consumers Archives - AL6400 Blog

Posts Tagged ‘consumers’

Simply Going With What People Will Pay

Friday, June 20th, 2014 by

I was talking to a few people today about some crazy hourly billings that various people charge for their services such as consulting fees in the range of $500 per hour. I was trying to wrap my head around how one would breakdown and justify that cost in this case. For the most part, the answer was simply if people are willing to pay that price then why not?

Funny enough, I have often read a lot of articles in relation to this such as people debating on how much they should charge for their services. In many cases, a lot of people don’t want to price things too high for fear of people immediately being turned off by it. At the same time, there are people that charge a higher price and it ends up that people are willing to abide by it. Kind of ironic like there you could have a team of experts to determine what the best market price is whereas like in this case it is simply throwing a number out there and seeing what sticks.

Security Features That Make You Lose Business

Saturday, December 28th, 2013 by

I was reading an interesting article today about a company’s payment process where for its services you need to buy currency where in-turn you use that to buy services from them. However, they have so many steps in place such as requiring one to provide a lot of real life ID’s as well as requiring people to use some of its free services first to prove they are not say a person with a stolen credit card. Essentially, this whole process will take most people about a week where most would simply say forget it.

While I am sure they probably implemented such a procedure as a result of past experiences, it does seem a little extreme. Imagine going to a convenient store where because it was robbed once the owners decided to greet customers with like a weapon pointed right at them as a form of intimation to scare off potential thieves. It’s one of those things that hurt you more than help you. Kind of makes me interested in learning if there are more far fetched examples out there.

Just Being A Spectator During The Shopping Madness

Friday, November 29th, 2013 by

There wasn’t any particular deal that I wanted today as for the most part the sales I saw didn’t seem too impressive. One thing that never seems the change though are the amount of people who will literally fight with each other to try and grab the best deals. It seems like nowadays everyone is armed with a smart-phone ready to capture the madness too. Even on Youtube I was seeing all these clips of shoppers that seem to think it’s like a game show competition of some sort. There definitely aren’t any shortage of videos like this:

I would expect say starving people to fight over some kind of food source like this. But not for things like a TV. For myself I am usually interested in seeing what other people are buying the most as researching the price afterwards to see if it is really a good deal or not gives me a lot of insight about various businesses and how they may say potentially trick people into thinking it is a good deal. One of the many ways to become a savvier shopper.

Taking Advantage of A Return Policy

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 by

This is one of those things that I heard today where it just seems kind of wrong as a way to save money. Essentially, there was a couple that was trying to save money on their wedding and one thing they really wanted to do was take pictures and videos. Unfortunately, their camera and camcorder was pretty old and so this could potentially be a big investment.

Their idea to save money was to go to a retail store and purchase the most expensive item that produced the best quality. However, the plan was right after the wedding they would simply return the item claiming the product didn’t live up to their expectations. Basically, they got to rent the equipment for free by abusing the return policy of a business.

My immediate thoughts on why this is bad is it’s kind of like the saying of it takes one rotten apple to spoil the whole bunch. In this case I am pretty sure companies would want to implement things like a restocking fee to avoid this where unfortunately it would affect people who legitimately wanted to return the item for valid reasons.

Avoiding Credit Card Transaction Fees For Potential Savings

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 by

While going to the Global BC studio today I was told that apparently this is the last week for the AM/BC show. Apparently they are moving to an evening time slot with a different show format. So this was the last episode for me for their morning show.

The topic revolved around that news bit on how merchants were trying to say that the transaction fees incurred from customers who use premium credit cards is way too much and unfair. I kind of expressed my thoughts abut this in an earlier post. But in general I thought it would be interesting to educate people on how much companies lose and what this means for you. For example, here you can see the direct fees that a company like Visa and Mastercard charges:

http://www.visa.ca/en/aboutcan/mediacentre/interchange/pdf/visa-interchange-rates-current.pdf

http://www.mastercard.com/ca/wce/PDF/MasterCard_Canada_Interchange_Rate_Programs.pdf

Now from what I gather a lot of merchants are saying we should care too as these fees ultimately mean that they have to raise prices. At the same time, I know a lot of people say that is baloney as regardless of the credit card fees a lot of the big stores will continue to charge people high prices. So as kind of a way to get you thinking I used this example of me shopping for some kale. Look at these two prices here where one is from large supermarket and one is from a smaller store:

If you look at these prices it is pretty significant where the larger store that offers the convenience of having credit card payments is charging $1.47 for each whereas the smaller store that doesn’t have credit card options is charging 39 cents each. While obviously the company has to mark up its prices to adapt to business expenses like these, does it really make this much of a difference?

I am pretty sure most people would say no and this is why most people have no real sympathy for large businesses in regards to them having to pay these fees. I even read comments as far as people saying if they decide to not offer the convenience of a credit card then they will simply take their business elsewhere.

For me in a consumer point of view it’s more about the little guy. For example, that mom and pop show that is selling tea or coffee. You can even extend this to like a small electronic store that sells items like TV’s. I know that them being a smaller business means they are having a tougher time competing with the bigger guys. So like in the above example, if I know they are trying very hard to provide a good product or service where the price is extremely cheaper then I would avoid using the cards as I want their business to grow more. In the end it puts money in their pocket and everyone saves more if they stay afloat.

As well, in knowing these fees you can often use it to bargain with larger stores too. For example, if you are making a purchase worth $5000+ you will be surprised at how many businesses will agree to drop the price solely because you offer to pay in cash. That is a significant amount too so it gives you a lot of room to haggle the price. Bottom line, even understanding business expenses like these can help you find and negotiate the best deals.