Check supermarkets, other non-stationery outlets for exercise books

THE Consumer Council is advising parents and school students to also check prices at supermarkets rather than limiting their exercise book shopping to traditional bookshops and stationery stores.

This is after our surveys and market surveillance in the past week found prices of some major exercise book brands were cheaper in some supermarkets compared to bookshops and stationery outlets.

For instance, Oxford IB5 100pp exercise book was selling at $0.93 at RB Patel (Suva) while prices at Pacific Bookshop, Courts and Post Fiji were $1.40, $1.16 and $1.15 respectively. Shop n Save (Nabua) was selling the same for $0.95. The survey has found both RB Patel and Shop n Save selling Oxford books at lower prices than other outlets. For iVola prices were generally lowest at Ezy Buy and RB Patel compared to Post Shop and MH. Rups Big Bear?s own brand of exercise books were generally cheaper than other brands, however this retail chain exclusively sold its own brand.

The price survey also highlighted that Post Fiji was selling imported Oxford exercise books at a lower price as compared to locally produced I- Vola exercise book despite hike in Fiscal Duty on imported exercise book from 15% to 32%.

The Council is advising parents and students not to restrict their purchases at one outlet, but compare prices and spread their shopping. This will help them stretch their hard earned dollars and ensure all their children?s school needs are catered for.

As the Council has found that prices in supermarkets are generally lower, it is advising parents to consider doing their exercise book shopping together with grocery shopping.

The Council has found that in most urban centres, retail outlets selling exercise books are within walking distance. This makes it convenient for consumers to simply walk across and check prices for at least 3 outlets. Many outlets selling exercise books are providing book details and price lists in in-store posters. One retail outlet – Sky Glory in Suva provides a flyer for one brand that shoppers can easily take with them to compare prices with other stores. Consumers should also not hesitate to explore with their retailers if a copy of the price list is available.

Price lists from the Council?s surveys are available on its website ? www.consumersfiji.org. The Council is advising that the price list serves as guide and that prices may change in the coming days as back-to-school shopping heats up. Consumers still need to do their homework by checking and comparing in-store prices.

Premila Kumar,??? Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Council of Fiji