Gitex: Consumers not happy with bundle offers.
Right now, low-cost tablets, headphones, power data banks and hard disk drives are bundled with many products for free.
Manisha Bhatia, a housewife from Dubai, said that she bought a Samsung Galaxy S4 and Toshiba TV and got two cheap tablets along with the bundled offers.
She said that she already has two cheap tablets which she got from last year's bundled offers.
"I am fed up of this cheap tablet and asked the retailer to give some other option. The only option he gave me was that instead of the bundled offers he can give me Dh200 discount on the product. But the bundled offers are worth more than Dh700," Bhatia said.
So, she said, she is forced to accept the offers.
"Why can't the retailers give gift vouchers where we can select our own products?" she questions.
Rohit Sharma, a technician from Dubai Bank, said that he was forced to accept the bundled offers even though he has all the bundled products. "Tablets have been bundled with many products because we are getting them at good deals. If we give gift vouchers they will be eating into our regular margins. Then you don't get economies of scale. With bundled offers customers are getting 25 per cent of the value of the product," said Nadeem Khanzadah, head of retail at Jumbo Electronics.
He said that no retailer can give that kind of deals on a regular basis. The free bundles make it attractive for the customers.
"I would agree with the customers about free vouchers instead of bundled offers. In every event, around 30,000 cheap tablets are bundled with premium products and we do it because the market is doing it. I think every retailer has to think of a new strategy and not do the same thing as the last four to five years," said Neelesh Bhatnagar, CEO at Emax.
Khanzadah said that there is always a product in a three-year phase that is mass marketed and retailers get a very good deal.
A few years ago, printers were in craze and printers were bundled free with every products consumers buy. When printer craze faded out hard disks came in. Last and this year it is the low-cost tablet. Probably by next year we may have some other product which will become the bundled offer fad. "In some cases, the bundling is put in by brands and some by individual retailers. In some cases we are offering customers the option of hard disk drives instead of tablets. There are many customers who demand a tablet," said Ashish Panjabi, COO at Jacky's.
"Let me think about a gift voucher for the next three-four days instead of the unwanted bundles as it will benefit the customers and they can buy what they want," Bhatnagar said.
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