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Opinion

Less for cash? > Consumer buying experience

FridgeWith $1000 cash in my wallet, I headed down to Harvey Norman Alexandria with the intention of buying a fridge.

I found the one I wanted. The sticker price was $1049 with a $50 gift voucher and a free cooler bag, slashed from around $1200. After measuring the fridge, asking delivery questions (for the record, I’d have to wait for a week for deliver), I then asked for the best offer. I didn’t even ask for the best offer for cash. That’s usually my second question after they reveal their best offer, it often works. The sales assistant said that’s the best they could do. I was in shock. Hello, aren’t times supposed to be tough in retail? Or are margins really that tight?

So I politely said, “thanks for your time. I’ll check out your competitors”.

I drove up the road to The Good Guys at the Alexandria HomeMaker Centre. There was the fridge, sticker price $1099. I asked for the best offer. $1000. I said what’s the best offer for cash. $980. I said, I’ve got the cash with me, do me a better deal. $970. Deal. And, the delivery costs was cheaper than Harvey’s also $59 compared with $70 and the fridge was to be delivered the following day. I left feeling like I had made a good deal. They matched the expectations I had in my head. I expected not to have spent beyond the $1000 cash in my pocket, plus the delivery costs which I had budgeted for.

But this sale process is much more complicated than that. I felt like I got a good deal at the Good Guys, and that I didn’t at Harvey Norman. As a consumer, I’ll now carry that experience going forward.

What the Harvey’s sales assistant didn’t know, was that in the coming month, I’m also looking to buy a mattress, bedding suite and an iPad (yes, I know, can you believe I don’t have one yet?). But because of my unsatisfactory fridge buying experience at Harvey, as a consumer, I’m questioning whether I go to Harvey’s, even if the sales guy there was polite and helpful. At the end of the day, it’s about price.

Why did I go to Harvey Norman in the first place as my first pit stop? Because I had a great buying experience a year ago when I furnished my lounge room. I felt like I made a good deal back then, so I was happy to repeat business.

But as the consumer gets more complex, one unsatisfactory buying experience can lead the shopper elsewhere.

One note, I’ve mention store names here only to prove the authenticity of my story, and is in no way a ‘bashing’ of Harvey Norman. It’s just an observation, and an experience.

MEMO

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Discussion

One thought on “Less for cash? > Consumer buying experience

  1. Great feedback, thanks for sharing Ricardo.

    Posted by Peter Esho | November 14, 2011, 12:09 pm

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