there's still an option which can help. It isn't a legal protection, just Visa, Mastercard and Amex's rules, but it's a good back-up.
Spend on a Visa, Mastercard or Amex credit card or any debit or charge card. If the goods don't appear, you can try to ask your bank/card provider to reclaim the cash from the seller's bank, so long as you complain within 120 days of realising there’s a problem. See the Chargeback guide for full details.
Bogus websites are often set up to cash in on popular products like Ugg boots and Tiffany necklaces, so be wary if it's an unfamiliar site. And don't think that because it appears on a reputable search engine, that makes it a reputable site - always check.
Most folk know to look for a security padlock on the bottom right of a website, but that doesn't mean the site's legit, just that payment's secure.
To find out who registered the site and when, search the Whois database. Reputable firms should also appear on the Companies House site, the UK Government's official companies register. Be very wary of businesses with just a PO Box or email address.
Study the site's worldwide web ranking on Alexa. Anything in the top 100,000 means it's reasonably big and a good, though not foolproof indication of legitimacy. Do a quick Google search for other shoppers' experiences.
Crucially, ensure your security's up-to-date - free software can be downloaded to your computer in about five minutes. Full details in the Free Antivirus Software guide.
Many people are surprised to learn you've MORE rights buying online (or by telephone/catalogue) due to the Distance Selling Regulations.
These give you a legal right to send most goods back within seven days for a full refund (including outward delivery costs), even if there's no fault. You'll usually need to pay for the return delivery. Read Consumer Rights for a full guide.
However, of course, this is balanced by the fact ordering online automatically means there's a time gap between ordering and delivering - when the company has your money. So if it goes bust during that time, the distance selling rights don't help.
Ultimately, there is always a risk that a company can go bust. If the above routes don't apply, then you have to make a decision about whether you're willing to take the risk of parting with your cash.
Don't be scared of this. Every day we all make transactions based on trust, and this is part of that, but do balance up the amount you're spending against the risk. Don't give large amounts of money to a company you're not sure about.
HMV has the new Wii U 32GB premium console for £199 (from £299) in selected stores while remaining stocks last. You also get the game ZombieU for free which costs £39.99.
These bundles have been super popular, so you won't find both the game and the console in every store. Even if your local HMV store doesn't have the game, the console alone is still cheaper than Amazon (the next cheapest we could find). Call ahead to see what's left in stock before you make a special trip.
HMV expects all stock to be gone in the next few days.
HMV went into administration on 15 January, so be warned. You would normally have a statutory right to a refund for faulty goods. But in this case, you would just be a creditor asking for money. At the time of writing, HMV is giving refunds, but be aware it can change its mind - see HMV administration news for full info and Q&A.
MSE update 2pm, Wed 20 Mar 2013: HMV has confirmed the sale will end on Sun 24 Mar. To see what forumites have been picking up, see the HMV 2 for 1 on Blue Cross sale forum thread.
HMV emailed customers saying it's running a huge 2for1 on "blue cross" items in-store from next Monday. Yet we've been tipped off its likely to be brought forward to this Friday, 15 Mar 2013.
Details are scant, and everything's a bit hush-hush at the moment, but what we do know is that everything with a "blue cross" sticker will be included. Obviously, the cheapest item will be free.
Many items within the blue cross sale are already at least 20% off. On our visit, we saw masses of products including DVDs, books, headphones and computer games/accessories. We even saw a pair of Bose speakers (see picture below - these are rarely reduced) down to £143.99 (£199 originally) - 2for1 on those would be huge!
Of course, we have no idea how good this will be overall - but wanted to tip you off so you can check it out if it's good for you.
This sale may only be in selected stores, so consider ringing ahead if you're making a special trip.
To see what forumites have been picking up, see the HMV 2 for 1 on Blue Cross sale forum thread.
HMV went into administration in January 2013. Often, once a company has gone into administration, you lose your statutory rights. Currently HMV will offer you a refund, but there's no guarantee this will go on forever. See the HMV administration MSE News story for full info and a Q&A.
After stocktakes HMV gets left with lots of games without the boxes, which get reduced to £2. We can't guarantee you'll find something every time, or get the game you want, but it's worth a look if you're passing.
Titles we found in our local store include:
Titles other people online have found include:
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