October 11, 2009

A 'Fake' Sale

Not every sale is genuine. If you are wondering how on earth a sale could be 'fake' it shows that maybe you haven't lived in Bangkok long enough. I don't know if they happen in other countries.

There were times when even supermarket sales here often had the reputation of being dodgy - I have heard that sellers would inflate prices of goods and then discount them - thus selling them on the same price but fooling the buyer that they have been discounted. But such instances (in supermarkets, that is) are unheard of these days - maybe because the sellers have realised that shoppers aren't that dumb after all.

But the same can't be said of department stores. I have had first-hand experience of witnessing these dodgy kind of sales at a popular department store (say Store A - Sorry, will not reveal name, I am petrified of defamation suits) - not once, but at least twice now - though only at one particular branch, as I haven't had the opportunity to check out other branches.

My most recent stint was 2 weeks ago, when they were having a store-wide promotion and a 30% sale on their hair accessories. All pieces - every hair clip no matter how tiny - were labelled with their price stickers. So I picked a very simple tiny clip and saw the price was 80 bucks. I was quite sure that it was the original price and after discount would cost lesser by 30%. So I asked the sales assistant whether the label was already discounted, or they will deduct 30% from the label price. The sales lady said that it was already discounted (WHAT?).

Now imagine this - the label was looking quite old, and seeing that the sale had just begun the day before, it means that they their personnel managed to change ALL THE PRICE TAG STICKERS ON ALL THE PRODUCTS into their new discounted prices OVERNIGHT! but that still does not explain why the price stickers looked old? I just knew it was not right. Two years ago, I had this same experience in their bedding section with '50% discount'- and of course, the label was already discounted! Wow, they changed all their labels into their new discounted price labels overnight - must have been quite a feat to watch!

The next day I went to another popular department store (another group) having a sale too. Now here was a 'genuine' sale - because the stated discount was availed on the labelled price. Thus something worth 80 bucks, after discount would cost you say 65 bucks - that makes complete sense. Some months ago, I had even bought a nice blouse at a famous local brand having 80% sale! The original price was over 1000 bucks - and I got it for around 300 - a real steal.

Most other retail establishments have genuine sales - I haven't yet experienced bogus sales anywhere else other than in the above mentioned Store A. I hope they stop thinking that they can fool the customers this way.