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.

Go to the Manitoba Consumer Protection website if you have questions. Know more about online shopping, contracts, housing and home renovations, and many more.

Here are 10 tips to help you develop smart buying skills:

  1. Don’t be pressured

    It is polite to say no and walk away if someone is pushing you to buy something. Hang up the phone when you feel threatened. Never give personal information on the phone and always think twice before making 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. The agent should explain difficult words and unclear rules or conditions to you. You can also ask a friend to help you.

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

    Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) is private and confidential. It is the key to your personal information. 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 because they should already have your information.

  4. Check businesses if you don’t know them

    Check with the Better Business Bureau. Do an online search or ask your friends if they know the company. Search Facebook and consumer review sites (for example Yelp or Amazon.com).

  5. Stay updated

    Know the latest market news and trends. Sign up for consumer alerts by email at the Manitoba.ca 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 to know more.

  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 to learn more money-saving tips.

  9. Don’t buy things you don’t need

    Don’t buy items you don’t need even if they are on sale. Most of the time, you just waste money because you are not able to use these cheap things.

  10. Keep your receipts

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

 
Article updated March 2, 2021.

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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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