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The Khel behind the ‘Sale’

Companies in Pakistan play on consumer products with discount offers in off seasons and in exhibitions where they offer lucrative discounts.

The companies offering discounts normally utilize gimmicks to gain advantage from the psychology of customers and some even put behind the good business practices by hiding information eventually dodging customers and generating high liquidity in offseason offers.

So what are some of the companies in Pakistan doing, let’s take a generic look!

So how do they play?

Some companies increase the value of product to 30% and then based on that value gave a 35% discount. For example the product costs 100 rupees, you increase the value by 30% it becomes 130 rupees, now you gave a 35% discount, and it becomes 91 rupees (actual discount is 9% which is portrayed as 35%).

This leaves an incredible effect on consumer mind and most of them rushes to buy those products and very few can really understand the game. As most of the consumers have no records for the prices of specific products.

Defected products without intimation on discount offers

Many companies here in Pakistan mostly in clothing place defected products which is not recognizable by normal consumer on discounts. The consumer is happy to get these defected products

The consumer is happy to get these defected products on discounted prices. Why don’t they just say it as defected and reduce the price for defects? Isn’t it the good way to do it?

Incomplete accessories

There are some cases in anticipation that it won’t be used in off-season, neither will be unpacked, some companies gave products with incomplete accessories ondiscount offers. Mostly such products are to be utilized in other season and are not even opened.

When the customer opens it after 4 to 5 months, the missing accessory has to be purchased that balances the discount which was offered. Because when you go on complaining, in season of use,they say why didn’t you check at the time of purchase? And you will surely agree that “yes it’s my fault” although it was designed so. A little segment of buyers even less than 10% actually checks missing accessories and get it right there (which is again calculated by these discount campaign managers).

Repaired products

There are cases, where the main function of the product for example air conditioning is not there with the packed product sold in the off-season like winter may be in some special exhibitions that showcase discount and is a massive way to sell all the defective products.

Obviously most of the people will not check air-conditioners in winter; people will normally wait for moderate season to get it installed.

Either the coolant gas is missing or the compressor is defective. Now consumer will follow companies based on warranty cards issued, the consumer will bear the transportation charges for repair, and typically in our Pakistani culture the company (let’s not mention name here) will play delay tactics, use cost effective “Jugars & then sent back the “Jugaro repaired” unit back.

Consumer uses the unit and after some short interval of time the unit malfunctions again. Normally then these units are being referred to local vendors for repair and the repair charges from local vendor balances the discount offer or even charges more. Consumer is again helpless.

I am witness of a case where consumer sends three times a defective unit for three different repair cycles and all transportation and installation charges are owned by consumer.

After tireless struggle might be consumer get the true repair that again bearing a lot of transportation and installation money that again balances or exceeds the discount offer. On the other hand companies generate cash even in the off-season for defective products, again a win-win situation for such companies.


These observations are based on real life experiences. There are some brands that value their integrity and offer genuine offers. Those are excluded from this analysis. However there are numbers of companies who are playing these games as consumer in Pakistan is not very well aware and our laws are not sufficient, and where there are laws, the effectiveness of such laws poses a serious question. We need to make consume rights laws and not only laws but also ensure its effective implementation.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely of the author and do not represent ARY policies or opinion.

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