Todays date:
18 December 2017

CONSUMER TIPS FOR SHOPPING THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON

Officially, the Christmas shopping season is here again and it is usually a time when consumers buy all sorts of items for themselves, gifts for love ones or to improve their home decor. It is also a fact that at this time of the year more than any other time, businesses increase their advertising and sales promotion to encourage customers to buy what they are offering for sale. Likewise, consumers must be very vigilant in their choices.

From this week to the end of the Christmas season this column will focus extensively on providing tips that will guide consumers towards making informed purchases during the season, especially relating to products monitored by the GNBS.

As consumers, spending money in a very smart manner this Christmas season is definitely possible!  Shopping for products that are of quality and making comparisons to find the most reasonable prices offered by different business establishments are the ways to go.

Products that are produced according to or are conforming to the requirements of National or International Standards are usually of good quality. Most of these products are tested to ensure conformance to specified requirements and carry one or many standards marks, such as: UL, CE, CSA, NOM, CCC. For example, on our locally manufactured PVC Pipes and gold jewellery manufactured by the certified jewellers, you can find the Guyana’s National Standards Mark – GNBS in a double wall circle.

Don’t shop in a rush and become confused. Take a moment to carefully understand your expectations of the product you intend to buy. Aspects to be considered should include quality, durability, performance, usefulness, alternatives and price. “Sales” are generally enticing and consumers tend to buy products for which they have no need.

Shopping smart takes time, skill and practice. Each of us needs to practice smart shopping to get “A Fair Share in the Market Place”.

GNBS encourages consumers to 'shop smart'!

GNBS encourages consumers to ‘shop smart’!

To get your fair share in the market place try these shopping reminders:

  • Think before you buy! Ask yourself . . . do I need this item? Will it fit into my budget? Spending only $3000.00 a week on things you don’t need will cost you $156,000.00 in a year.
  • Check it out! Find out all you can about a product before you buy it. Read about the product. Talk to people who own or know about the product. Ask the salesperson to show you how the product works. See if the product really does what the commercials say it does. Check products for standards marks.
  • Consider the facts! Think about the facts you read or are told about the product. Which facts are the most important to you and your family? Remember that companies may not consistently produce the same quality of products so the product you bought last year might have a better quality than the one you intend to buy this year. Smart shoppers consider the facts before they buy.
  • Compare! Smart shoppers shop around. Visit or call at least three reputable stores to compare the prices of the item, the different models of the item and the return rules of each store. Buy from the store that gives you the most for the money you spend. You must also compare quantity with quality. Ensure that you are given a warranty on item you have selected.
  • Choose! Be picky! It’s your money. Think about what you are getting for your money. Remember if a product or a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Check expiry dates and bar codes! By doing this you will avoid using products that are unsafe to you and your family. Some businesses may be unscrupulous enough to put items on sale which are about to expire.

The Guyana National Bureau of Standards encourages all consumers to always plan your purchases and buy quality products to get the best value for your money.

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