A consumer is said to be a king in a free market economy. Consumer protection means laws and policies designed to protect consumers against unfair trade and credit practices. This means that a consumer might be exposed to risks due to unsafe products, might suffer from bad health due to adulterated food products, might be cheated because of misleading advertisements or sale of spurious products, might have to pay a higher price when sellers engage in overpricing, hoarding or black marketing etc.
However, with growing competition and in an attempt to increase their sales and market share, manufacturers and service providers may be tempted to engage in unscrupulous, exploitative and unfair trade practices like defective and unsafe products, adulteration, false and misleading advertising, hoarding, black-marketing etc. Consumer protection is linked to the idea of consumer rights, and to the formation of consumer organizations, which help consumers make better choices in the marketplace and get help with consumer complaints.