Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Right Not to Buy


One of my nephew’s sitters went to a baby shop to buy some milk. While she was in the store, she saw a butterfly pin. She thought that it was cheap for Rp4,500 (USD0.5) so she brought it to the cashier. When the cashier scanned the barcode, it was not Rp4,500 but Rp14,500, more than three times the price! She was feeling embarrassed to say no and she decided to pay for the pin.

If this happened to you, what would you have done?

  1. Pay for it, or
  2. Cancel the purchase

What if the price is Rp45,000 and Rp145,000?

Perhaps it’s easier to cancel the purchase when the amount is significantly bigger. Rp10,000 is cheap to save your face, but Rp100,000? Is it worth it?

I remembered my own story when I was a teenager studying in Australia. National Geographic store recently opened and I went there to check it out. I saw a stethoscope and I was considering of buying it. The price of the stethoscope was quite expensive considering the amount of pocket money I had. While I was thinking whether to buy it, taking it out of the box to see whether it was of good quality and the price did reflect the value, one of the store attendant came to me. I thought perhaps I was not allowed to take it out of the box, so he came to warn me. When he came, he asked me with what I heard was a demeaning tone, “Are you going to buy it? Can you afford to buy it?” At that moment, my ego went nuts. I thought nobody should look down on me like that, so with emotions running high, I told him, “Yes, I will buy it.” I went to the cashier and took almost all the money that I had in my wallet to pay for it. After I went home, I had a big buyer’s remorse!

At that moment I learned a lesson, to be unafraid to cancel a purchase and that I have the right not to buy and I won’t let the store attendant to “bully” me into buying something.  

Have you had a similar experience? What have you learned? Please share in the comments.

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso, B. Com, CFP®

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