Isn’t it weird that most individual businesses set the pricing of their products and services in-front of a customer?

Yes, this is true! and I am not talking about direct discounts, this is a common trend in Africa, without leaving out my lovely city- Kampala!

In Uganda, those that like shopping as a hobby or necessity, do so either in down-town Kampala or in the upscale shopping malls. These set of people must have experienced or witnessed the two scenarios I am about to analyze:

People do wonder why upscale malls hardly forget the prices of products- the reason is simple, they simply display prices on all products.

Go to the Game store or Nakumatte in Kampala and try to buy your favorite gadget, you will be shocked that the sales people in these aisles have their own prices different from the original prices the store owner has put on the products. They will sell to you, so long as you are willing to accept the new terms and conditions for any product you want to buy. It is just a network racketing that stems from the sales people to the cashiers, supervisors and managers, as long as the approval for any product will have to go through each of them and they will share in the gains. These same stores are struggling economically and claim not to know what the issue is..

The issue is that most employees are looking for survival- whatever will earn them extra bucks per day and they will take it at any cost, at the expense of the store owners.

we also have the downtown pricing. whether its in the Kasiita shops or on the streets, pricing is mainly done on the way you look, the car you drive,your dress sense, the Muzungu price and round stomachs.. If you don’t look like the above, they will likely ignore you. Downtown pricing is usually 4 times higher and you need to negotiate your way down however, you will still pay higher for the same product you will get less elsewhere..

-If you are a business owner downtown, you need to streamline your prices or you will continue to loose customers.

-If you are an upscale store owner be vigilant, someone is earning more than in you own store..

Do you still wonder why businesses are closing..? Do you still wonder why customers don’t return ? Do you only focus on today’s sales and forget about tomorrow. This is something to ponder on!

The writer is:
Ayub Kato
Customer service and Call center consultant
Smiling Faces International.

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