Zimbabweans are currently going through a phase of absolute shock. If you need a real life experience just walk into any supermarket and observe the shoppers. If one isn’t collecting their jaw from the floor after seeing the latest price for a 2kg packet of mixed chicken portions, they are shaking their head in disbelief at how they can’t afford the 2litres of juice they need for their child’s packed lunch or worst case scenario they’re asking the till operator to void some of the products they picked because the money simply isn’t enough. On a day you actually have some money to spare you shop around for a product you want and as expected most times you can’t find it and end up opting to buy what’s there not what you really want. With all these considerations in mind shopping around has become a skill every Zimbabwean now needs to have in order to survive. Below are some things to give a thought to when you embark on this venture.
The Zesa situation isn’t getting any better and I have no intention of having my gadgets damaged whenever electricity decides to come back with either a low or high voltage. Have you seen the price for a new TV set lately? It’s certainly money I’m not willing to spend any time soon. I went to 3 different places to price check for a surge protector. The first shop was charging 210 ZWL, the second shop a shocking 15 United States Dollars that I didn’t have and the last shop which happened to be the other end of town, a reasonable 80 ZWL. Be prepared to do the work. Price shopping will take a lot of your time, your sanity, your energy but if you’re patient it will be worth it in the end.
ALTERNATIVES AND SUBSTITUTES
You don’t always have to settle for one product because there are alternatives and substitutes for what you’re looking for. The year is 2019, it’s time to let go of the old ways of doing things. You can now switch things up and keep up with the latest innovative ideas available on your mobile phone. Think about it…the last time you bought meat for your household you probably walked into a butchery, ordered your meat, got yet another shock at the price of meat per kg, begrudgingly paid up and made your way home. What if I told you that there is an alternative way of scouting for bargains online? You don’t have to leave your home, you can opt for a payment method you’re comfortable with, you can save on your fuel and land a deal of the day that will be delivered right at your doorstep. The great news is Batsira is tirelessly working on a Mobile App that will have some of these amazing alternatives just a click away on your phone.
It’s better to buy a product that’s a little on the pricey side that will last the next few months to come than it is to buy a cheaper product that will probably last a few weeks and require you to make 5 trips to the supermarket and spend more money on it.
WAIT IT OUT
If it’s not something urgent my advice is wait it out. Smart shoppers wait weeks; sometimes months before making a purchase just in case they land a great deal.
One thing that you’re going to have to make a big part of your shopping life is checking the price that’s rung up at the till point for the products you purchase. Just the other day there was an incident where the price on the product was not tallying with the one that showed up at the till point. The till operator asked her manager to void the transaction and after enquiring why the prices were different from the manager I was informed that they too weren’t aware of the price change. I kept thinking that if I had not been paying attention I was going to be charged 10ZWL more than the original price. Yes, I understand that prices are subject to change in the current Zimbabwean environment but keeping everything up to date is a top priority. Do yourself a favour, get off your phone while your shopping is being charged and make sure each price matches. Even after everything is charged up, double check your receipt before you leave the premises.
We can all play our part in getting the best prices for necessities for things we actually need. The first step will be to follow the tips we provided in this article. Stay tuned for an article discussing the importance of communication and how it can affect your online or offline business coming soon.