The Consumer Council of Fiji is urging parents, guardians and students to be vigilant and engage in comparative shopping while shopping for school supplies.

This comes after a Council Survey of 29 bookshops in the Central, Western and Northern divisions found that prices of exercise books have increased by $0.10 to $1.00.

A comparison of prices was done from 2018 and the analysis revealed that all exercise books prices had experienced an increase irrespective of brand.

Traders attributed the increase to high production and overhead costs incurred by the suppliers of exercise books.

Prices of certain books such as 1B5 exercise books (80pgs-250pgs) increased by $0.40 to $0.90 whilst Maths 4C books (72pgs-200pgs) had their prices increased by $0.10 to $0.85 when compared to 2018 prices.

The Council continues to advise that retailers need to adhere to the following profit margins in accordance to the Counter Inflation Order’s schedule:
· Wholesale price plus 40% profit margin – imported stationery and related commodities including exercise books, crayons, colored pencils, pencil sharpeners, rubbers/erasers, pencils, book keeping cash-journal-ledger, ball pens, drawing books, note books, mathematical sets, cello tapes, vanguard sheets and so on.
· Wholesale price plus 35% profit margin – imported text books used by educational institutions.

Consumers are encouraged to shop around, compare prices of exercise books, text books and stationery, and to make wise purchases.

Check the quality of exercise books and ensure that they are stapled properly and margin lines are correctly imprinted.

Consumers must also remember to check their receipts and ensure that the price displayed on shelves is the same as the price charged at check out.

Traders are cautioned to ensure that price displays correspond with that at the Point of Sale and that all exercise books sold are fit for purpose.

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