Gift prices up, Catalogues “Christmas sale” questioned

15/12/2011 10:59

A TRACKING of Christmas sale prices on some gift stores by the Consumer Council has revealed that the so-called “Christmas sale” on their glossy catalogues is a gimmick and does not amount to real reductions in prices.

In December 2010 the Council collected and kept the Christmas sale Catalogues of these stores and these were compared with the Christmas catalogue that came out for December 2011. The Council compared the price of watches and perfumes.

And the Council is shocked to find that prices have increased to as high as 84%. Out of a total of 41 items surveyed in two major gift stores, 28 items have increased in price from the Christmas prices advertised in December 2010 Christmas catalogue. Only 3 items dropped in price, while no change was recorded for 10 items.  The Council compared items according to matched model numbers, serial numbers, sizes, etc.

Some examples: Sarah J Parker Lovely perfume (100ml) was sold for $64 in 2010 and now its available for $119, an increase $54.50. Kenzo Jungle Homme perfume (75ml) increased by 51% - the 2010 Christmas price was $99, but this year its $149. Kenzo Flower Coffret perfume (100ml) increased by a massive 72%! Generally, the price difference of watches has increased by as little as $4 to as high as $750. Aquaracer watch was on Christmas special for $3,240 in 2010 and this year the same watch is on Christmas special for $3,990, an increase by $750 ie 23% price increase. Details of 41 items are attached.

The table below summarizes some of the findings.

Number of items

41

% price increase

Number of items with price increases

28

68.3%

Number items with price decreases

3

7.3 %

Number of items with no price change

10

24.4%

Prices have gone up despite decrease in fiscal duty from 15% to 0 for perfumes, watches, and jewelry in the 2011 Budget announced in November last year. The Council has also analyzed the change in Value Added Tax from 12.5% to 15% beginning January this year. While VAT has increased to 15%, importers of these items have enjoyed a drop in fiscal duty to 0%. When applying the new VAT rate to 2010 prices, the prices advertised in December 2011 are still way high than expected. For example one item advertised for $99 during Christmas 2010 is now priced at $149. When applying the new 15% VAT rate (on 2010 VEP) it comes to $101.20. The price on offer is $40 more than what is expected. The exchange rate was also considered.

The results of the survey again strengthen the Council’s view that retailers are not passing down Government’s tariff reductions to consumers. We believe consumers are being falsely led to believe that there is a real sale on when in fact if one compares prices from last year, they have actually increased. Because it is the festive season with Christmas around the corner consumers can be easily persuaded by glossy Christmas catalogues and so-called “Christmas specials” or “Christmas sale prices”.

Price surveillance is one area that the Council will be strengthening. This involves tracking the prices of goods and services throughout the year and ascertaining whether the retailer who claims to have a “sale” is actually dropping prices in the true sense of the term “sale”.

TABLE:  2010/2011 Comparison of Christmas Catalogues

#

BRAND NAME

ITEMS

QTY/SIZE

MODEL #

XMAS 2010 $

XMAS 2011 $

∆ IN $

% ∆ IN $

1

Elizabeth taylor

Diamonds &Rubbies Perfume  set

100ML

-

$69

 $59

Down by $10

Down by 14%

2

Elizabeth taylor

Diamonds & shapphires Perfume set

100ML

-

$69

 $59

Down by $10

Down by 14%

3

Elizabeth taylor

Diamonds & Emeralds Perfume set

100ML

-

$69

 $59

Down by $10

Down by 14%

4

Davidoff

Perfume sets

100ML/125ML

-

$79

 $89

Up by $10

Up by 13%

5

Titan

Watch

-

2455SM01

$79

$85

Up by $6

Up by 8%

6

Titan

Watch

-

2455SM04

$79

$85

Up by $6

Up by 8%

7

Titan

Watch

-

2439YM01

$79

$85

Up by $6

Up by 8%

8

Titan

Watch

-

2401YM02

$79

$85

Up by $6

Up by 8%

9

Titan

Watch

-

1918YM11

$85

$89

Up by $4

Up by 5%

10

Titan

Watch

-

1521YM01

$99

$105

Up by $6

Up by 6%

11

Titan

Watch

-

340YM03

$85

$89

Up by $4

Up by 5%

12

Kenzo

Jungle Homme Perfume

75ml

-

$99

$149

Up by $50

Up by 51%

13

Kenzo

Flower Essentielle Perfume

100ml

-

$119

$149

Up by  $30

Up by 25%

14

Kenzo

Flower Perfume

100ml

-

$129

$199

Up by  $70

Up by 54%

15

Kenzo

Flower coffret Perfume

100ml

-

$139

$239

Up by $100

Up by 72%

16

Calvin Klein

Free for Men Perfume

100ml

-

$129

$149

Up by $20

Up by 16%

17

Calvin Klein

Eternity Aqua Perfume

100ml

-

$129

$149

Up by $20

Up by 16%

18

Calvin Klein

Eternity perfume

100ml

-

$129

$149

Up by  $20

Up by 16%

19

Issey Miyake

L'Eau D'Issey Pour Homme Intense Perfume

125ml

-

$99

$179

Up by  $80

Up by 81%

20

Sarah J Parker

Lovely Perfume

100ml

-

$64

$119

Up by $54.50

Up by 84%

21

Davidoff

Cool Water For Men Perfume

125ml

-

$64

$79

Up by  $14.50

Up by 22%

22

Davidoff

Cool Water for Women Perfume

100ml

-

$64

$79

Up by $14.50

Up by 22%

23

Burberry

Sport for Men Perfume

75ml

-

$99

$169

Up by  $70

Up by 71%

24

Burberry

Sport for Women Perfume

75ml

-

$99

$169

Up by  $70

Up by 71%

25

Euroluxe

Pink Blow Perfume

100ml

-

$25

$25

No Change

No change

26

Euroluxe

Glam Touch Perfume

100ml

-

$25

$25

No Change

No change

27

Euroluxe

Purple Waves Perfume

100ml

-

$25

$25

No Change

No change

28

Euroluxe

Charmant Perfume

100ml

-

$25

$25

No Change

No change

29

Euroluxe

First Date Perfume

100ml

-

$25

$25

No Change

No change

30

Euroluxe

Men in the City Perfume

100ml

-

$19

$19

No Change

No change

31

Euroluxe

TLH Men Perfume

100ml

-

$19

$19

No Change

No change

32

Euroluxe

Black Stripe EDT Spray

100ml

-

$25

$25

No Change

No change

33

Euroluxe

Red Soul EDT Spray

100ml

-

$25

$25

No Change

No change

34

Euroluxe

Masters Club spray

100ml

-

$25

$25

No Change

No change

35

Calvin Klein

Bold Square Watch

1

K3047126

$860

$1,100

Up by $240

Up by 28%

36

Raymond Weil

Tango Round Watch

1

48995T00208

$3,500

$4,230

Up by $730

Up by 21%

37

Raymond Weil

Tango Rectangular Watch

1

48815T00209

$3,500

$4,230

Up by $730

Up by 21%

38

Raymond Weil

Tang Roubd Watch

1

5599STP00308

$2,830

$3,420

Up by $590

Up by 21%

39

Aquaracer

Watch

1

CAN1011 BA0821

$3,240

$3,990

Up by $750

Up by 23%

40

Seiko

Sapphire Glass Watch

1

SXDC24

$445

$539

Up by $94

Up by 21%

41

Tissot

Sea Touch

1

T026420178102

$2,450

$2,960

Up by  $510

Up by 21%