Opinion: price fixing

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.
akato@smilingfaces.co.ug

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