Most of us love a good deal and when it comes to electronics, there’s significant money to be saved. But how can you be sure that the ‘sale’ price on the ticket is genuinely lower than the original price?
A big spend of any sort can trigger some pretty strong emotions, including immense satisfaction when you bag a great bargain. You weren’t lured into launch date hysteria to buy it at full price; you played the long game, waited for the price to plummet and pounced at the exact right moment. You outwitted the retailer. You won.
Or did you? What if the saving that justified your purchase was just an illusion? What if you were actually involved in a game with the retailer, where the more you thought you saved on a product, the more you enjoyed buying it, increasing the likelihood that you’ll tell all your friends and go back to spend more?
Spot the difference
Electrical shops always seem to have items on sale. When you look at the original price and its ceremonious strike-through, it’s easy to feel superior knowing you’d never have paid full price. But the question is – did anyone ever pay full whack?
Some of the laptops you find on the high street advertise huge savings, but a quick look around reveals that the same models aren’t selling anywhere for the pre-sale price. There’s a fair amount of consistency in electrical pricing, so you can spot the same products selling for similar prices in other places. But the difference is that they’re not on sale and no one’s pretending you’re making a huge saving.
Save us from misleading sales
Consumer protection regulations prohibit misleading advertising, including what the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) calls ‘reference pricing’. This is where a sale price is compared with a relatively high pre-sale price, which it believes has a ‘potential to cause harm’ to consumers.
Of course, if the retailer were to vastly inflate the prices of products when they first hit the shop floor, the discount would seem more appealing when they came to slash the prices later.
Have you ever struggled to reconcile a pre-sale cost with the spec or quality of a product? And have you ever come across original prices that have seemed unrealistically high, or that you think may be misleading?