Tackling the Last-Minute Shopping Rush
December 28, 2022
With Christmas Day just hours away some might be enjoying the holiday season knowing that they have purchased everything on their list and are fully prepared for the festivities. Others might find themselves scrambling to find presents for family and friends or looking for the best attire.
Those rushing to get their shopping done are not alone. Streets across Fiji will be busy with last-minute shoppers. Many are in the same boat – the shops are jam-packed, certain products out of stock and you may run out of time to conduct comparative shopping and get the best deals.
Unfortunately, consumers may up with expired, defective, faulty and unmerchantable products in the last-minute shopping rush if they are not vigilant. This is because some traders will take advantage of the rush and hype to offload such products and profiteer. Hence, even though pressed for time, consumers must conduct certain due diligence to ensure they get their hard earned’s worth.
Last minute shoppers – what they should look out for?
When out shopping today or even tomorrow, consumers must keep in mind the following tips.
- Take out a few minutes and check the prices of the products on your shopping list at different stores. This can be easily done via social and mainstream media – without the hassle of travelling to different outlets for comparative shopping.
- Avoid further delays. Do not wait till late afternoon for going out to shop – your options will be severely limited. Go early in the morning.
- Whilst shopping, consumers should ensure to properly inspect products before buying it amidst the busy atmosphere around them, instead of taking the product and rushing to the cashier.
- If you are buying electrical items or devices, make sure to get the item tested prior to taking it home.
- Do not forget to ask for returns policies as this will help you get a redress if the product is faulty.
- When purchasing gifts, ensure to enquire if the product has warranty; get this in written.
- When buying any food item, check for its expiry dates. If there are any stick-on expiry dates on the product, it may most likely be tempered, therefore, carefully remove the stick-on date to see the actual expiry date beneath it.
- Watch out for any discolored or thawed meat. Do not purchase any meat product which has been defrosted, has torn packaging, and does not have labelling.
- Make sure to demand for a receipt for any purchase you do.
- And lastly, do not confuse cheap with frugal. A low-price tag does not make an item a bargain. You must get a good value for your money. In order to help you make a good purchasing decision during this festive time, follow the guideline provided below.
Remembering what the spirit of Christmas is all about
In most cases, we have allowed Christmas to become a time of self-indulgence. We usually let our guard down, ignore our consumer responsibility and accept that it is going to be a period where we can splurge without control.
But that does not have to be the case. We need to step back and remember what Christmas is supposed to be about: family, charity, generosity, and kindness.
Consumers facing issues when doing their Christmas shopping are urged to contact the Council via the toll-free line 155 or lodge a complaint using the Consumer Council of Fiji mobile app.