Such a huge variation in price for a simple pen drive?

Sandisk-pendriveI decided to buy a 4 GB pen-drive recently and I was looking at options. I went to an electronics shop near my house and I asked the best price for a 4 GB pen-drive. I was fine with any brand, as long as I was familiar it. He showed be the SanDisk Cruzer Blade USB Flash drive and told me that the price for the same was Rs. 499/- (MRP) and he can give a maximum discount(!) of 25 rupees on the same.

I have developed one good habit of enquiring the price for any product I buy, in three places (at least) before I buy it. I then went to a mobile shop and I asked them for the best price for the same model. This guy told me that the best price will be the MRP (Rs.499/-). I was quite stunned at their attitude because I knew that electronic products rarely get sold at their MRP prices.

I then went to Reliance Digital to see the price for this product there. It was Rs. 259/-, inclusive of all taxes! I knew that I could get a better price on the Internet, but since I wanted to use it on that day, I went ahead and bought it.

I came home and checked the price for the same pen drive in flipkart. It was Rs. 212/-, inclusive of all taxes!! And flipkart gives free delivery for any product over Rs. 200/-. If I could have waited for 3-4 days, I would have probably bought it here.

Anyway, the point of the post is – How can there be such a huge disparity in prices at four shops for the same product? Look at the range of price difference – Rs. 212/- to Rs. 499/-.

The price difference is more than 100% !! I wonder how this is acceptable in any industry? Why will anyone buy at such inflated prices, especially when a product like a pen drive is so commonly available at many places? Even if someone buys at an inflated price (in local shops), will they ever go back to that shop after they eventually discover the price difference?

Secondly, I think I need to check for the best price for any product online, before I go and buy it in a nearby shop (if I need it urgently).

Is this price difference there in all type of products or only electronic products? Any experiences you had recently?

Destination Infinity

PS: In the photo, do you recognize what object is placed next to the pen-drive? 🙂

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23 Replies to “Such a huge variation in price for a simple pen drive?”

  1. I have been hearing some good things about flipkart although I also hear they are suffering losses because of the discounts they are giving. My take on this is that how much discount to give is dependent on the retailer. Some do it to undercut others and I guess we consumers have to get wise and take advantage of it.

    1. I do agree that the retailer can charge up to the MRP. It’s legal. But look at the margins (in %), I am not sure if making that kind of margins (especially with so much competition around) is ethical or even sensible. About flipkart, even though they are selling it at low prices, they can’t be selling at a loss, right? Maybe they feel that good service and great pricing is a better advertisement! Perhaps they are right too!!

      Destination Infinity

  2. I too have noticed it especially in prices of books, clothes and electronics. I recently bought a multifunction (printer-scanner- copier). The local prices were almost 2k more than what I got at Flipkart, so bought it from there.

    I too indulge in checking prices at many stores before sealing the deal. But I usually check the prices online before going to the local market to help me decide on the spot.

    As far the picture, I think it’s the Pears soap. Yes, cosmetics too is a field with vast variety of price ranges seen across stores, not just in local market but international market too.

    1. Tell me about books. I bought one in a bookstore recently, and the online price was at least 20% lesser than that. But, 20-30% price difference is still fine. I just can’t understand the 100% + price difference.

      Yes, you are right – It’s a pears soap 🙂

      Destination Infinity

  3. If you go to Ritchie street, you can close the deal of same product at 150Rs. probably. Giving the discount is completely upto the retail shop. Recently while enquiring about 3D smart tv, I came across similar such differences. There were price diff of about £400 between shops. I think it happens in all the electronic retail stores.

    1. I wonder what’s their business model? Sell to a few customers with high prices and try to make enough margin with a small amount of business? How long can they keep doing this?

      Destination Infinity

    1. Good deal, you got. I wanted something to use it on the same day, so I had to buy it in a nearby shop. I should check eBay too… Generally, I don’t go beyond flipkart.

      Destination Infinity

  4. Oh,

    I agree I agree! We check our prices online and we check in a few shops before buying. ofcourse that kind of a luxury is not always there. I have no idea why ! And I find it just so unethical of them to do that.
    Pears soap?
    Flipkart is a boon. Seriously! A boon that I can’t avail currently.

    1. Yes, it is a pears soap 🙂 Flipkart is good, but concerns regarding their margin levels are already surfacing and the delivery/stocking costs should be quite considerable as well. I am not sure how long they can keep giving low prices.

      Destination Infinity

  5. I haven’t tried buying anything from flip cart, but I’ve been thinking of doing so. When it comes up to electronics, I prefer Reliance Digital though.

    1. Reliance digital seems to be good. I mean, we get so many electronic products under a single roof. You should try flipkart someday, too.

      Destination Infinity

    1. Yeah, if we plan things properly it should be possible to buy online and save money. I seem to want everything in the last minute, which should be avoided.

      Destination Infinity

  6. Never realized there was this much of a price difference in pen-drives from shop to shop and from shop to online.

    Flipkart is awesome though 🙂 Ordered some books off it, books which are almost NEVER available in bookstores whenever I check.

    1. Availability is one thing and price is another. I bought one book at a book shop for 15% discount on its MRP. The same book at flipkart was 35-40% cheaper. There is only one advantage with a book shop – We can discover good books, sitting there for hours together. Somehow, doing the same online is not so interesting! 🙂

      Destination Infinity

  7. Wow!!! You do research for you shopping also and share the results with your readers!! I am glad i am reading you!!
    Thanks a lot for sharing this, next time i’ll buy something i’ll definitely make sure to check the price online 🙂
    Looks like everybody has already guessed that the object is Pears Soap 🙂

    1. Yes, not even one person guessed it wrongly! Next time, I should come up with a more difficult mystery 🙂

      Destination Infinity

    1. That’s not a big variation, so it should be fine. I am talking about 499 rs and other such huge price variation…

      Destination Infinity

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