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Beware of the prices as you shop online!

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Search, buy and exit

It’s weekend, you have got some exciting stuff to do, and you’re getting late. But at that moment, you remember (or are told) that you need to do some regular weekly shopping (groceries etc.). And that some of the stuff is required at home this evening. You have two options. Drive to the nearby store or shop online. Your choice is pretty obvious - couple of clicks would save a lot of time. You are right, but in the given context, you may get an unpleasant surprise. Why? Well, read on!

An online marketplace is not a shop

An online marketplace like Daraz, Goto, iShopping is not a shop. You are not dealing with a single business or seller. On a market place, scores of businesses or even individuals, register themselves with the marketplace website and start selling whatever they like.

Prices are not set by the brands or the marketplace

On a marketplace, prices are generally set by the registered sellers not the marketplace or the brand owners. Each seller offers a range of products. And it’s possible that the same product (say, a particular brand of tissues) is sold on the website by more than one seller, and that too, at a different price. Now since it’s a free market, sellers do have a right to set the price as per their business context.

But the question is, how many buyers are aware of it and are prepared for it?

As long as the prices are lower or equal to the price we get at the local store, price variance is OK. But sometimes, it’s higher than the regular price, even of famous brands. Now I thought online shopping was about saving time and money, not paying more, isn’t that so?

Be prepared and be mindful

So next time you shop online, especially an expensive item, do your research on price before you click Checkout. And if you buy your groceries, to save yourself from embarrassment at home, keep track of the commodity prices. Or even better, ask someone who often does the groceries to shop online instead of you.

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