Savings Alert Department of Consumer and Labor Protection takes care of your wallet with back-to-school shopping tips – Harlem World Magazine – Harlem World Magazine | Vette Leader

Are you ready for back to school? Wondering how to keep more money in your wallet while giving your kids what they need for the new school year?

Worry no more, the Department for Consumer and Labor Protection (DCWP) has you covered with shopping tips available in 12 languages. Learn how to save and teach your kids to make smarter financial decisions.

“If your kids are like mine, they can’t wait to choose their new school supplies; But there are some important financial lessons for us and our children when we shop,” said DCWP Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga. “We should all do our homework before we go shopping so we don’t overspend while at the same time teaching our kids what wants and needs are and how to budget.” Saving money is crucial for many families right now as we recover from the pandemic, and with our quick tips, parents can make wiser financial decisions and protect their hard-earned cash.”

· Make a list and create a budget. Help kids make wise decisions when deciding to buy accessories. Get the teacher’s materials list, and then explain to the kids how to create a budget based on how much they spend and what they need. Whether shopping online or in-store, stick to the list and budget.

· Compare prices. Use websites, smartphone apps, and social media to research products, compare prices, and find deals and discounts. Avoid entering your personal information to get a coupon – some scammers use promises of discounts to steal your information.

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· Look for prices. Stores are required to display prices either on the item or on a tag displaying the item. It is illegal to charge more than the advertised price.

Extra Credit: Be sure to check out our electronics and furniture shopping tips at

· Beware of price gouging. It is illegal for businesses to overcharge goods or services essential to health, safety or well-being during a declared state of emergency in New York City. Goods or services include disinfectants, soap, cleaning products, diagnostic products and services, and pharmaceuticals.

You can file a complaint with DCWP for excessive fees. Visit or call 311 and say “Overcharge”. Be sure to include your receipt with your complaint.

· Request a receipt and keep it. In New York City, you are automatically entitled to a receipt for purchases over $20 and on request for purchases between $5 and $20. Protect your personal information – by law, a customer’s receipt cannot show the credit card’s expiration date or more than the last five digits.

· Check the shop’s payment and refund policies. It is illegal for stores not to accept cash payments and for consumers who pay with cash to charge a higher price for the same retail item than consumers who pay by credit card or other cashless method. Shops must also put up a sign with their policies. Otherwise, you are entitled to a refund within 30 days of purchase.

· Protect yourself when shopping online. If you plan to do your back-to-school shopping online, make sure you only shop from safe websites. Use familiar sites or research and read reviews of new sites and make sure links start with https (not just http; the “s” stands for secure) or have a padlock icon. Avoid entering your personal information when using unsecured WiFi. Also, don’t click on links in unsolicited emails or on social media sites – type the address directly into your browser.

Visit for more information on staying safe, secure and responsible online.

· Teach your kids about credit and how it works. Explain that credit cards are not “free money” and that what you pay for with the card must be paid back with interest. Teach them about paying minimum balances versus full balances and the consequences of using a credit card irresponsibly.

· Get free financial advice. Visit to schedule an appointment with a professional financial advisor from the city’s Financial Empowerment Centers. Work with your advisor to manage sudden changes in your budget or income and set a spending plan; open a bank account to set up a direct deposit; contact creditors; and more. Financial advice is free and confidential, regardless of income or immigration status, and is available in multiple languages

· Know your rights and obligations when it comes to student loans. Whether you’re considering student loans for yourself or your child, or you already have student loan debt, be sure to check out DCWP’s tips and resources at

For more consumer tips, including tips for young adults to help educate them about their rights and responsibilities when using a credit card, getting an auto loan, and loan repair scams, go to and join the discussion Twitter share following @HelloDCWP and with the hashtag #BacktoSchoolNYC.

The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) protects and enhances the daily economic life of New Yorkers to create thriving communities.

DCWP licenses more than 51,000 companies in more than 40 industries and enforces key consumer protection, licensing and workplace laws that apply to countless more.

By supporting businesses through fair enforcement and access to resources, and by assisting in the resolution of grievances, DCWP protects the marketplace from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance.

Through its public relations and the work of its Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy and Standards offices, DCWP empowers consumers and working families by providing the tools and resources they need to be consumers and achieve financial health and work-life balance .

DCWP also conducts research and advocates public policy that furthers its work to support the communities of New York City.

For more information about DCWP and its work, call 311 or visit DCWP at or on its social media sites. TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Youtube.

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