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.
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.
· 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.
1.Shop early and do not patronize such stores.
2.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).
3.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.
4.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.
5.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.
6.Do not allow yourself to be forced into making a purchase. Weigh all bargain offers carefully. Do not give away your rights.
7.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.