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Back To School Shopping

Back To School Shopping
Joel Abraham
January 05
11:00 2019

With the festive period now over, the back to school shopping has be­gun for many.

In the coming days, parents shall be working round the clock preparing their children for the new school year.

The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) would like to advise consumers to be cautious whilst shopping during Back to School sales.

The “Back to School Sale” is also one of the busiest times of the year where majority con­sumers flock towns and cities in numbers to take advantage of the back to school sales and promo­tions.

As such, consumers are ad­vised to engage in comparative shopping and check the items to ensure it corresponds with the price at which it is offered.

The FCCC is advising trad­ers to be ethical and set correct profit margins on exercise books, textbooks and stationery, as set out under the Counter Inflation (Price Control) (Stationery and TextBooks) (No. 24) Order 1993.

The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission regulates the prices of stationery and im­ported text books as per the Or­der 1993. The FCCC under this Order is obliged to ensure that traders do not sell above the rec­ommended percentage mark up as stipulated in the particular Stationery Items under Price Control.

The Order 1993 includes station­aries such as; chalks, exercise books, crayons, color pencil, pen­cil sharpener, rubber, eraser, pen­cils, ring binder files, book keep­ing cash journal ledger, ball pens, compasses, protractors, ruler, ruled full scape, stencil, math­ematical set, set squares, divid­ers, drawing books, note books, vanguard sheets, cello tapes, du­plicating paper, duplicating ink, correcting fluid, maps, glue, wa­tercolors, imported text books by teaching institutions in Fiji and brown paper.

The Order 1993 has a set of cost­ing which has been gazetted to be used by all traders while working out the cost of stationaries.

The Order requires traders to keep and maintain proper record of stock and costing of station­eries to the satisfaction of the FCCC.

Further to this, traders are re­quired to ensure that prices are legibly and conspicuously dis­played for consumer information at all times.

Advise to Parents:

Prepare your “Back to School” shopping list after you receive your child’s book list from school.

Ensure that everything needed is noted down in your shopping list.

Always be a smart shopper, slow down, do not rush into shopping without planning, take stock of what your child has and what else they need.

Also, see what your child can re-use, not everything needs to be new every year.

You may go through the previ­ous year’s stationery and see what can be used, passed down, and what needs to be replaced.

Go shopping with a plan – as a parent, set a budget for back to school shopping before going to the stores, rather than figuring out how much to spend for vari­ous items on the list.

Having a list and budget on hand can help avoid “impulse buying” that can push you over your budget.

Advise to the Traders:

As stated above, any person hav­ing for sale by retail any of the goods specified in the Schedule or Order to be legibly (capable of being read) and conspicuous­ly (clearly visible) marked with maximum retail price for the in­formation of the public.

Failing to comply with this re­quirement will be a clear breach of the FCCC Act 2010 and any trader who is found to be in breach of the provisions under the Act shall be subject to further enforcement action.

The traders are also required to keep and maintain proper record of stock and costing of stationer­ies to the satisfaction of FCCC and should be furnished to FCCC Officers upon formal request by them.

Further to the above, under the FCCC Act 2010, the traders are required to keep the records for a period of seven years.

No trader can destroy any of its records without approval sought from FCCC.

Simultaneously, traders must ensure that receipts which are compliant to Section 55 of FCCC Act 2010 is furnished to consum­ers upon their purchase.

For more information/details on Fijian Competition and Con­sumer Commission and FCCC Act 2010, visit our website on http://www.fccc.gov.fj

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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