The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission has taken a new approach this year to assist parents and guardians in their back-to-school shopping.
FCCC teams have conducted 222 price surveys on school items, which will be published on its website and social media pages to help Fijians make price comparisons before purchasing items for their children.
Chief Executive, Joel Abraham, says while the prices of items will be publicized, consumers must understand they were surveyed earlier and may fluctuate in the days to come.
“So if we went to say Navua and went and did the entire survey for school items, we’d get the prizes on that particular day. Maybe next week the prizes would have gone down or gone up depending on the business operations and whether that product is coming in, it’s a new product. There are a lot of considerations.”
Abraham says this is done in developed markets overseas.
He adds that the FCCC will publish the survey results, hoping to excite consumers and stimulate competitive pressure.
“We want as much information to be publicly available because I think what happens is businesses rely on the fact that consumers will not shop around. And because consumers don’t shop around, they end up paying a higher price. So that’s the majority of the customers.”
Abraham, says that for the 2024 Academic Year, they are addressing a market failure, specifically asymmetries of information.