Survey reveals increase in prices of exercise books

The Consumer Council of Fiji is urging parents, guardians and students to be observant while shopping for back to school supplies. Picture: ATU RASEA

THE Consumer Council of Fiji is urging parents, guardians and students to be observant while shopping for back to school supplies.

A statement released by the council yesterday stated they had surveyed 29 bookshops in the Central, Western and Northern divisions and had found the prices of exercise books had increased by 10c to $1.

The consumer watchdog said they had compared the prices of exercise books from 2018 with 2019 and it revealed that all exercise book prices had increased with traders attributing the increase to high production and overhead costs incurred by the suppliers of exercise books.

Prices of certain books such as 1B5 exercise book (80pgs-250pgs) increased by 40c to 90c while Maths 4C book (72pgs-200pgs) had their prices increased by 10c to 85c compared with 2018 prices.

The council advised retailers to be ethical and set correct profit margins on exercise books, textbooks and stationery, as specified under the Counter Inflation (Stationery and Textbooks) Order 1993.

According to the council, retailers needed to adhere to the following profit margins in accordance to the order’s schedule:

  • Wholesale price plus 40 per cent profit margin — imported stationery and related commodities including exercise books, crayons, coloured pencils, pencil sharpeners, rubbers/erasers, pencils, book-keeping cash-journal-ledger, ball pens, drawing books, note books, mathematical sets, cellotapes, vanguard sheets and so on;
  •  Wholesale price plus 35 per cent profit margin — imported textbooks used by educational institutions.

The council has encouraged consumers to compare prices of exercise books, textbooks and stationery, and to make wise purchases.

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