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Chapter Eighteen The American Economy Goods and Services ~~~~~ You the Consumer.

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1 Chapter Eighteen The American Economy Goods and Services ~~~~~ You the Consumer


3 Where and When to Buy advertising each year businesses spend billions of dollars encouraging us to buy their products place ads in newspapers and magazines, on billboards, on the radio, on television, on the internet create slogans they hope we will remember people will buy the product whose slogan appeals the most a slogan may have nothing to do with its quality or usefulness consumers a person who buys or uses goods and services play an important part in the American free-enterprise system must also learn to be responsible shoppers impulse buyers make purchases without thinking about a product's price or usefulness they may make a quick decision to buy a product based on the product's slogan or television advertising wise shoppers spend more time thinking about what they buy

4 wise shoppers get the most for their limited shopping dollars study advertisements to find sales buy items at reduced prices use coupons and stock up when the price is low compare products and their prices must be able to judge product quality and usefulness a low-price item is not always a bargain if it is something you cannot really use or if it is poorly made choose goods and services at the best price and that best suit needs brand names many consumers shop only at well-known stores may guarantee the quality of every item sold or service provided many people buy an item according to its brand name trust certain companies and believe they must be of good quality have had an earlier good experience with products generic products do not have a manufacturer’s name or brand plain package and less expensive Judging Price and Quality

5 Studying Labels labels best way to be sure of quality of a product is to study its labeling placed on foods, clothing, and other items to protect consumers government requires that certain kinds of information be included on labels to help consumers judge product quality federal labeling laws Fair Packaging and Labeling Act requires businesses to supply certain information on the packages of the goods they sell manufacturer information, package contents, weight or quantity Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990, 1994 requires food companies to label their food products serving sizes, nutrition facts - fat, cholesterol, sodium, fiber, nutrients meat packages must have instructions for safe handling and cooking warning labels sell by and use by dates unit pricing price tag shows price per unit of the product larger sizes are often a better bargain because they have a lower price per unit

6 Pay Now three ways of paying up front for products 1. cash 2. checks written and signed orders to a bank to pay a sum of money from a checking account to the party named on the check 3. debit cards small cards that operate the same way that checks do money is deducted from your bank account you will be charged the amount of your purchase almost instantly

7 Pay Later charge accounts form of credit that stores grant to many of their customers can only be used at specific stores credit cards charge cards provided for credit accounts issued by banks and other lending institutions can be used at thousands of stores and businesses worldwide forms of credit allow customers to buy goods and services without paying until they receive a bill from the store or bank advantagesdisadvantages ability to purchase the item immediatelymake foolish purchases (impulse buying) you do not have the cash on handrun up credit card debt make shopping more convenientcharged interest help you build a good credit ratingannual fees for use purchase by phone or Internetidentity theft advanced notice of salesdamage credit rating

8 Credit good credit people who have a record of paying their bills on time credit risk people who fail to pay their bills when they are due credit rating shows how reliable a person is at paying his or her bills important for buying a car, house, or gaining a bank loan credit score three digit number based on ratings from three agencies Experian Equifax TransUnion

9 But Now Pay Later installment plans allow consumers to buy goods without paying the full amount in cash when they make their purchases down payment = cash to pay part of the purchase price balance = the rest of what the buyer owes on the purchase paid in equal payments over a period of weeks, months, or years allows a buyer to use a product while paying for it automobiles, houses, refrigerators, furniture, and other large items purchaser signs a written contract with the seller states amount of payments and how often they must be paid states that the item still belongs to the seller repossession if the customer makes late or incomplete payments, the seller can take back the item the purchaser loses the item and the amount of money that has already been paid on the item considerations service charges and interest on the unpaid balance of each payment bank loan may be cheaper make as large a down payment as possible to reduce total cost pay off the balance as quickly as possible to reduce the total cost

10 product problems complain to the business that sold you the product or service private organizations help consumers Better Business Bureau gives advice and assistance to people who believe they have been cheated or treated unfairly by a company Consumers Union tests and rates nearly every product the public buys publishes the results of its tests in magazines and special reports federal government protections Federal Trade Commission (FTC) bring to court a company that uses false or misleading advertising or labeling Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspects and grades meat, poultry, and certain foods sold interstate U.S. Postal Service (USPS) protects against mail fraud Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) checks products to make sure they do not cause injuries states and many cities also have consumer protection offices publish advice for consumers issue warnings to businesses that violate consumer laws Consumer Protection

11 some people cause problems for businesses shoplifting stealing items displayed in stores costs businesses in the U.S. billions of dollars each year break or damage a store owner's property unable to sell damaged goods demand refunds for merchandise they have already used or abused claim to be defective fail to pay for purchases obtained on credit default on charges items in motels, hotels, and restaurants are often stolen or damaged towels, remotes, dishes businesses pass these costs on to consumers in the form of higher prices thefts and damaged goods add to the costs of doing business Problems Caused by Consumers

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