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ConsumerWatch 178

Snapping up camera bargain that wasn't in Black Friday sale

We in Israel seem to have joined the U.S. shopping mania with our Black Friday in a variety of stores, mainly electronic as far as I could judge.

As some of you may know from my advert on the Esralist, I was in the market for a secondhand camera for my grandson, who at school had started a course on Film. Having already compared, on the Internet, various prices in Israel and abroad and being shocked by the prices I saw, I decided to see what was happening in our Black Friday shopping.

At the Bug store the previous week I had seen the recommended camera, a Canon, which I was looking for, priced at NIS 3,249. In the Bug Black Friday magazine which I received at home, their Black Friday was from November 28 to December 6, and the same camera was priced at NIS 2,753 (i.e. 18% less). I then went on to Machsanei Hashmal in Ramat Gan/Bnei Brak, which did not appear to be having any special sale, Black Friday or other, and guess what - the identical camera was priced at NIS 1,996! My grandson is now very happy with his new camera.

Discount Coupons/Cards

Unfortunately for many of us, the discount on the purchase of these coupons and cards has been sadly reduced. When purchasing these via the various Senior Citizens' groups, the Rav Card Be'Ir (רב קארד בעיר) coupons/cards which are for use with Mega Be'Ir, the discount is now only 10%. The Tav HaZahav (תו הזהב) coupons for the Supersol can be purchased with a discount of only 5%. And Yeynot Bitan(ייניות ביתן) has joined the list of companies with Tav Plus (תו פלוס) giving discounts on coupons/cards purchased in advance. As of Rosh Hashanah 2014 they were not yet available at the Senior Citizens' offices which were selling the other coupons/cards.

Price Comparisons

Lately the Ministry of Finance and the newspapers have been publishing a lot of price comparisons between products at different chain stores. Personally I have many problems with both their choice of items and the prices quoted by the reporters. I find myself buying the identical products at the same stores, probably at different branches, very often at much lower prices than given in the newspapers – I wonder why and how?

Don't be air conned!

Fix installation price, extras, when you buy

It is recommended to buy a new air conditioner in the winter, when prices are supposed to be cheaper. However, when reading all those advertisements in the newspapers, make sure you read the very small print that says "installation not included". Often the price of the air conditioner has been reduced, but the difference sometimes gets added to the installation.

Shop around - get the salesman himself to write down the prices of the air conditioners, otherwise you may be told, as I was, "Lady, you forgot to write the extra costs down". Get him to write down all the aspects of the installation: such as how many meters of the various piping is included in the price, how much per meter for extra piping, if the compressor bracket is included, if the wall is made of concrete and not of blocks etc., if metal bars have to be removed. These extras, if not settled beforehand, can amount to more than 50% of the price of the air conditioner itself. Do not accept the reply that installation costs have to be settled with the person doing the installation. If the shop is sending you the person who will do the installation, then they have to be responsible for the price to be fixed. Both Shekem Electric and ALM, at the time I bought my air-conditioners, telephoned their people and we fixed the price beforehand. Remember, shop around and have the comparison of prices with you all the time.

Fed up with those long supermarket walks?

An interesting item on Sky News (U.K.): People are getting bored with the large supermarkets and the distances they have to walk for buying just a loaf of bread and a container of milk. In the U.K. apparently a lot of smaller shops are popping up. This may be a warning that our huge chain stores need to take into consideration. I would love to visit some of the new super-stores cropping up all over the country, but am not prepared to walk the huge distances required in the store, especially if I forget something which I usually remember when I am already at the cash desk and only notice it in the trolley of someone else in the queue! 



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Tuesday, 05 March 2024

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