Be a smart shopper

Easter Saturday is here and consumers are advised to take responsibility before purchasing goods and services.

Be a smart shopper.

Traders and service providers have already been advertising Easter sales whereby most prices are slashed making shopping affordable and appealing.

This is when most consumers tend to ‘impulse buy’ goods and services as they get caught in the advertising.

Consumer Council of Fiji CEO Premila Kumar warned that in all the hype of shopping for clothes, food and gifts and preparing for Easter lunch on Sunday, consumers often failed to exercise their consumer responsibility to choose products carefully and spend money wisely.

Consequently, she said consumers were enticed into purchasing products that may be a bargain but of poor quality, old stock, and expired or defective.

“Consumers further fail to ask necessary questions such as product guarantees, after sales service, availability of spare parts and return policy if the product is defective.

“Many traders also fail to issue receipts as proof of purchase to the buyers,” she said.

Ms Kumar says as a result when consumers face problems pertaining to their purchases it becomes difficult for the council to assist them in seeking redress.

She said with a wide variety of goods to choose from, consumers would be tempted to purchase items that they may not need.

The council therefore advises consumers to be mindful of their budget and ability to spend. Consumers should not become carried away and engage in impulse buying.

Shoppers are advised to choose carefully and to shop around to locate the best deals before purchasing any products and services.

Ms Kumar said it was advisable to fully understand the terms and conditions associated with certain promotions and sales.

For instance, some sales or promotions may only be applicable to a certain brand, certain quantity or package only.

“Sales/promotional items must be thoroughly inspected first.

“When purchasing clothes it is advisable to try the outfit first to ensure it is the correct size and test electronic goods before purchase.”

During the Easter weekend, food would be the focus for most shoppers hence it was important to always check food and beverage labels for expiry dates, Ms Kumar said..

“It is also good to have a shopping list on hand to curb impulsive buying while keeping within the budget.

“Rushing to purchase goods or services will not allow time to choose carefully as consumers will not be able to thoroughly check the products and services,” Ms Kumar said. Remember always demand for receipts when purchasing goods and services at all times for record of purchase.

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