Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Christmas shopping tips from Consumer NZ

Christmas shopping tips from Consumer NZ

The Christmas countdown clock is ticking loudly. But never fear - Consumer NZ can help guide you through the chaos and take the silly out of the season. We offer some tips below.

Gift vouchers can seem a great solution to the stress of trying to pick out the perfect gift. But even this fool-proof option has caveats. Though you exchange vouchers for goods, they're not the same as cash. If you lose a voucher, it's too bad. The exception is if it's made out to a specific person and marked "not transferable", which means the trader might have a record of it.

Also, keep a track of the expiry date, because once it's passed the trader has no obligation to honour the voucher. And if the business goes bust or changes hands, the voucher might be worth no more than a piece of paper.

Gift cards are pretty much the same but in a credit card form. They may cost extra in fees to use, for example to check your balance. They also tend to have an expiry date but it might not be shown on the card, so check this when you buy it. Also, the store might be able to cancel the card.

Returns and exchanges - if you're braving the non-voucher route but are still worried about the "rightness" of your gift, you can always give the gift of the easy return. To do so you'll need to arrange this beforehand with the retailer. Generally you'll need a proof of purchase, such as a receipt, and the item should be unused and packaging sealed. Remember, there's a time limit on returns - so make sure your recipient is aware of this.

The gift of safety - We've found that a third of children's products we've tested over the past five years have had serious faults that cause safety problems. As well, some electronic goods - especially ones bought over the internet - might be hazardous if they don't comply with NZ safety standards.
Check kids' stuff is covered by safety standards - look for Australia/NZ (AS/NZS), British (BS), American (ASTMor CFR) and European (EN) standards. And be careful when buying second-hand - even those covered by a standard might be out-of-date or damaged. Make sure you have proper instructions for setting up nursery products so you can do it correctly and safely.

Check the voltage of electronics - they must be 230 volts and 50 Hertz to be safe. Legal electronics should have a Supplier Declaration of Conformity to back them up.

Boxing day sales are the gift after Christmas, but keep your head and shop savvy. Check prices at more than one store to make sure items are really a bargain. You can easily do that online or look through your newspaper. Make sure you really want the things you buy, because you can't return them just because you changed your mind. And most of all - just because something's on sale doesn't mean the trader can get out of the Consumer Guarantees Act - they still have to put things right if the item is broken or defective. The only exception to this is if they stated clearly that this is the reason the item was on sale.

And with these tips, Consumer NZ wishes you a happy and non-silly silly season!
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Power Outages, Roads Close: Easter Storm Moving Down Country

The NZ Transport Agency says storm conditions at the start of the Easter break are making driving hazardous in Auckland and Northland and it advises people extreme care is needed on the regions’ state highways and roads... More>>

ALSO:

Houses (& Tobacco) Lead Inflation: CPI Up 0.3% In March Quarter

The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in the March 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Higher tobacco and housing prices were partly countered by seasonally cheaper international air fares, vegetables, and package holidays. More>>

ALSO:

Notoriously Reliable Predictions: Budget To Show Rise In Full-Time Income To 2018: English

This year’s Budget will forecast wage increases through to 2018 amounting to a $10,500 a year increase in average full time earnings over six years to $62,200 a year, says Finance Minister Bill English in a speech urging voters not to “put all of this at risk” by changing the government. More>>

ALSO:

Prices Up, Volume Down: March NZ House Sales Drop 10% As Loan Curbs Bite

New Zealand house sales dropped 10 percent in March from a year earlier as the Reserve Bank’s restrictions on low-equity mortgages continue to weigh on sales of cheaper property. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Chorus To Appeal Copper Pricing Judgment

Chorus will appeal a High Court ruling upholding the Commerce Commission’s determination setting the regulated prices on the telecommunications network operator’s copper lines. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Cars: Precautionary Recalls Announced For Toyota Vehicles

Toyota advises that a number of its New Zealand vehicles are affected by a series of precautionary global recalls. Toyota New Zealand General Manager Customer Services Spencer Morris stressed that the recalls are precautionary. More>>

ALSO:

'Gardening Club': Air Freight Cartel Nets Almost $12 Million In Penalties

The High Court in Auckland has today ordered Swiss company Kuehne + Nagel International AG to pay a penalty of $3.1 million plus costs for breaches of the Commerce Act. Kuehne + Nagel’s penalty brings the total penalties ordered in this case to $11.95 million ... More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: Revenue Below Projections

Core Crown tax revenue has increased by $1.9 billion (or 5.0%) compared to the same time last year. However this was $1.1 billion less than expected and is reflected across most tax types, continuing the pattern of recent months. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news