One of my friends recently shared her funny experience with an online shopping portal. She ordered an outfit at a “steal deal” as she quoted, and paid some INR 750 for it, after a great discount. The delivery was timely but she got a shock when she saw what was inside. Nope, there were no bricks or stones, but the outfit came with a price tag that said MRP INR 599!! I am guessing the company made the ‘mistake’ of not removing the original price tag. On complaining, the online retailer did offer her credits via a gift card to buy something else, but did it help buy back her trust or loyalty? I doubt.
Another story, another friend, another undelivered promise. Friends booked a hotel stay ‘deal’ in Goa. Elated at booking at 5 star stay for the price of a 3 star, the group reached Goa high already on hopes of good food, booze, party and an awesome place to crash after it all. But lo and behold, they are greeted by a 3 star accommodation far from what the pictures on the website looked like! What ensued was a ruined day 1 of the already short weekend plan!
Hey, if there is something worse than your relationship not working out, then it is probably a great bargain not working out!! LOL!!
Although these experiences may seem funny, but at the back of my mind I can relate to the situations, because I too have had similar experiences but with food discount coupons. In fact, most of us would have faced this with some or the other deal on hotels, restaurants, coupons, promo codes, etc. What is astonishing is that if you go by the advertisements, you are literally buying everything almost free or getting cashbacks on them. I wonder, where then is my salary disappearing?
Clearly, there is much more to it than what meets the eye with these promo code deals, cashbacks, deep discounts etc.
If you really think about it, it is not that difficult to crack the code on who ultimately bears the cost of these discounts… IT’S US – The Customer! You and me. Think about it – how would anyone be able to offer 70% – 80% discounts? With the manufacturers or service providers’ operational expenses and the online portal’s huge overhead costs, businesses actually have no room to offer such large discounts – unless they want to go bankrupt!
Then, who is really paying for these discounts? The answer is obvious.
What is worse is that we feel really cheated after the experience. I mean, if you are like me, by the time you realise that either the deal has expired or your coupon doesn’t qualify for the discount, you are probably so sold with the product or service that you end up buying it anyway at a much higher price.
The result after the initial euphoria?
A bitter after taste that stays.
Such experiences are unfortunately becoming more commonplace than before, especially as more and more online firms and apps join the great Indian retail bandwagon.
We think it’s time the tables are somewhat turned towards the person who is supposed to be and is the king – the consumer… you, me, us.
To do so, we have identified certain areas where customers can actually get some great discounts and businesses too do not suffer any losses or adverse effects on their brand. We have created a site (and an app for mobiles) that lets you access such deals. We have, in fact, taken the process one step further – with our site, you get to choose the price you want to pay and see the percentage chance of landing that deal. You also get to readjust your price if you think you have quoted too low or too high.
Sounds good? We think so too.
It is high time we, the consumers, get to decide what we want and what we want to pay for it. And get the deal at that price.
It is time to create that little bit of MAGIC.