CAC warns consumers to shop wisely

December 09, 2022
CEO of the Consumer Affairs Commission Dolsie Allen.
CEO of the Consumer Affairs Commission Dolsie Allen.
Shoppers in downtown Kingston.
Shoppers in downtown Kingston.

Consumers are urged to "be smart" in their approach as they go shopping this Christmas season.

The advice was given by CEO of the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), Dolsie Allen, at a JIS Think Tank on Thursday, where she shared several tips for shopping during the Yuletide season.

"We encourage our consumers that while we shop, we have a balance, that we be smart in our approach. We know there are many different products on the market [and] many different offerings; we see the advertisements," said Allen.

She pointed out that consumers may see offers from the financial sector, such as "lower interest rate, pay later". However, they are being advised to "do the maths before entering into those types of arrangements".

The CEO further said that while consumers might be excited to go out and shop this year as opposed to the previous years when there were restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, they must first remember to do their planning.

"You must do your budget. We may find ourselves with additional funds, but it is very important that we plan nonetheless," Allen emphasised, noting that consumers should identify their wants versus needs.

"Do I need, for example, to buy a new appliance this year or do I just feel that I should get one? Is it something that you can repair as opposed to purchasing a new one? Think about in your homes, do you have to change out all your drapes or can you just enhance?" she said.

Allen argued that the aim is for consumers to be intentional in their shopping.

"We don't want January to be a time of mourning for our consumers when you think about all that you did during the Christmas season, without even thinking," she added.

The CAC is an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce and has a responsibility to protect consumers. It carries out its mandate through consumer education, the handling of complaints and by conducting market surveillance.

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