Too good to be true

Festivals are good time for everyone. They are mood elevators that prompt people to celebrate by decorating their houses and themselves by buying new things and new clothes. It is a good time also for businessmen, who come out with lucrative promotions to clear their stocks as also to introduce new products because the volume is very high and the word ‘sale’ acts as a rewarding agent pushing the buyers to buy more than their requirements.
One can notice ‘sale’ panels pasted everywhere in the market-place to catch the eyes of Ramadhan customers and if compared with their previous prices, the items on sale really sound very lucrative. Buying things for the festival is a necessity and one should buy as much as it is required for the festival.

A section of buyers falls into the trap of these attractive promotions and indulge in buying things beyond their current requirements. “For future,” they say, “because the things were so cheap,” without realising the fact that such promotions keep on coming and it is human psychology not to be content with what one has purchased. If there is money, it will find a way to be spent and cause a situation, called ‘problem of plenty’ in economics. This is the time when some ‘hidden’ practices are also applied to make a fast buck out of promotions and sales.

A senior official of the Dhofar chapter of the Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) exhorted the customers not to buy things in a hurry as markets are flooded with promotions and special offers designed for the holy month of Ramadhan. While the prospective customers have already started comparing these offers before the actual buying, the inspecting authorities are in action to ensure that these promotions and special offers go in the right way, without letting the customers down with something ‘hidden’ behind the offers. Ali al Basrawi, in-charge of the Salalah branch of the PACP, said the practice of promotions and special offers during Ramadhan is good as the outlets come out with several offers. It is part of their business plan because Ramadhan is the time when almost every household goes for shopping and the ‘offers’ are the best way to attract customers.”

He insisted on maintaining the best practices by the business houses, particularly those who are dealing in food products or consumable goods. The customers should not be kept in the dark while offering the goods on promotion, the expiry dates of which are very close, he said. He advised the consumers to draw a list and decide budget before going for shopping and give time while deciding to buy something. “You do read the product details, its expiry before rushing to the cash counter. Otherwise you end up buying many things which you did not need and buy something, the expiry of which is just one day.”

Kaushalendra Singh