When buying a car or paying for a service, consumers should always be savvy. Photo: File
DURBAN - Consumers may feel that they are getting the short end of the stick when shopping for goods.

Whether it is a buying a new car, finding a new home or paying for goods consumers should be savvy about their spending according to East Coast Radio. 

Here are some tips for consumers when purchasing goods:

1. If you use your credit card to pay for goods or a service but you don't get them then you can lodge a chargeback with your bank that issued your Visa or Mastercard. If you prove that you suffered loss, you will be refunded. This one of the reasons why it is better to pay with your credit card. 

2. Its is illegal to be charged extra if you pay by card. Some local fairs charge customers a small percent of the total amount of the goods if the consumer wants to pay by card.

3. Don't buy a car with a balloon payment deal. If you can't afford to pay a monthly installment without having without taking off thousands as a large final payment that you still owe after six years, then you can't afford that car.  

4. When shopping around don't only compare prices also look at the company's return policies. If the good deal product is faulty, the return policy will tell about when you can return the product. 

5. Always read the fine print, it is the small print that takes away.  Stores return policies can be written in the fine print or check the fine print when signing an insurance agreement. Your insurance could promise you something but the fine print could say something else. 

6. When purchasing a car, shop around for your own finance rather than just assuming that the dealership is going to get you the cheapest rate. Shop around and check with other banks if you can get a better deal. 

7. Don't buy a house without paying for a professional to inspect the home before the deal is finalised. In South Africa sellers of a house will have to get a certificate from someone like an electrician to show that the home is in a good condition. 

8. More affordable does not mean better value. Check you are getting your money's worth and whether or not the product is a reject or expired. 

9. Check if the site that you are using to shop online with is safe by looking for a padlock in the address bar or somewhere in the the browser window. The site should have a web address that starts with https://, the s stands for secure. 

10. In the South Africa, haddock that is sold is not a species of fish. It is actually plain old hake that has been smoked and coloured. 

11. Multichoice used to post their DSTV magazine with all the TV listings to all their subscribers. If you are over 55 with an account in your name your are entitled to a magazine even though the call centre agent may tell you differently. Escalate your request to someone other than the call centre agent. May be talk to their manager or supervisor. 

12. If you join a gym for the first time or after a long break, sign up for the shortest period available, no more than a year and make sure you know what the cancellation policy is. Ideally the fee should not be more than 30% of the remaining subscriptions for the contract term