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Buying silk this Diwali? Make sure it really is silk!

india Updated: Oct 19, 2008 21:22 IST

If you are planning to surprise someone with a silk shirt or a silk saree this diwali, I suggest that you make sure it is authentic silk and carries the silk logo. This not only adds value to your gift, but also shows you as a smart consumer.

The advances in textile technology make it difficult for consumers to judge the quality of the fabric, particularly silk, at the time of purchase. So the Silk mark, represented by a high security hologram depicting a butterfly, provides an independent third-party assurance that the silk that you are buying is 100 per cent genuine, natural silk.

You can locate retailers who stock such guaranteed silk by logging on to the website of the Silk Mark Organization of India. I must also mention here that several state-government run shops that sell handlooms, particularly from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, sellonly silk-marked products. Moreover, you also get good festival discounts at these shops.

This is also the time when special exhibitions and melas are held at different parts of the city. While some sell fabrics and made ups, yet others sell jewellery, household goods, decoration items and electronic products. Since these are sold at temporary outlets put up for the occasion, it is important that you take a receipt for what you buy and get the permanent address of the seller. If something were to go wrong with the product, you would need that address. Keep the address of the organisers of the exhibition too.

If you are buying electronic goods, I would suggest you bargain real hard and get a good discount. Some manufacturers are offering to convert your purchases into 12, 24 or 36 EMIs on your credit card. I would advise caution here — given the steep rate of interest charged by credit cards companies, it may not end up as such a good idea. On the other hand, there are those offering to let you pay a part of the amount in interest-free installments. That’s a better offer, but make sure that it is really interest free.

This is also the time when retailers try to pass off brands or models other than what you ordered, when they make the delivery, and try to convince you that what they have sent is the best. Remember, this constitutes an unfair trade practice. In the case of Giriraj Studio VS M/s Koron Business Systems , for example, the apex consumer court made it clear that delivering a brand or a model other than the one ordered by the consumer constituted an unfair trade practice (RP no 2419 of 2002). Similarly undue delay in delivering the product constitutes deficiency in service.