Holiday Shopping Tips From City Consumer Commish
Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Jane. S. Hoffman has offered New Yorkers tips to avoid the stress and aggravation that can accompany the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping.
The Commissioner. "Following some simple common sense steps will help New Yorkers have a happier holiday season."
Hoffman suggested tips for safer and more efficient holiday shopping, both in stores and on-line. The tips include guidelines for finding the best deals, buying safe and age-appropriate toys for children, how to use the internet to comparison shop, and safety measures to protect shoppers from thieves and scam artists.
"Consumers need to be aware of holiday shopping scams, budgetary constraints and making sure they get receipts for the inevitable post holiday exchanges," the Commissioner added. "A little bit if common sense goes a long way,."
Commissioner Hoffman offered the following holiday shopping tips to consumers:
•Get a Receipt. Under the New York City Consumer Protection Law, you are automatically entitled to a receipt for purchases over $21. Upon request, you can also get a receipt for purchases between $5 and $20. Receipts must include the total amount paid, date, business name and address, and the make and model of the item you bought.
•Save All Holiday Gift Receipts. It is the only way to guarantee an exchange or return can be made for the full price.
•Ask for a Gift Receipt. Some department stores will issue gift receipts for purchases, allowing the person who receives the gift to make an exchange. The price is not listed in gift receipts, but the original sale is maintained in the store computer.
•Know the Store’s Refund or Exchange Policy before You Buy. Merchants can establish their own policies, so long as that policy is prominently displayed. If not, then the consumer has 20 days to get a refund in the manner in which the purchase was paid i.e. cash, charge, etc. Some merchants extend their refund periods to facilitate holiday returns. Remember, if something cannot be returned or exchanged, it may not be such as great deal after all.
•Know the Difference Between Written, Implied, Limited, and Full Warranties. Warranties cover both what you can expect from a product and how a seller or manufacturer will deal with a defective product. If something is unclear, ask questions.