During the Christmas period, persons normally leave their shopping for food, home supplies and gifts till the last minute. This may be because of when they are paid or when bonuses are received.
The Consumer Affairs Commission strongly discourages such practices, as much as they can be avoided, so as to reduce the problems that may occur:
Last minute shopping often times leads to impulse shopping and therefore overspending. Aside from this however, we may become less vigilant and shop around less, hence doing less comparative shopping for good quality items at fair prices.
·    When we do last minute orders for furniture, drapes, cakes and other need, we run the risk of not having these items delivered on time, especially furniture and appliances.

Storeowners are being advised that where time is made the essence (made a critical element) of a sales contract, if this agreement is breached, the consumer is entitled to damages, i.e., money. It is a breach of the Sale of Goods Act for vendors and a case of Misrepresentation under the Fair Competitions Act to make promises as to delivery dates and not fulfill them. The consumer can therefore demand a refund or sue for monetary compensation for any loss or physical discomfort.
Consumers are being encouraged to make their purchases early so as to ensure that items can be delivered in a reasonable time, therefore avoiding possible non-delivery problems due to last minute shopping.

    Where items are purchased on sale, some stores may publish a no refund, no exchange sign. This is contrary to the Sale of Goods Act. Consumers have a right to redress if the item has defects (unknown to the consumer at the time of purchase) or malfunctions within a short period after purchase. Under the Law, even if an item is on sale, it must be of merchantable quality, unless the consumer is made aware of the defects and still offers to purchase it.
When you shop last minute, you may not be able to avoid such unfair practices.

Shop early and do not patronize such stores.

Ask vendors to represent the condition of the item to you, if upon reasonable inspection you have not seen any faults but suspect it may be defective (this way, if defects are discovered after the purchase, the store representative would be guilty of misrepresenting the item to you and you would be entitled to a refund).

Do not patronize stores that do not offer warranty on small appliances such as blenders and mixers. You will need your warranty if the item malfunctions.

When buying items such as blenders, ask the salesperson for an item which can carry out a specific task, for example, grating coconuts, and allow the salesperson to identify the item which can do what you’ve requested. Take the name and note the description of the salesperson. This way, if the item fails to carry out the required task, you can return it for a refund or exchange.

Some small appliance traders have been reported to not give warranties on items if they give you a discount. Consumers are being advised to insist in getting a warranty in the item. Do not exchange a discount for your warranty; it will not benefit you in the long run.

Do not allow yourself to be forced into making a purchase. Weigh all bargain offers carefully. Do not give away your rights.

If you cannot avoid making your purchases till the last minute, do your comparative shopping from now and identify the stores with fair prices and good deals.


In the past, toys and other items have been recalled in the United States and Europe, but the Consumer Affairs Commission has investigated and found these same items on the shelves of a few stores. This may be as a result of the ignorance of importers being taken advantaged of by unscrupulous overseas manufactures or the vendors trying to take advantage of the ignorance of Jamaican consumers.
The CAC therefore advises consumers to be vigilant look out for such items. Likewise, vendors are being urged to remove recalled items from the shelves and uphold the consumers’ right to safety.

CAC Advice

Consumer Advice - Overview

Sunday, 10 May 2015
Consumer education is one of the primary functions of the Consumer Affairs Commission. While some of this education focuses on acquainting constituents with their rights and responsibilities and the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA),... Read More...

Fraudulent Health Claims: Don't be Fooled

Wednesday, 19 September 2007
  Consumers waste billions of dollars on unproven, fraudulently marketed, and sometimes useless health care products and treatments. In addition, those with serious medical problems may be wasting valuable time before seeking proper treatment.... Read More...


Thursday, 15 November 2007
  During the Christmas period, persons normally leave their shopping for food, home supplies and gifts till the last minute. This may be because of when they are paid or when bonuses are received. The Consumer Affairs Commission strongly... Read More...


Thursday, 02 August 2007
Planning & Budgeting     HOW SOON SHOULD BUDGETING BEGIN? For parents with children who will attend school for the first time as well as those who will start a new grade in the new school term, budgeting should begin at least two to three... Read More...

Tips on purchasing Safe Toys

Sunday, 10 May 2015
 The focus ought not be on appearance or price. The basis for purchasing toys for children ought to be safety and educational stimulation. Make sure that parts do not detach easily, hence posing a choking hazard for children between ages 0 to 8... Read More...