As the countdown to Christmas begins many shoppers who have yet to start shopping for Christmas presents are penny pinching when it comes to finding the best deals. As this year’s bad weather has caused chaos on the roads shoppers are turning to the internet to do the bulk of their Christmas shopping to shield themselves from the arctic conditions. Those who have been brave enough to go Christmas shopping may find that the prices they pay are based on a postcode lottery.
Shoppers have complained that the price of goods vary from place to place, inner London has always been expensive but in the run up to Christmas people have found that prices for the same product in different areas but owned by the same store are different. People are having to pay as much as 80% in some areas compared to others; a Samsung camera was more than double the price in a Cambridge Curry’s store than anywhere else. Shoppers have been left outraged when this came to light just a few days ago.
It is a well known fact that competitors will also stage ‘50%’ sales because of a rival company but they are not always as competitive as they may seem. It would seem that those who have chosen to do most of their Christmas shopping online will save more money with minimum hassle. There are so many comparison sites that show you how much the prices for presents are varying this year. Also due to the bad weather retailers are enticing customers with free delivery and discounts of up to £20 off orders a set minimum total.
Tesco and Marks and Spencer’s are the worst offenders when it comes to overcharging and changing their prices, small inner city stores charge more than bigger outlets and supermarkets. But if you were to go on the website I am sure that the prices are lower that what is advertised in store. Retailers have hit back at these allegations saying that it is an error in pricing and the correct price would have been reflected when paying at the till, but one HMV customer found that the price for a DVD box set varied across 3 different cities, £18 in Birmingham, and £24.99 in Manchester and £28 in Cardiff.
Many shoppers will be caught out this year so it is worth checking well before buying; some places also have a price match guarantee so if you buy a product then find it cheaper elsewhere you will be refunded the difference. There are strict policies that need to be met before they refund the difference but if it was a large sum then just ask for a refund and buy from the cheaper rival company.