With Black Friday sales abounding today, the Prices and Consumer Affairs Division is advising shoppers of the importance of sticking to a budget.
It is one of several important points consumers are asked to consider when capitalising on the attractive, reduced prices being offered by merchants.
According to press information officer, Jo-Ann Peters, “spending wildly” can land shoppers in financial trouble, especially when purchasing items that are not needed or were not budgeted for.
In addition to smart budgeting, the Prices and Consumer Affairs Division is also encouraging consumers to comparison shop.
“It’s very important that you shop around. There is always a better deal in the making just there waiting for you, but you will not know about it if you purchase the first item that you see.
“One of the things that consumers must also learn to do is to compare the pre-sale price with the sale prices,” Peters said.
The Black Friday shopping event is a tradition started by US retailers in which large discounts, sometimes as much as 90 percent off high value items, are offered ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
With the convenience and increase in online shopping, local consumers will also seek to cash in on the deals being offered by online marketplaces and companies including Amazon and Walmart.
While this is not discouraged, Peters said consumers in Antigua and Barbuda should be aware that their imported purchases fall outside the protections offered by the Prices and Consumer Affairs Division.
“When you make purchases online outside of our jurisdiction, if your goods come and you have an issue with it, at the division we cannot help you because the purchase was made outside of our jurisdiction.
“So, it’s a risk that we take when we shop online. So again, we need to be very careful.”