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How to Become a Smart Shopper!

Everyone wants to save money and/or time when they shop while still wanting to get the best quality product and service. Unfortunately buying cheap and buying fast does not always mean that you are buying smart, nor does buying an expensive product or service necessarily mean that you are getting the best value for your money. So how can one become a Smart Shopper?Smart Shopping

The following points will help you to become a Smart Shopper:


  • Educate and familiarise yourself and others with good business practice and your rights through the CPA. (Available on this website)

  • Do your homework by comparing businesses, products and service providers and their offerings before you buy.


  • Remember that buying cheap, is not always buying smart. In some cases businesses severely compromise on the quality of their products and their service to undercut businesses who offer the best products and services at a slightly higher price for this peace of mind.

  • By buying inferior products or services on the basis of price alone, you do not only victimise yourself for encouraging this and buying these products or acquiring such services, but you also victimise honest businesses and providers of quality products and services.

  • Take note that not all products or services offered at a lower or special price is necessarily of a lower quality or standard. But always ask the business, product- or service provider why it is made available at that price if the standard price from other providers is on average much higher. Ensure that you always get the best value for your money ... at any price.


  • Check any items you would like to purchase for expiry dates, damage to packaging or broken seals especially if products are delivered to your home or place of business by a third party. If a product is found to not be in satisfactory condition on arrival or display, do not accept it and demand a replacement.

  • If you are unsure if the product has suffered any damage in transit and you are willing to accept a product from the delivery agent, ensure that you note any manhandling and visible damage to the items or any concerns you might have on both copies of the delivery note and request the driver/agent to sign next to it.


  • Everyone knows this rule, but very few ever actually do it! Do not be an easy taget!

  • easy targetRead the fine print before purchase, and if you do not understand it completely ask for it to be explained to you. If you are not completely satisfied … do not buy it!

  • Always enquire about or look for guarantee information on services and products offered.  Never just accept a verbal statement of a guarantee if such is not visible on a product or contained within a service agreement especially on high cost products and services. Insist that it be placed in writing on your invoice along with the period of validity and terms of the guarantee, especially if there is any contradictory statements made within sales material.

  • Ensure that the product or service you buy is what you get.

  • Make sure there are no hidden costs or mandatory service agreements attached to the purchase of a product or service. Always enquire before purchase if there are any costs or further expenses you should expect with your purchase.


  • Always make sure that what you buy on the outside is what you get on the inside. Counterfeit, fake and pirated product sales are rife and contrary to popular belief it’s not just the emblem or name on it that is worthless. Most of these products are of severely low quality and if bought by you, you will have little to no recourse against the offender to get a refund for a faulty product.

  • Buying these products also condones and encourages a culture of exceptance of unethical business practice, theft and the continual production of such low quality products. This impacts the whole economy on a much larger scale than you might think from just buying a single pirated DVD or handbag. Many honest business lose money, cut down on staff and can even close down due to not being able to compete with the prices of those selling “fake” products.


  • spread the wordIf you have encountered a business, product- or service provider that provides good service or affordable and reasonable prices on items you think someone else might need or benefit from... spread the word. By doing this you are helping businesses who work hard to earn their income in an honest way to be successful. Doing this also allows honest businesses to adjust prices favourably due to higher demand.

  • In the same way if you have had a valid negative experience with a business who operates unethically or which provides poor service or inferior quality products ... DO NOT LET IT 'SLIDE'! Take the time and make the effort in warning others about it and stand up for your rights as a consumer.


  • BULLDOG WATCH encourages our members to become vigilant against and not support businesses who operate unethically or against the Consumer Protection Act (CPA). It is surprising how many consumers are aware of businesses, product- or service providers who are offenders and do not report these acts and simply allow these businesses to continue to operate and victimise consumers through their actions. It is your duty as a South African to always report these actions to help us build a better South Africa for all.

  • Encourage the businesses, product or service providers you support and buy from to always adhere to the CPA and good business practice and also display their pledge to adhere to the CPA in an area visible to their clients.

  • Report any violations to the authorities or to BULLDOG WATCH.