OTTAWA, Jan. 6, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - This is the time of year when money gets tighter as the bills come in for holiday expenses, but with a little research, consumers can reap the benefits of competition and ease the post-holiday pain with some extra savings. These savings can be had across the spectrum in nearly every kind of service or product. Here are some examples:
- Consumer loyalty to the financial institution holding their mortgage is costing Canadians between $759 and $1,617 a year, a 2012 Bank of Canada study reported. It found that consumers who compared interest rates received a lower rate – even if they stayed with their home bank.
- Those who shopped for lower auto insurance rates and switched insurers saved an average of $388 on their annual premiums, according to the 2015 J.D. Power U.S. Insurance Shopping Study.
- A 2013 study from the Journal of Consumer Affairs suggested that while some consumers routinely buy the same brand of frequently purchased packaged foods, they could save 10% merely by selecting between two brands of these foods.
The more consumers compare different options when shopping, the more likely they will reap the benefits of competition.
Shopping To Save
Decide What You Really Need. Decide what specific features or options you require and how much you
are prepared to spend. Consult evaluation guides and specialized publications for information regarding
products and services to ensure that you receive the quality that you are paying for. Comparison
websites can be a handy tool to research your options. Consult multiple sources and search for reviews
over a wide range of time. For the most unbiased or independent sources of information, consult
consumer review publications. Tools such as the Canadian Consumer Handbook can help you decide on
what you want.
Shop around. Take your time. Consider switching brands or suppliers. Loyalty doesn't always pay. A few
phone calls could save you a significant amount of money and there's no downside to negotiating for a
lower price. When comparing prices, beware that some merchants, especially those online, apply
shipping fees and handling charges at the end of the transaction.
Stay focused on the options and features you want. Don't be distracted by discounts that might lead
you to buy a product that you don't actually want. Be wary that online endorsements may not tell the
For more information:
What the Bureau can do for you
The Deceptive Marketing Practices Digest
Canadian Consumer Handbook
FCAC Tools and Calculators
Tips for Household Savings
Additional information for Consumers:
The Little Black Book of Scams
The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.
SOURCE Competition Bureau
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