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Saturday 15 December 2018
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Letters to the Editor

Christmas really nice for bargain hunters?

THE EDITOR: According to the late Winston “Shadow” Bailey, “Christmas nice.” But had the three wise men who gave gifts to the new-born Christ Child anticipated the advent of Christmas sales in today’s world, I wonder if they would have found a different way of welcoming him to mankind’s domain?

Sales add to the explosion of gift-giving. Merchants and potential customers seek financial and personal benefits. The “loss leader” concept is a well practised psychological tool used by merchants to entice shoppers into doing business. Advertising via the internet, media, billboards, jingles, flyers etc is used to bombard sensitivities into a “buy from me” frame of mind.

But should bargain hunters “buy from me” if the only way to take advantage of an on-sale item is to have already spent $249? Should they “buy from me” if the writing on the packaging of an on-sale electronic item is in a foreign language necessitating an additional cost of employing a technician to assemble the item?

Surely drastically reduced prices on foodstuff should signal the checking of expiration dates. Should they “buy from me” shoes that were once-priced at $600 and reduced to $150 without questioning the origin and quality of the item? Shouldn’t attention be paid to guarantees offered on for-sale items?

Thanks to those honest merchants who practise what they preach. However, without some level of care, unsuspecting customers can be left holding the sticky end of the stick. It is a pity that there is no mechanism that records the trauma experienced by careless bargain hunters when bargain seasons are over.

At this time of the year, thank heaven for parang music and black cake.

Cheers!

JOHN HENRY, Petit Valley

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