Need for Consumer awareness
Although it is said that ‘consumer is the king’, in the market, there are a number of undesirable activities taking place targeting the consumer. Some marketers indulge in several malpractices to make windfall gain. Given below are the unethical practices of the sellers against which the consumers need protection:
1. Poor Quality goods
Many businessmen deliberately bring out poor quality goods. Some of these are unbranded. The market for electrical goods may be cited as an example.
2. Manipulation of the price
It is not uncommon to find the same product being sold at different prices in different places. A bottle of 300-ml. soft drink may be sold at Rs.9 in a bunk shop, at Rs.15 in a cinema theatre and so on. The buyers usually pay the price demanded by the sellers.
3. Black marketing and hoarding
Marketers do resort to black marketing essential goods. They do this to create an artificial demand for such goods. This results in a rise in price. The victim is the innocent buyer. Rice, sugar, butter, edible oil, onion etc., are the products the supply of which is deliberately withheld by the seller.
It takes place in the market in two forms. Inferior goods are deliberately mixed with superior goods. The other form of adulteration is to mix chalk powder, sand, brick powder, stones etc.
Inferior grades of rice may be mixed with the superior grades. It is not uncommon to find the presence of stones, clay balls etc., in rice and grams. Brick powder, chalk powder etc., are added to masala powder.
5. Deceptive advertisements
Most newspaper and television advertisements make only false claims. They are nothing more than a gimmick or trick. used by the marketer to get the buyers’ attention.
6. Duplicate goods
The market is flooded with lots of fake and duplicate goods. The presence of duplicate goods is quite common in the market for electrical and electronic goods, auto spares and so on. Biscuits, chocolates and soft drinks of popular companies are also being imitated by certain unscrupulous persons.
7. Unreal discounts
Certain marketers announce a discount of even 50 percent. Such discounts, obviously, cannot be real. No seller can afford to sell his product at 50 percent discount unless there is some defect in the product.
8. Quantity loss
Often the buyers notice quantity loss in what they purchased. For example, a person buying a kilo of sugar may find a quantity loss of at least 50 grams. False weights and measurements are used by many vendors.