Final of 5-part consumer alert series to help New Yorkers save money
√ Division of Consumer Protection releases comprehensive guide with all money-saving tips from series
Guest Editorial by the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection
For this week’s “Tuesday’s Tips” during National Consumer Protection Week, the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) is providing tips to save money on everyday purchases and subscription services.
These tips are the final of DCP’s five-part consumer alert series to help New Yorkers save money amidst inflation and rising costs. DCP has released a comprehensive guide that includes all the money-saving tips from the series.
National Consumer Protection Week is celebrated during the first full week of March every year to help individuals understand their rights as consumers and to share resources available to help protect them.
Follow the New York Department of State on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and check in every Tuesday for more practical tips that educate and empower New York consumers on a variety of topics. Sign up to receive consumer alerts directly to your email or phone here.
“Inflation and rising costs are affecting New Yorkers in every corner of the state, leading consumers to change their spending habits and use different strategies to save money,” Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said. “This National Consumer Protection Week, our Division of Consumer Protection is educating consumers about the simple steps they can take in their everyday lives to manage their finances and save more of their hard-earned money.”
√ Compare prices before you buy. With a click of a button, you can quickly shop multiple sites, browse hundreds of items, comparison shop and make purchase decisions for a variety of items. Just remember that, before you click, take the time to carefully read and review what you’re buying and who you’re buying it from.
√ Plan ahead and match sales with coupons. To maximize your savings, check out store coupons and manufacturer coupons, and search for deals on products you need – and then send those coupons to your phone to digitally scan them at checkout.
√ Take advantage of price matching. Many retailers will match the prices of local or large online competitors prior to purchase, and some will provide a pricing adjustment if their price drops shortly after purchase. Be aware of retailers’ policies.
√ Know the refund and return policy before you buy. Not all stores permit returns. If you think that you may need to return an item, learn what to look for by reading our consumer alert on this topic, or you may get stuck with an item you can’t use.
√ Understand the differences between warranties and service contracts before making big purchases. To avoid surprises and save, understand what to look for when reviewing warranties and service contracts. Read our consumer alert on this topic.
√ Consider making a swap. Explore swap events in your community where everyone brings items they no longer want and wish to swap, and in exchange, everyone leaves with items they can use! New York City offers frequent stop ‘n’ swaps events, and many local communities host similar events.
√ Evaluate your current subscriptions and memberships. If you have multiple subscriptions, take the time to review what you really use, and cancel those used infrequently.
√ Contact subscription services directly to find ways to save. Take advantage of discounts through company benefits, enroll in family share plans, pay fees annually vs. monthly, and ask the company if there are any other ways to save.
√ Cancel automatic renewals. Turn off auto-renewal, which limits your opportunity to evaluate your subscriptions every year.
About the New York State Division of Consumer Protection
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection provides resources and education materials to consumers, as well as voluntary mediation services between consumers and businesses. The consumer assistance helpline (1-800-697-1220) is available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, excluding state holidays. Consumer complaints can be filed at any time at www.dos.ny.gov/consumer-protection.
For other consumer protection tips and consumer alerts, consumers can visit the DCP website or follow DCP on social media via Twitter at @NYSConsumer or Facebook at www.facebook.com/nysconsumer.