21st March 2010 was a Sunday. I was getting bored in the house so thought why not go out and do something. My wife reminded me that we had to buy groceries and also dispose off some of our very old clothes and luggage which was occupying a lot of space in the house. Suddenly, my eyes went to the advertisement of big bazaar in the Mumbai Mirror. This was one of those luring ads of big bazaar that actually is very useful to trap the customers. Initially I was not interested but felt that the ad only concerned with my scrap which anyways I would want to dispose off.
The ad announced some very lucrative deals on your scrap and said.
1. Sell off your old clothes at 200 Rs/kg.
2. Sell off your old luggage at 100 Rs/kg.
3. Sell of your old shoes at 200 Rs /kg.
The ad looked impressive enough and I forgot to read the clause part of the ad. I packed all my waste clothes and the bags that I wanted to dispose of in a suite-case and went ahead to sell this to big bazaar.
What happened over there?
My goods fetched me a healthy sum of Rs 1300/-. I was duly issued coupons for this. I thought that my scrap has been worthy enough to by me groceries for the next month. I went to the customer care to ask them how to use this coupons and how to redeem them. They gave me an answer which made the earth below my feet disappear. They told me that to redeem this coupon of Rs 1300/- I would have to make a purchase of groceries worth Rs 1300 X 8 = Rs 10,400/-. They showed me a very tiny clause written in each coupon which said that the face value of the coupon can be used to redeem if you purchase 8 times the value of the coupon. The icing on the cake was that the coupons were valid only uptil the 28th of March 2010. I wondered what a way to do business this is. Pantaloons chairman, must have thought a lot in devising this process so that the following things happen.
1. People are first lured to sell their scrap for worthless coupons.
2. Then to redeem these coupons they do a shopping worth 8 times that of the coupon.
3. This increases your sales by leaps and bounds and gives a very good closing to your quarter four and fiscal year.
4. Also you take the scrap clothes from the people. Sort them out by bright color and dark color. Do the dyeing of the light color clothes and give them some finishing touch and then next month launch them at 20times the price in your summer collection claiming they are the cheapest clothes.
The fourth clause is very interesting.
In short they were making scrap out of people.