Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Consumer Education

I’m going to let you in on a few tips and secrets on how to go about shopping in the safest way possible.

First off, it is your job as the consumer to educate yourself on your purchases and stores’ policies. Make sure you’re well equipped with the store’s return/exchange policy prior to checking out. It is the store’s duty to post their policy at the point of sale; however, it is your job as the consumer to ask before you purchase. If you’re unaware that a store does not return or exchange that it not the retailer’s fault.

Saying this, the holiday season is right around the corner and that means it’s time to start thinking about gift giving. So before you checkout, simply ask if you don’t know.

Secondly, know the product you’re buying. Read the label, research and utilize the world wide web – that’s what it’s there for people. It never hurt to compare pricing. You may realize there are shops out there that charge a hefty penny for some items that aren’t worth the price tag. I’m an extreme impulse buyer, so take my advice, shop around before you commit. It could save you a few Benjamin’s.

However, this leads me to my last point, know your facts when buying online.  There normally is a reason for a slight price difference online versus in store.

There are hidden costs you can get hit with at the door. When any commercial goods cross the border it has to go through customs. Who then decide on the duty charges – this depends on whether it was imported into the USA before coming to Canada and where the materials originated. This can cost you anywhere from 13% and higher. Most times you don’t know until the deliveryman comes to your door. Trust me, I ordered a pair of boots for $200 and was handed a bill for $80 from the UPS deliveryman before I could get my boots – such a buzz kill.

Happy shopping :)

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