Saturday, May 23, 2015

How To Become A Smart Consumer?

In this GST era, it is important for all of us to learn to become a smart consumer to stretch our Ringgit further. Thus, I share below some of the steps we can learn to become a smart consumer:

1) Compare prices
I noticed that prices in some of the supermarket in Kuching are much more higher than the other supermarkets. Try to visit different supermarket when you do your next weekly grocery shopping, then you will see the differences.

2) Purchase based on 'needs' and not 'wants'
Buy only what you need. Only if you have additional budget, occasionally go for what you want.

3) Know your right as a consumer
Ask for the official receipt. Look at small printings on products vouchers. Check the expiry date on items. Ask for details if you feel something is not right - be it the service, the price, the quality of the products.

4) Survey and gather information before making big purchases
Take time to survey whether online or walk in to stores to gather as much information as possible before making big purchases. It will be painful if later you realized that you had overpaid for what you bought or there's a better package/deal somewhere else.

5) Support retails shop with good practices
This is super important. If all consumer practice this, we all will be surrounded by happy consumers. Try to avoid supporting those retails shops who are taking advantage over consumer by offering overpriced products or provide poor customer service.

6) Plan your purchases
There is no need to go grocery shopping 3 times a week. It is wasting our time, our money and our energy. Plan for a weekly grocery shopping instead.

7) Think for long term benefits
Always think for long term benefits especially for big purchase items.

8) Be careful of the word 'SALE'I noticed that some departmental store in Kuching is always on 'SALE'. From Jan through Dec, there is always sales - Clearance Sale, Mega Sale, Factory Sale, Crazy Sale. But, in actual only some items are with discounted price. And for some clothing, they increased the price prior to the sale period. For example, the actual price of a blouse is RM80, but during sale season, the price increased to RM100, with 20% discount. So, the price after discount is still RM80. In actual, there's no discount at all.

As a consumer, we have our right to choose where and how to spend our money. We all  must learn to become smart consumers in other to create a place with better living quality. More smart consumer will also be  able to create better quality product with reasonable price and improved service quality.

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