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Check what you purchase

Dawn Gibson
Monday, April 14, 2014

SMART and cautions — these are the two words the council is placing much of its emphasis on when it comes to sales.

Consumer Council CEO Premila Kumar said the council has, over the years, observed that too often too many consumers buy sale items in such a rush that they do not take the time to check the item.

This often results in an unhappy customer.

"Be it the 'Easter sale', the 'March Madness sale' or the 'Crazy sale', consumers have to be vigilant to ensure they receive value for their money," Mrs Kumar said.

"Consumers must be prudent in critically analysing the advertisements, promotions and discounts offered during these times before forking out their hard-earned cash."

She said these were times when consumers were often duped with defective products or charged higher prices without their knowledge.

"Traders should refrain from advertising products which are out of stock and refrain from displaying expired or faulty products to be purchased by customers.

"Some traders have even engaged in advertising items which are not in stock in their stores.

"Consumers are welcome to lodge complaints with the council if they have been misled or hoodwinked during such sales and promotions."

Mrs Kumar suggested, as a first step, that consumers take the time and effort to keep track of all their receipts and double-check them to be sure they have not been charged more than the sale price.

"Collect receipts for every purchase or service rendered and crosscheck prices of items purchased on special.

"Be sure you try to draw up a budget and stick to it — this helps you to spend wisely.

"Also when purchasing something on special, take the time to ask a lot of questions about the product you are about to purchase."

She said buyers must examine the products thoroughly and compare products between stores.

"Don't allow yourself to be enticed with free gifts or zero deposits, especially when purchasing expensive items and items on hire purchase."

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