How Capetonians are abused by retailers

Did you also notice how expensive things have become? And did you also hear the explanations offered by the sales assistant when you comment about the higher prices? “It’s the VAT”. Really?

How stupid do retailers think we are?

On a purchase of R100, the increase of VAT from 14% to 15% makes exactly R1 difference. A product which was sold for R99, would cost you R112.86 at 14% VAT. Since 1 April, the same product would cost R113.85. But sadly it does not. That very same product now cost R125 or more. Why? Why? Why?

Firstly, it is a mental thing…

The retailers knew from the start that we, the consumers, will expect an increase in prices due to the VAT. And they took some added liberties by exploiting our “preparedness”. And we do not complain; not officially. So they just keep milking the cow. The rich are just milking the desperate. It is not as if we have alternatives right? We cannot quickly hop over the boarder and buy from Zim or Namibia. We have no choice.

Secondly, it is a matter of greed.

The only logical explanation we have for this over-indulgegence in price escalation is greed. There is no rationale behind it; no logic, no math (at least not at grade 3 level). There are no ethics in business. Why would a retailer add 1% to the selling price if they can add 20% to 30% knowing that we will just roll over and pay?

So what now?

Frankly, there is nothing we can do. But, we can be clever in our purchases. It may take a few minutes longer, but checking and comparing prices will save a few bob in the long run.

Contents or packaging?

What do you buy when you are looking for washing powder? And no, we don’t mean brand name. 1kg of washing powder cost R27,99, but you can get 2kg in one box for R59,99. Two x R27,99 is however R4 cheaper that one 2kg box. You don’t put the box in the washing machine do you? So why pay more for the packaging?

R10 of petrol to save R5 on a special