This page will help you to think about many aspects of the purchases of goods and services.
- We have provided some definitions and advice on the Credit & Debt Advice page to help you gain a better understanding of some of the financial terms used with money and credit.
- If you require further help and information on who to contact if you have a debt problem then please see our Help with Debt page.
Before making any purchase it is always worth considering: -
- Is what I'm about to buy what I'm really looking for?
- Can I afford it?
- How am I going to pay – cheque, cash, credit card or in some other way? If the goods cost more than £100 it may be worth paying by credit card so that you are protected under the Consumer Credit Act by both the seller and the credit provider having equal liability. For example, if the business goes bust then you can take action with the credit card company. Be aware that you will incur interest charges if you do not settle your account before the due date
- Should I shop around to compare prices? Price comparisons are now easier than ever as many suppliers detail their products and prices on their websites.
- Is this an impulse buy that I will regret?
However, price is not the only consideration when shopping for goods and services.
- Do you have specific requirements of size, weight, usage or durability?
- What are the costs of any servicing or consumable goods?
- Are replacement parts easily available?
- Is after-sales support available?
Charges for utilities can vary considerably between providers so it may be worthwhile comparing prices from time to time as considerable savings can be made.
Financial products such as mortgages and insurances are also very competitively priced. Again it may save a substantial sum of money to shop around. It may not be as difficult as you think to change provider.
Bank account interest rates and charges do vary not only between banks but your current bank may even have an account more suited to your needs. It may be worthwhile checking your accounts to make sure that you are receiving the best interest rates and not being charged over the odds for your current account services.
If you need advice on buying goods or services, energy or post you can contact Consumer Direct.
Page Last Updated: 2 October 2008