The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) has received numerous complaints about inflated discount promises from online retailers in their “daily deals” promotions.
In April, a complainant said Takealot promoted the Logitech F310-Gamepad for R385 and provided the list price as R511. This equates to a discount of 33%.
He said the real price of the item was only R1 more than the discounted price, however, and not R126 as advertised.
There was a similar complaint in March, where a Berlinger Haus 9-Piece Marble Coating Cookware Set was promoted as a Daily Deal at 65% off the normal price of R3,837.
It was being sold for R1,339.
The complainant said the product’s normal price was R1,399, which meant the saving was below 10%.
It should be noted that the ASA dismissed both complaints, stating it found no fault with Takealot’s advertising of the deals.
To see whether Takealot’s Daily Deals discounts are inflated, MyBroadband investigated the issue.
We selected three tech products from Takealot’s Daily Deals on 5 June 2018, and compared the discounted price with the retail price at competing shops.
What we found was that Takealot’s “deal” prices were higher than the retail price of the same products at other stores.
The table and images below show the results of the investigation.
|Takealot Daily Deals|
|Takealot||Price||Retail||Promised Discount||Actual Retail||Actual Discount|
|Mecer Xpression V2 Rockchip RK3288||R2,699||R3,499||22% Cheaper||R2,690||0.3% More Expensive|
|Mecer 2000VU Line Interactive UPS||R1,399||R1,599||12% Cheaper||R1,353||3% More Expensive|
|Logitech MK330 Wireless Desktop||R449||R799||43% Cheaper||R399||11% More Expensive|
We never claimed to have the cheapest prices
Takealot said that as a retailer, there are multiple factors which impact how it prices products and how much it can discount them by.
“For example, stock quantity and the terms negotiated with suppliers and sellers for the deal, whether the product is in stock – for faster delivery – plus our margin strategy are some of the factors that will impact the end pricing,” said Takealot.
“So, there will be cases when another retailer can offer the product at a lower price than us. Of course, the reverse is also true in the instances when our price is lower and we can deliver quicker.”
Takealot added that it never claimed to have the cheapest prices in South Africa, so it is “not misleading at all” to promise large discounts when the products are available for cheaper at other stores.
“Depending on the Daily Deal, it will sometimes be the best-priced in market and sometimes not, but it is a discounted deal price with limited stock available for the day,” said Takealot.
“Our customers can easily shop around as they would in a brick-and-mortar environment, and find the price and retailer that works best for them.”
“Not all consumers shop purely on price, so this is not the only factor in the decision-making process.”
Update: The article has been updated with regards to the ASA cases involving Takealot, and reference to the “inflation” of Takealot prices and discounts. The prices were higher than competitors, and not “inflated” as originally stated.