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The Advantages of Buying on-Island 12 November 2009

“Buying local” should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind at the moment. Buying local allows money to be kept on the Island which protects local businesses, local jobs and our economy. What are the advantages to consumers? There are quite a few:

Consumer rights law states that:-

All goods bought in the Isle of Man and from the UK have to be:

  • as described – they must fit the description given by the seller
  • of satisfactory quality – they are reasonably finished, are safe, and will last for a reasonable length of time
  • fit for the purpose – they do the job they are supposed to do

so what is the advantage in “buying local”?

Buying on the Island

  • You can physically see the goods and try on or try out the goods
  • You can usually take them home with you that day
  • Obtaining refunds or exchanging goods if required is generally straightforward in the case of faulty goods
  • There are virtually no costs in taking goods “back to the shop”
  • In the rare case of a dispute with a local trader the OFT can mediate between you and the trader so that you do not have to rely on UK trading standards services which may not regard your case as a priority
  • If you are sold counterfeit goods by a local trader the trader is likely to remain on the Island making it easier for the OFT to investigate and take action

Buying in the UK or on the internet

Although those consumer rights set out above still apply to those purchases made in the UK you should be aware that if things go wrong and you have to return goods you will have to pay for this as the law is quite clear that it becomes your responsibility to return items to the retailer. The retailer does not have to pay for return postage or arrange for faulty items to be collected.

This could of course be expensive with larger items. Also bear in mind when buying a large item that it may need servicing or repairing at a later date so before you buy off-Island make sure that there is a local service agent.

Buying goods from abroad

Although goods bought from abroad will be covered by that country’s laws and even if these same standards apply it could be difficult for you to get your complaint dealt with or to take legal action.

Chairman of the OFT Mr Bill Henderson MHK said “I am in favour of consumers having the widest choice of goods and services however buying locally has many advantages. This is particularly valid at the moment as our economy needs to be fully supported. Money spent on the Island helps to protect the local economy and local jobs. If consumers do not use local businesses they may have to close reducing the choice of goods and services available on the Island.”

He continued “I know that many people choose to buy off-Island because they believe prices are lower but there are bargains to be had locally. One of the biggest advantages is that if it is a locally produced product, we can be sure of the quality and where it has come from. The OFT has produced advice on how to manage Christmas spending including tips on how to make your money go further and not overspend. For further advice please contact the OFT on 686500 or visit its website www.gov.im/oft”.

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