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(NC) – If you are new to Canada, you may find your shopping experience to be very different from what you are used to. Understand your rights and responsibilities to make informed decisions when buying goods or services.

Here are some tips from Shopping in Canada: A Consumer Guide for Newcomers:

Know what’s out there. Research the product before buying and compare prices from multiple sellers.

Understand the contract before you sign it. Some contracts are hard to cancel, or may have early cancellation fees. If you don’t understand it, ask someone you trust to help you. Still unsure? Ask a lawyer.

Know the store’s exchange policy. You’re not always entitled to return or exchange the product – double check before buying.

Know your rights and what to do if something goes wrong. If you’re not satisfied with your purchase, there are steps you can take and organizations you can contact who may be able to help.

If you would like to get a better understanding of your rights as a consumer, the Shopping in Canada guide has everything you need to know about being an informed consumer. It’s available for free on the web at

The guide was developed by the Consumer Measures Committee — a partnership of your federal, provincial and territorial governments.