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Consumer Affairs: Don’t be left broken after Christmas

Friday, December 20, 2013

During the Christmas season, people are more likely to engage in impulse buying. However, the onsumer Affairs Division of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment says an educated consumer is a smart consumer and offers the following helpful shopping tips for the holiday season:
• Do not be left ‘broken’ after the holidays. Budget your spending and buy only what you need.  Remember, moderation is the key
• Let your food dollar stretch this Christmas; ensure that you do not pay VAT on non-VAT items
• While you enjoy the festivities, remember to put safety first.  Check the expiration date on food items. Ensure decorative lights display the UL safety requirement.  Purchase toys that are safe for children
• Spending the holidays away from home?  Remember to leave a trusted individual in charge of your property and pets.
• Planning to purchase gifts for loved ones? If so, before you do, explain to the attendant the reason for your purchase. Also, confirm the store’s return policy and keep receipts in the event the recipient may wish to exchange or return the item.  
• Remember, there are alternatives to hire purchase. Explore other options such as cash purchases, balance parcels, flexible in-store payment options and low interest loans from credit unions
• Thinking about a loan this Christmas?  If so, take the time to read and understand the fine print. Ask for clarification if needed



To lodge a complaint, contact the Consumer Affairs Division’s toll free complaints line at 800-4CPS (4227).



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