Smart Shop Engineering!

Credit cards, debit cards and the tempting retail outlets

DR AKHTAR HUSSAIN MIR

Being aware and educated as a customer is half the battle won. The rest, of course, lies in actual implementation on the shop floor, when everything looks so tempting and every item seems to be a must-have. In this situation shoppers, like me, being the first, cannot escape without burning a hole in our wallet.

CASH  or  CREDIT?
Most shoppers use either Credit or Debit cards to pay for their purchase, but are woefully uninformed about the intricacies of card payments.  Card payments are quick, easy, and remove the need to carry physical cash. At the same time, it is better for compulsive shoppers to avoid paying by cards- physically handing over cash tends to make you question your purchases more closely and even leave a better option to bargain. Credit and Debit cards are often wrongly used in an interchangeable sense. There are advantages and disadvantages for each, credit and debit cards. Shoppers, should I believe, analyse these before zeroing in on which mode of cashless payments suits their needs best. The advantages of using a Credit Card to shop are many. The most obvious benefit is the reward that credit card companies offer on accrual of points. Additionally, credit card offers better protection against incorrect swipes and fraudulent purchases in the court of law. Credit card companies are also particularly helpful in resolving problems with purchases, unlike a debit card, where the money has already left our account. Debit cards have their own benefits. With a debit card we are only spending money that is already in our account. So the question of falling into a debit trap spiral is removed and we are able to control our spending better. Additionally we need not worry about the interest rates and bills that accompany credit card usage. It would be in place to mention that interest rates on unpaid credit card dues can run into astronomical amounts. In addition to the debit cards need a PIN number to be transacted with. Hence even if we misplace a debit card, the risk is lower than that of a credit card if misplaced.
The installment scheme:
Many large retailers are increasingly offering customers the option to pay in Equated Monthly Installments (EMIs). While this option works wonderfully for those who do not have disposable cash at the moment but want to make purchase immediately, EMIs are not free from perils. Zero interest rate EMIs offered by retailers are being eagerly lapped up by customers. Be aware, no one is running a charity. Even if the loan is tagged as zero interest, the money will be recovered from the customer somehow. The manner in which this is done is through the hidden costs- transactions and processing fees. Further the customer opts for zero interest loans is not entitled to any special discount and pays the full price

Strictly Need Bases:
Entering any retail shop, we are tempted to shop whatever comes in front and forget the item that has made us to enter a retail outlet. It is, therefore, important to be aware of what you need and don’t need. This makes you immune to the tempting offers and festive discounts that retailers will throw at you. Shop with a list you want to buy. This will keep you focused. When you shop, steer clear of common retail traps, reveals a friend of mine who has spent most part of his life in the retail industry, “Retailers usually place their newest, most expensive wares in the front of store, amidst flattering lighting and displays. The real steals and bargains are hidden in unflattering areas at the back of store. Start shopping by visiting the bargain racks first, so you have a frame to compromise prices of the items in the store. It is also a good idea to avoid impulse purchases- the tempting little items placed oh-so-conveniently by the cashier”
Feedback at dr.akhtarhussain@yahoo.com

Lastupdate on : Sat, 5 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 5 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 6 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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