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8 CONSUMER PURCHASING STRATEGIES AND LEGAL PROTECTION CHAPTER OVERVIEW While making consumer purchases may not be considered in most financial plans, these choices affect financial resources available for other purposes. This chapter starts with a discussion of the factors that influence buying habits. Selected purchasing strategies are then covered, including types of retail stores, brands, and comparison shopping methods. Next, a systematic approach to making purchase decisions is presented related to buying, leasing, and operating motor vehicles. The chapter concludes with a discussion of consumer protection actions and legal alternatives available to individuals. LEARNING OBJECTIVES CHAPTER SUMMARY After studying this chapter, students will be able to: Obj. 1 Identify strategies for effective consumer buying . Various economic, social, and personal factors influence daily buying decisions. Overspending and poor money management are frequent causes of overuse of credit and other financial difficulties. Timing purchases, comparing stores and brands, using label information, computing unit prices, and evaluating warranties are common strategies for effective purchasing. Obj. 2 Implement a process for making consumer purchases. A research-based approach to consumer buying involves: (1) preshopping activities, such as problem identification and information gathering; (2) evaluating alternatives; (3) determining the purchase price; and (4) postpurchase activities, such as proper operation and maintenance. Obj. 3 Identify steps to take to resolve consumer problems. Most consumer problems can be resolved by following these steps: (1) return to the place of purchase; (2) contact the company’s main office; (3) obtain assistance from a consumer agency; and (4) take legal action. Obj. 4 Evaluate the legal alternatives available to consumers. Small claims court, class action suits, and the services of a lawyer are legal means for handling consumer problems that cannot be resolved through communication with the business involved or through the help of a consumer protection agency. INTRODUCTORY ACTIVITIES Ask students to comment on the opening case for the chapter (p. 241). Point out the learning objectives (p. 240) in an effort to highlight the key points in the chapter. 1
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Ask students to provide examples of purchasing decisions and buying decisions that could affect a person’s overall financial situation. Point out the opportunity costs of consumer buying habits that could affect reaching other financial goals. Discuss common causes of consumer problems and methods that could be used to resolve these situations. CHAPTER 8 OUTLINE I. Consumer Buying Activities A. Financial Implications of Consumer Decisions B. Practical Purchasing Strategies 1. Timing Purchases 2. Store Selection 3. Brand Comparison 4. Label Information 5. Price Comparison B. Warranties 1. Used Car Warranties 2. New Car Warranties 3. Service Contracts II. Making Major Consumer Purchases:
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