Top 10 consumer tips

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A smart consumer is an informed consumer. Know your rights and responsibilities. Know how the market works. This will help you make wise and safe choices for yourself and for your family.

Read the Canadian Consumer Handbook. Know about online shopping, contracts, housing and home renovations, and many more.

Here are 10 tips that will protect you build buying skills:

  1. Don’t be pressured

    It is polite to say no and walk away if someone is pushing you to buy. Hang up the phone when you feel threatened. Don’t give personal information on the phone. Think before you make a purchase. Don’t rush when buying an expensive item.

  2. Read and understand contracts before signing

    Ask questions if you do not understand the contract. Ask the agent to explain hard words, unclear rules or conditions. Bring a friend who can help you.

  3. Don’t give your SIN, credit card number or bank account number easily

    Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) is confidential. It is the key to your personal information. Protect and share it only when it is legally required (Who can ask for my SIN?). Don’t email or say your bank account or credit card information over the phone. Banks will never ask you to do this.

  4. Check businesses if you don’t know them

    Check with the Better Business Bureau. Do an online search or ask your friends. Check Facebook and consumer review sites (for example Yelp or

  5. Stay updated

    Know the latest market news. Sign up for consumer alerts by email at the site.

  6. Check your credit report

    Check your credit report and bank statements. This prevents identity theft or unauthorized credit card transactions. Read Understanding your credit history.

  7. If an offer is too good to be true, it probably is.

    Listen to your instincts. Be suspicious of higher than normal returns.

  8. Create a budget

    Keep a monthly budget to limit your spending. Remember your priorities. Read How to make a budget.

  9. Don’t buy things you don’t need

    Don’t buy things you don’t need even if they are on sale. You lose money if you are not able to use them.

  10. Keep your receipts

    Keep your receipt and packaging. You may need to return, repair, replace or exchange a product.

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Everyday Conversations

Go to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada for more information.

Read the Little Black Book of Scams (Your Guide to Protection Against Fraud).

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Top 10 consumer Tips

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