Online shopping is becoming more popular now in Nigeria with large online stores like Jumia and Konga taking the lead. But have you ever wondered if those amazing deals and discounts you often see on display are fake deals and discounts or if they are real?
You see a shoe that is quoted to be 20 to 30 percent off its regular price and you want to pounce on it. You feel you should take advantage of the price slash before it reverts back to its actual price. What you do not know however is that the price may not really be “special” as you are made to believe.
Fake deals and discounts schemes
Last year alone, at least four popular stores in the United States namely Macy, Bloomingdale, J.C. Penney and Kohl were slammed with different lawsuits alleging that they inflated original prices of products so that they can give “attractive” and “unbelievable” deals and discounts. One of the stores was alleged to have offered a 50 percent slash on the price of a particular product whereas in reality, the “special price” was actually the real price of the product.
No major online store in Nigeria have been officially accused of running such fake deals and discounts scheme yet. It is however important that shoppers and consumers be aware of the possibility that this may be happening and protect themselves from falling for it.
Avoiding fake deals and discounts
How can we protect ourselves from this kind of manipulation where they exist? Here are some suggestions based on findings from studies carried out so far.
Find out the Real Price
This is obviously the first and most effective way to find out if a deal or discount is real. If you know the real price, you will know if the deal or discount is real. I personally do not buy items online without first trying to find out from other online competitors or physical stores what the average price for that product or a similar one is. Sometimes the physical option is not always convenient and takes time; which are parts of the challenges online shopping is meant to solve. But I will rather pay extra for convenience and time sake than be cheaply deceived by some fake deals and discounts schemes.
Monitor the Online Store or Item of Interest
Whenever a store makes it a habit to offer specific items at special prices for more than half the time or almost all the time, it is likely the store is misleading shoppers and should be cautiously patronized. Deals and discounts for an item should normally be limited by time or stock.
Do you think our online stores are guilty of this too? Share your experience and thoughts with us. Tell us what you do to avoid falling for this kind of schemes.