CONSUMERISM AND CONSUMER MOVEMENT

CONSUMERISM AND CONSUMER MOVEMENT

The need for consumerism has been primarily due to the indifference of the business community. The main aim of all business is to maximize profit. Consumers have not only been called upon to pay higher prices but also have to settle at lower quality, spurious, duplicate and adulterated products that are being sold through misleading and powerful advertisement media. Hence, consumerism is required to protect consumer interest. The producer has the power to design the product, distribute, advertise and price it, but the consumer has only the power of not buying it. One may argue that the producer runs his business with greater risks in spite of having several rights, because the veto power remains with consumer. However the consumer often feels that while he has the power of veto, he is not always fully equipped to exercise that power. This situation may be the effect of lack of information, too much indigestible information or even misinformation from one or several competing producers. Consumerism is like any other social movement. It has a big role to pay in the world of business and as such it has to be studied.

The important objectives of the consumer movement as are follows:

  1. To restore the balance in the buyer-seller relations in the market place.
  2. To protect and promote the consumer’s interest.
  3. To safeguard consumer right.
  4. To prevent consumer exploitation by unscrupulous traders.
  5. To represent consumer interest before the Government and pressurise the Government to provide a meaningful consumer protection through proper legislation.
  6. To organize consumer resistance against unfair trade practices and create a strong public opinion in favour of fair trade practices.
  7. To collaborate with Government and business centres for consumer protection.
  8. To undertake programmes of consumer education.
  9. To ensure consumer-oriented practices of marketing programme by business enterprises
  10. To redress the affected consumer through Government and non-Government organizations.

Consumer Movement thus represents an organised, collective and united effort to create a buyers’ market for all mass consumption of goods.

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