Here's my latest pearl: going retail without much capital or effort.
The concept is simple. Many retail stores out there offer you a "we'll beat any price" promise provided you can furnish proof of a competing store's advert. All you need to do to exploit this is to either (a) print out a pamphlet promising below-cost prices for products that other major retail chains are selling or (b) set up a home office or website that fakes a storefront.
Let me elaborate:
- GAME will match any competitor's price on a product they sell provided the competitor has the same product in stock. Not only will GAME match the price but they'll offer you a further 10% discount on the product price difference.
- GAME will usually look at a printed advert and then phone the store to verify that the price is valid and stock is available.
- All you need to do is see what GAME sells (for example, a 46" FHD 3D LED TV for R19,299) and then print out an advert for the same product at some insane "opening sale special" of R1,929. Organise a landline or cellphone number as your store's "front" number and have two friends (or more if your friends can't put on accents) man the phone.
- Walk in to GAME and show them the advert and say it's an opening special and will they match the price. They have to because it's their policy but they'll first need to check that the special is valid.
- Dialing the number on the advert your first buddy answers the phone with appropriate background noise generated by a TV or a fake PA sound effect etc. and says "Bargain Discounts Electronics, Ronnie speaking, how may I direct your call?" and then GAME will ask about the product special at which point 'Ronnie' says, "hold on a moment, let me put you through to the Home Entertainment division" and hits a HOLD button to make the classic elevator music.
- Buddy #2 picks up the phone and says something official like "hello, despatch" and then undertakes a small conversation about how they've been put through to the wrong division and they'll transfer them.
- Buddy #1 picks up and says "hello, switchboard" and then transfers the GAME guy to Buddy #2...
- "Hello, showroom"... "yes sir, that product is on special - we have one left"... "okay let me put you through to my accounts department"
- Buddy #1 "hello, Gavin speaking..." and so on.
- The key to making this whole process work is faking a call-transfer and using big words like "warehouse", "showroom", and "despatch" to flummox the GAME guy.
- At a loss, they'll have to mark their TV set down to R1,929 and then knock off an additional ten percent difference, which is R1,737, rendering the whole TV set to a new price of under R200. Even if you score just one, you've scored a huge bargain ;-)
Of course, from here, how you hit it big is if you really did genuinely advertise the product at your shopfront (assuming you want to go into retail) and then sell the TV at the advertised price (R1,929) - you'll have earned a R1,737 profit on one product and undersold GAME.
I know it's a very rough concept but it's the concept that intrigues me. GAME is not the only store to match and beat prices: Hi-Fi Corporation, House and Home, Hirsch's and many others do the same so you could just cut-throat market against them using their own policies and make a bit of cash on the side.
To be really authentic looking without running a store, just grab a picture off the internet of some store front and then edit it to make it look like your opening special. Here's an example:
- GOOGLE for "electronics store" images and grab one that looks good
- Spruce it up a bit
- Take it in to GAME :-)
Again, this is a really simple concept that I am putting out there to show how my mind thinks. If someone were crafty enough to put something like this into action I am certain they could pull off a few bargain purchases or at least make some cash on the side before GAME et al wise up to it.