We all get suckered occasionally. I’ve got a very inconvenient sofa bed to prove it. But how can we stay on top in the dog-eat-dog world that is being a consumer? Sydney Morning Herald have put together a guide, and some of their offering are to be found below.
Shop Assistants Are Not Your Friends
They are there to sell you something. They don’t necessarily feel the need to tell you the entire truth when making the sale. They can and are legally obliged to ensure that they have answered your questions (which you should always ask) about the length and conditions of the warranty. What is the repair procedure during the warranty and after it has expired. Be sure to know the refund policy if the item is faulty, and be even more wary when dealing with a private citizen as opposed to someone working in a shop. Just because they advertise in the local paper, doesn’t mean they’re community minded.
Today, And Today Only
How often in life does a deal come along that genuinely only lasts one day. Rarely. Of course, there are occasions where I am sure it is the case but often when a sales rep is telling you the deal is only for today, or that you’ll never get such a good deal again, he or she is trying to heavy you. It is, after all, their job. And your job is take to your time. It’s easy to get worked up in the frenzy of spending, but it’s your hard-earned dollars and no one can tell you where’s best to be putting it. At the end of the day, that is your call and yours alone. There will be plenty of ‘once in a lifetime’ offers next week.
Companies continue to door knock for a reason, it works. People catch us off-guard and in a place where we are less likely to bolt. SMH suggests watching out for the following techniques that might lead you astray; sob stories about how the sales rep needs the money, a series of questions that inevitably answer ‘yes’ though you still don’t want or need the product. Other examples include- the sales pitch that goes on for so long you need a cup of tea afterwards and end up buying something because you feel as if you’ve wasted their time. Or the social shame tactic- “I couldn’t help but notice your paint is peeling”. Make sure you have validated that the sales rep is from the actual company, and get their card as opposed to committing right away. Once you’ve had some independent advice about what the rep suggested, you might go for it. But you will do as a savvy consumer.
The ultimate in delayed gratification- you make a deposit on the item, and regularly pay it off until you pay off the entirety and get the item. There can be occasional sticking points- if you don’t pay off a scheduled repayment, the company could cancel your lay-by, so long as they ensure they notify you that such a measure is about to take place.