How to be a savvy shopper this Christmas

Angus Citizens Advice Bureau are urging local people to be “savvy shoppers” this Christmas, and are promoting 12 tips for people to bear in mind as they hit the High Streets (or the mouse-button!)

Launching the 12 tips George Allan of Angus CAB said: “All through the year our advisers deal with people who are struggling to cope financially.

“Many people are finding it hard just to meet their normal household bills so we know Christmas shopping presents a particular challenge this year for many families. It is all too easy to make the wrong decision about what, how, how much, and where to buy. Spending a few pence extra here and there might not seem like much, but it all adds up. “It’s important to budget carefully, and also to compare prices and shop around for the best deal.

“Do this and things may be less onerous afterwards. If not then once the Christmas dust has settled a reality check may be hard to face.”

George asks that those with issues should telephone 01241-870695 before or after the festive break.

The CAB “ADAPT” project, established by the Big Lottery Fund, is all about managing your money effectively.

Meantime the following 12 tips could make you a “savvy seasonal shopper”

1 Make a budget – and stick to it! Easy to say but not to do.

2 Know your shopping rights: all year round – Google “Advice-Guide Scotland” or contact CAB service to find out your consumer rights.

3 Check the size before you buy – if you don’t then at least check the seller will swap it.

4 Keep the receipt – you should be able to evidence where goods were bought.

5 Armchair shoppers get a 7-day cooling off period – if you buy gifts online, over the phone, through a catalogue or TV shopping channel you have additional consumer rights – so know these before you start.

6 Remember what armchair shoppers can’t return – like things with a short life span because they may not be useable when returned.

7 Don’t get caught out with parking charges – this can be very painful, especially at this time of year.

8 Check the cost of credit – work out the total you will pay overall as it may be a lot more than the cash amount.

9 Always check the delivery date – if you think it will not arrive on time then cancel immediately by letter or email.

10 Watch out for dodgy traders – what looks like a bargain may be a big disappointment and your come back will be even more disappointing.

11 Shop in the sales – your rights are just the same as when buying other goods unless a notice or tag says the product is faulty

12 Buy gifts in the sale for Christmas 2012 – if you can afford it and if it makes sense.