Buying a small appliance ….

It was decided that we needed to new electric heater (why/what type:  long story…let’s not go there).    So we researched availability on the internet.  And yes, Harvey Norman had what we wanted, at a competitive price.

But on entering Harvey Norman, the smallish model we had in mind wasn’t on display.  There were several more “up market” models to be seen.   On enquiry, yes, indeed the model we wanted was in stock, but it was in the store room out the back.

The helpful assistant duly fetched the item we wanted, the sale was completed, and everyone was happy.

But the experience gives an insight into modern sales techniques:   the items on display tend to be in the middle to upper end of the range, with the more basic items tending not to be so prominent.    Hence, it all seems as though price expectations are being raised, perhaps even to induce sub-conscious feelings of “guilt” when asking for a more modest versions.  Walking around the store, the same principle certainly applied to dishwashers (there were price tags on the higher end models, with the more basic models being less prominent and not having prices marked).

It certainly means that it pays to be well-informed, but I wonder if waiting for customers to be pro-active in seeking a “price-match” is going to be sufficient to win the hearts of consumers in the face of competition from the likes of Amazon.


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