Following consumer aids help the con­sumer in making purchases in the market

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“Aids which guide consumers in se­lecting goods according to their requirement are known as consumer aids.”

Following consumer aids help the con­sumer in making purchases in the market:

1. Standardized marks

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2. Labels and price lists

3. Pickings

4. Advertisements

5. Consumer forum and consumer societies

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6. Food laws

7. Booklets and leaflets

8. Consumer redressal forum

1. Standardized marks.

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Government has taken various steps to determine and main­tain the quality of foodstuffs and other items of consumer use.

Government has fixed some minimum standards. Products which confirm these standards and found to be of good quality after certain tests are given stand­ard marks. Standard mark ensures the quality of the product and guarantees that the good has been tested and found to be of good quality.

Two organisations have been entrusted the work of determining the standard of the products and give standard mark. These

(а) Bureau of Indian Standards

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(b) Directorate of Marketing and Inspect Indian Standard Institute.

Eco Mark

These marks have been recently introduced by BIS (Bureau of Indian Stan­dard) this mark is testimony of not only ISI standard of the product but also ensures recycling and control the pol­lution in the environment. This mark is given on prod­ucts like paper bags, jute bags, plastic goods, packing material, etc.

Wool mark

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This mark is awarded by the International Wool Secretariat. It ensures that the product with this mark is of pure wool or the label should mention the per­centage of wool and other fiber used in the finished product.

Silk Mark

This mark is awarded by the Indian Silk Organisation. This mark en­sures that the product has been made of pure silk.

100% Vegetarian mark. This mark ensures that all the ingredients in the product are 100% vegetarian.

2. Labels and price lists.

Label in­forms the consumer about the quality and method of its usage. Label is engraved, printed or pasted on the packing (i.e., bottle, con­tainer, packets etc.) of the product. Bureau of Indian Standard has fixed certain standard for a complete label. Label must provide following information:

• Name of the product

• Ingredients of the product

• Weight and quality of the final product

• Date of manufacture

• Date of expiry

• Nature, address, and trademark of manufacturer of the product

• Standardized mark

• Direction for usage and storage at

• Guarantee period

• Price of product

• Batch and license number

• Warning, if any Often the manufacturer gives income and wrong information or information on the label is blurred and this mislead consumer. Such a label becomes a problem than an asset to the consumer. Lists inform consumer about various available products.

3. Packing.

Packed products are safe many ways. Packed product-

• does not get spoiled

• is safe against breakage

• There is no possibility of adulteration

• There is no possibility of pilferage

• Easy to carry Colourful and attractive pickings are, for products meant for children. But d: and attractive packing is no guarantee quality of the product. We should look to WOOL MARK aspects also before purchasing a product.

Sometimes manufacturer tries to psychologically. Unrealistic advertisers like “get fairer in ten days” forces the co summer psychologically to buy these product

Consumer should try to get information only regarding availability of new products from advertisements. Purchasing should be made only on the basis of requirement and common sense.

4. Advertisement.

Advertisement; vides important information to the cons regarding availability, quality and math use of the product.

The manufacturer advises his product through various mediums newspaper, magazine, radio, television, etc, Purchasing an item only under the fluencies of advertisement shows the ignore- and immaturity of the consumer because, sometimes these advertisements do not proper information about the product and to mislead and cheat the consumer.

5. Consumer forums and consumer societies.

Often consumers form consumer societies. Through these societies, the con­sumer gets good quality of product at reason­able prices. Mostly these societies do not earn profit. Their overhead charges are compara­tively less because the members render free services.

These societies buy good quality prod­uct? Reasonable prices directly from the manufacturers and sell them to consumer at the same price. These cooperative societies get grants and tax exemption from govern­ment. Agriculture bank, too, provide loans to them at low rate of interest.

Some autonomous bodies also safeguard the interest of consumers. Super Bazaar, coop­erative stores, etc. provide good quality products at reasonable rates to consumers. Super Bazaar has its own laboratories, where the testing especially of food products is done time to time.

6. Food laws.

Food laws are very im­portant to ensure that the consumer gets safe and nutritious food products. Main aims of food laws are:

• Protect the consumer against the harm­ful effects of adulterated food products.

• Encourage and implement business code of conduct.

• Our government has passed various laws to protect the consumer. Some of these are:

(i) Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA)

(ii) Food Product Order (FPO)

(iii) Meat production and quality control order.

(iv) Drugs and Cosmetics Act. (u) Dangerous Drug Act.

(vi) Environmental Protection Act.

7. Booklets and leaflets.

Manufacturers publish booklets or leaflets to give informa­tion regarding their products. These contain technical information along with commercial one. Some such examples are booklets or leaflets published by the manufacturers of baby foods, electrical appliances, etc.

8. Consumer redressal forum.

Many committees and forums have been setup in order to protect the consumer from the mal­practices of the manufacturers and to edu­cate them about the right price and quality of the products, if a consumer after purchasing feels that the product or service-

• is sub-standard

• is adulterated

• has charged more than permitted price.

• is lesser in quantity than the permitted one

• gave poor service

In such cases, he can lodge a complaint against the seller in consumer redressal forum.

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