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Venezuela – Retail and Consumer Issues

Venezuela is a South American country with a diverse retail industry. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common retail and consumer issues in Venezuela.

Opening Hours and Forms of Payment

The typical opening hours of shops in Venezuela vary depending on the location and type of business. Generally, shops are open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, Monday through Saturday, with some shops staying open later or even open 24/7. On Sundays, most shops are closed or have limited opening hours.

When it comes to forms of payment, cash is the most widely accepted form of payment in Venezuela. Credit and debit cards are also accepted at some locations, but it is always best to check beforehand. It is also important to note that due to the economic situation in Venezuela, cash shortages and issues with card payments are common.

Major Supermarkets

Venezuela has several major supermarket chains, including Central Madeirense, Excelsior Gama, and Farmatodo. These supermarkets offer a wide range of products, from fresh produce to household items.

Central Madeirense is a Venezuelan supermarket chain that offers a wide range of products, including fresh produce, meat, and dairy products. They have several locations throughout the country and are known for their competitive prices.

Excelsior Gama is another major supermarket chain in Venezuela, offering a wide range of products, including fresh produce, meat, and dairy products. They also have their own brand of products, which are often cheaper than other well-known brands.


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Farmatodo is a Venezuelan supermarket chain that specializes in pharmaceutical products, but also offers a range of other products, including fresh produce, meat, and dairy products. They have several locations throughout the country.

Online Shopping

Online shopping is not very popular in Venezuela due to the economic situation and issues with internet access. However, there are some websites that offer online shopping, including Mercado Libre and Amazon.

Mercado Libre is a popular e-commerce platform in Latin America that offers a range of products, from electronics to household items and beauty products. They also offer fast and reliable delivery to most parts of Venezuela.

Amazon is an online retailer that offers a wide range of products, including electronics, books, and household items. However, delivery to Venezuela can be difficult due to the economic situation and issues with customs.

Shops for Expats

There are several shops in Venezuela that cater specifically to expats, offering a range of international products. Some of these shops include:

  • La Castellana Market: This shop offers a range of international products, including food, beverages, and household items. They are located in the La Castellana neighborhood of Caracas.

  • Armando’s Market: This shop specializes in American products and offers a range of imported products, including food, beverages, and household items. They are located in the El Rosal neighborhood of Caracas.

  • Expat Express: This shop offers a range of international products, including food, beverages, and household items. They have several locations throughout the country.

Consumer Rights

As a consumer in Venezuela, you have several rights that are protected by law. These include the right to:

  • Receive clear information about the products being sold, including their characteristics and price
  • Receive a receipt for your purchase
  • Return faulty or damaged products for a full refund, exchange, or repair within a reasonable amount of time
  • Be protected from false advertising and misleading claims

If you have an issue with a product or service, you can contact several consumer organizations in Venezuela for assistance. These include:

  • National Institute for the Defense of People’s Access to Goods and Services (INDEPABIS): This government agency offers advice and support on consumer issues, including complaints and disputes with businesses. You can visit their website (www.indepabis.gob.ve) or call their customer service line at 0800-INDEPABIS (0800-4633722).

    • Consumidores en Acción: This organization offers advice and support on consumer issues, including complaints and disputes with businesses. You can visit their website (www.consumidoresenaccion.org) or email them at contacto@consumidoresenaccion.org.

    • Asociación de Consumidores de Venezuela (ASODEV): This organization offers advice and support on consumer issues, including complaints and disputes with businesses. You can visit their website (www.asodev.org) or call their customer service line at 0212-285-1006.

    In conclusion, Venezuela has a diverse retail industry, with several major supermarket chains and local markets offering a wide range of products to consumers. Online shopping is not very popular, but there are some websites that offer online shopping, including Mercado Libre and Amazon. There are also several shops that cater specifically to expats, offering a range of international products. As a consumer in Venezuela, you have several rights that are protected by law, and there are several organizations that you can contact for assistance if you have an issue with a product or service.


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