As the saying goes, “the customer is always right”. Sometimes, we believe in the products that we want, and remain confident about their quality especially if we are buying them from places that people have recommended to us. And most of the time, we’re lucky. Other times? Not so much.
The most popular sites to buy electronics from are forum.lowyat, Mudah.com, Lelong.com, and Lazada. And for those who do not trust products sold online, they might prefer to turn to KL’s most beloved — and hated — Lowyat Plaza, to satiate their hunger for electronics.
To help you with your gadget buying endeavours, here are some pros and cons for shopping in both places, as well as some useful tips when picking either one of them!
- Cheaper than retail pricing Yes, since online businesses do not incur expenses like rent and floating cash, sellers are able to sell their products at lower prices than physical shops.
- Shipping to your home Some days, we’re just too lazy to leave our homes, so if we want something badly, the only practical thing to do would be to buy our gadgets online and have them shipped to our doorsteps.
- Completely eliminates social interaction Some people are just not peoplepeople, and do not like to deal with their fellow humans very much. And sometimes, going to physical stores make us spend more than necessary when the salespeople there do their jobs too well.
- Shipping time This is the dealbreaker for all online shopping purchases: not being able to receive our items immediately. We’ve all felt this way before: “I have the money ready but I cannot get my stuff immediately!”
- Scams Physical shopkeepers and online sellers are pretty much the same. The only difference is that one sits behind a counter, while the other lounges behind a screen. And the one behind the screen gets to disappear if he wants to (after he’s taken your money), and you’ll never be able to trace him (unless you put in a lot of effort). There have been several cases of online sellers running away with customers’ money, or sending them counterfeit or poorer-than-expected products.
- Warranty Some warranty policies require you to send the products back to the seller for them to claim and process, and this will inconvenience both buyers and sellers since products have to be shipped back and forth, wasting additional money and time.
Tips when shopping online
- Always find a way to contact previous customers to find out about their experience when dealing with a specific seller. Fellow buyers sometimes leave positive or negative testimonies on their experience in forum threads, which can make or break a seller’s reputation.
- Choose the option of COD (Cash on delivery) when you can. Sometimes, sellers offer to meet you face-to-face and make the transaction in order to prevent scams, and also to earn your trust. This is good, as you will be able to inspect what you’re buying on the spot for any defects.
- Trust your gut feelings. Sometimes a person can reek of scam because they make ridiculously hard-to-resist offers. For all you know, that seller could be selling you a broken, stolen, or imitation product.
Shopping in Lowyat Plaza
- Variety Lowyat is a digital mall, with floors and floors of endless gadgets. There’s bound to be something for you out there, and there’s a great spread for you to choose from.
- Price matching is easy and fun! Lowyat is like the Hunger Games. Shops compete with each other every day to see who has the lowest price to attract their customers. If you happen to see one shop having a lower price for something, but prefer to buy it from your favorite store, just snap a picture or inform them of the lower price, and they WILL match the price for you.
- Warranty This is the best reason to buy from a store. If your gadget gets spoiled or has a defect, you can simply bring it back to the store you bought it from, and either have it repaired for free, or in the best case, COMPLETELY REPLACED with a new one.
- Inexperienced staff I’m talking about the delinquent looking kid who’s not even looking at you when you browse the store. When you call for them, they either suddenly go deaf, blind, or ask someone else to deal with you. They’re so young, yet already fed up with life.
- Scams There are some cut-throat veteran shopkeepers in Lowyat, and they’re always looking for prey. These elite opportunists look for the most unaware and dim customers to feed on. They act super friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable, and make every possible effort to ensure you buy your stuff from them. Let’s just say you’ll fall for it, and pay many times the original retail price because you will be utterly convinced. You’ll get the product you want and it’s real, but the price you end up paying, is UNreal.
- Selective attention This can go racial. Some shops and people have a nasty practice of serving only customers who definitely going to buy something. Those who just walk in for a “survey” are treated like they are invisible. Sometimes, they even secretly refuse to serve you because you don’t fall within their..”racial preference”.
Tips when shopping in Lowyat
- Don’t fall for cut-throats. They’re nice guys, but those nice guys will drain your pocket. Always survey prices, and when they offer you, counter-offer them. If they relent, you’ve got a deal. Remember, don’t be afraid of them. You can always choose to walk off.
- Don’t fall for free gifts. Free gifts are usually cheap incentives to sell poor-selling products or out of production stuff. Only fall for them if they’re new arrivals and it’s the running promotion!
- Manners maketh man. Don’t buy from anyone who refuses to give you the attentiveness and quality you deserve as a customer. The first rule of good sales, are good manners.
There you go everyone, be careful, be alert, and happy shopping!