rap #219 11/08/10
"BUY IN OCEAN COUNTY" CAMPAIGN PROTECTS CONSUMERS AND BENEFITS LOCAL BUSINESSES AS THE HOLIDAYS APPROACH
FREEHOLDER Joseph H. Vicari is again asking residents to "buy local" and support Ocean County’s businesses this holiday season.
"This is the time of year when mailboxes fill up with colorful and tempting catalogs filled with holiday cheer," Vicari said. "Unfortunately, there
are also serious downsides to ordering through catalogs or online."
Each year the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs receives complaints about unfulfilled orders or other concerns residents have when
dealing with out-of-state mail order companies.
"We see the same problems year after year," said Vicari, who is liaison to the Consumer Affairs Department. "Merchandise not received in time for
the holidays, problems with backorders and received items that barely resemble their catalog photos and descriptions."
To make matters worse, it is often difficult to pursue a consumer affairs case against an out-of-state company that does not fall under the
jurisdiction of New Jersey’s consumer fraud laws.
"When you buy local, you are protected against fraud," Vicari said. "Both our county and state agencies have much more power when dealing with a
local business complaint."
Buying local can also save money.
"Many times catalog and online offers can seem cheaper, but don’t forget to add in the shipping costs," Vicari said. "If you have to return an item,
it’s much easier to drive down the street and visit the store rather than pack and ship a package across country."
Frequenting local businesses also helps protect Ocean County jobs.
"When you buy local you are supporting your neighbors," Vicari said. "Our business community is a vital part of Ocean County."
Local businesses also support local charitable organizations and give back to their communities, something that cannot be said about most catalog
and online firms.
"The holiday season is a make-or-break situation for many of our small business people," Vicari said. "I hope all of our residents will consider
the advantages of buying local and supporting our Mom and Pop businesses."
Purchasing from local merchants also helps guarantee that the products you receive are the real thing and not an imitation.
"Consumers across the nation spent millions of dollars on designer handbags, perfumes and apparel that in fact turn out to be knockoffs," Vicari
said. "Many of these fraudulent items are sold online. By making your holiday purchases locally, you can ensure friends and loved ones receive the actual
item you’ve paid for."