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As a consumer, your rights come with responsibilities as well. It’s important that you fulfill them because it helps in exercising your consumer rights. Each of your responsibilities is linked to your rights, which makes for a balanced relationship between consumers and businesses in respect to protecting those rights.

You can’t uphold your consumer rights if you don’t do your end of the bargain. You have to be responsible for yourself as a consumer. Your responsibilities include being critically aware, which means staying informed about products and services facts and the changes and innovations in the market.

You may have heard the saying that knowing is half the battle, and that couldn’t be more true as a consumer. It’s essential to be aware of the market and the product and service you’ll spend. Every purchase may not have an equal value to you, but it’s important to know if you’re getting the true value or how safe it is for your well-being.

Benefits of being an informed consumer

Being aware as a consumer has its benefits. Here are things you stand to gain by staying informed:

Improving to being a responsible consumer

You become a better consumer by staying informed. Being a more responsible consumer means you’ll be able to make more sound decisions. You’ll be able to diminish things such as buyer’s remorse and avoid mistakes that could lead to harm or damage.

Less wasting money on defective items and less hassle returning stuff you thought you could use. You’ll be a better judge of products and services when you know facts and stay updated with recent news. It’s the shield you need to have so you can save more money and time.

Making safer purchase decisions

Of all the products and services in the market today, there are bound to be poor ones. Whether it may be a manufacturing defect, design defect, or marketing defect—intentional or unintentional—you’re at risk of purchasing the wrong product. However, you can minimize that risk by being critically aware of the current market conditions.

If you’re an informed consumer, you can determine if the product or service you’ll pay for won’t be detrimental to your well-being. For example, you’ll be safe from purchasing a car that was recently recalled because of a manufacturing defect. 

Making higher quality purchase decisions

Being aware of the options you have is a great advantage to have. You’ll be able to spend on better quality products and services, which means getting more than what you paid for. However, achieving this also entails processing the information you gather from various sources.

You have to know which sources to gather information from. Remember that a salesperson’s job is to sell their offers to customers, so be wary of how they deliver the information and what they say. 

Ethical purchases

If you’re a person who strongly values their beliefs and morals, then what you pay for has to align with them. Being an informed consumer helps you do that. Knowing what a business represents will assure you that you’re making an ethical purchase.

You’ll know which companies donate to a cause you support and those who don’t support them at all. With facts, you can identify businesses worthy of your money. And hopefully, that contributes to a better world.

How to become the most informed consumer possible

There are plenty of sources you can read consumer news from and be as informed as possible. Consider The Consumer is one of such platforms that brings you consumer-related news every day.

Here are some effective ways on how to be an informed consumer:

Compare products

Comparing similar products from different brands is a basic method of gathering information. By comparing products, you’ll be able to determine which brand is being true with their marketing. Thus, you can find which option is more effective and has better overall quality, regardless of price.

Read product reviews online

With businesses using the internet to promote their offers due to the seemingly endless opportunities, information about them is now more accessible. You can learn from other consumers who have experienced using the product or services you’re eyeing.

Besides product reviews on brands’ websites and forums, you can also refer to consumer organization websites since they’re devoted to helping consumers like you.

Ask the right questions to the seller

Directly asking your queries to sellers is the fastest way to be informed. They should know the product or service better than you, so it’s expected that they can provide you with essential information about it. Be descriptive as you can to get informative and satisfying answers from them, but be aware of false information they might use to make you a successful customer.

By staying updated with news and having enough knowledge, you can be a responsible consumer. You’ll never know when the information you have will come in handy, so keep your eyes and ears open and be an informed consumer.

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