Going Shopping? Compare and Save

 xmas_shopping_girl.gifThe shopping experience, while viewed as a chore by some is seen as a highly inter-personal matter by others who may establish and maintain relationships with specific stores and supermarkets. What is the deciding factor regarding where to shop though? What are the most important factors in the decision-making process?

One of the primary rights of the consumer promoted by the Consumer Affairs Commission is the right to choose. Consumers are therefore encouraged to shop around before making their purchases as this is a practice which can help in saving money and even guaranteeing that the desired quality product or service is received. In an era when there are so may goods on sale, all with very appealing advertisements, it is sometimes difficult to make a decision about what and where to buy. 

For most consumers, price is the drawing card when it comes to deciding where to shop and what to buy. However, while bargains are good, it is important that goods and services are of good quality as sometimes inferior goods are passed off to unsuspecting consumers at a low price.  It is for this reason that we encourage consumers to check all items purchased before leaving the purchase point to ensure that what was paid for is what is received as it relates to quality, appearance, weight and any other factor by which the item can be measured.   Buying defective goods or utilising shoddy service can prove to be very expensive in the long run and may result in repeat purchases or repeat visits to the same location. Avoid this by carrying out your own due diligence. 
While price is crucial, there are other factors which the consumer must take into consideration when shopping around. The location of the business, for example, must be a deciding factor as chasing after bargains in areas outside of our community or travel route may find us being penny wise and pound foolish. Buying petrol at an outlet close to home for $110/gallon, for example, might make more sense than driving ten miles to buy from an outlet which sells it for $108/gallon.   The savings realized would be used in the journey to and from the location.
In addition to the distance from home, other factors which cannot be overlooked include customer service, bulk discounts, cleanliness, availability of certain key items and the arrangement of goods in the store. Which factor is most important to you? Whatever the determining factor is, there are some things worth remembering. 
  1. Ensure that you are in fact receiving the best available price (compare)
  2. Electrical items purchased have been tested and are in good working condition
  3. Warranty is provided on appliances
  4. Parts are available and reasonably priced for those items which will require replacement of parts
Don’t forget too that the CAC’s price surveys, which can now be accessed online, can help you to select the outlets with the best prices.