Fellow home owners - WATCH OUT for these warning signs before putting down your money
Disclaimer: These are fictitiously illustrated pointers inspired by personal and friends' experiences, and other relavant sources. Please read with discretion. If you're easily offended, don't read, go read a self-help book. Any resemblance is purely coincidental.
SIGN 1. IT ALL STARTED FROM FACEBOOK SPONSORED ADS.
Suddenly, like signs from above, 2 or 3 different FB Pages flash their beautiful furniture at you. A few of them caught your eyes, on SALE, those prices so fly! You bite the bait and clicked right in. They have likes, shares comments and enquiries like they're legit hot! 10 years warranty woah say! They even have lucky draws, boy oh boy! You think to yourself, "Woah this design I buy from XXX and YYY stores need to pay alot more leh!" It's your dream furniture coming true at a price so unreal. So you tag your spouse/friends and say "Let's go!" Few showrooms you go shopping, impressive showrooms. You're convinced by now they confirm legit!
WATCH OUT FOR THESE:
- When are these FB Pages created?
- Have you heard of them?
- Do they sound awfully similar to other established companies?
- Are they always slashing prices?
- Do a few new/unfamiliar FB Pages sell very similar products at very similar unbelievable prices, at the same period?
- Heck, do their photos and products look almost the same?? Hmmm.
- Compare with prices of reliable competitors. Are prices ALOT lower? If so, why?
- Check their addresses. How long have they been located there? If new, where did they move in from?
- Are they registered companies with ACRA?
- Home furnishing industry in Singapore isn't that large. Suppliers are only a handful. Question to ask is, how does a new company you've never heard before, maintain an impressive showroom, its operating and man costs, costs of supplies and shipping, and still give you that **** good price PLUS warranty?
- They tell you they have a factory? Outside Singapore? Google it. Ensure they are actually related. Even if they have the same names.
SIGN 2. SLASHED PRICE & BARGAIN-ABLE (WHAT?!)
At the showroom, your friendly sales guy sits you down and treats you like royalty. You say it's out of your budget or you'll consider, but he forces his charm on you and keeps you back. Before you know it 2 hours of your precious shopping weekend gone. He asks what's your budget? You tell him. He whips out his calculator and punched in some numbers. His brows knit so hard they're about to merge. He then stands up and tells you he'll talk to his boss. There you wait, minutes ticking. After what seems like forever on this precious day, he returns with a million dollar smile. He says "Only for you" and shows you the magic number. He says 70% deposit, you hesitated, but he managed to convince you why it's necessary. Well, you've to pay for it eventually, why does it matter, right? Somehow, like you're under his spell, you put your money on the table. Excited that you've officially been promoted from endless shopping, to awaiting that empty space of your home completed. "It's a great deal!" You and your wife brimming with joy. Silently, you try to shake off the nerves.
WATCH OUT FOR THESE:
- Prices are already unbelievable and you can still bargain? Does it sound too flexible?
- If you're getting a bad vibe, trust it, walk out and cool off. Don't let the sales person pressure you into making a decision.
- Know the company you're visiting. As in, know its registered company name. And ensure you're given an invoice in that name...with the right address.
- Ask about the warranty, how will they honor it? Who services it? Any form of documentation for it?
- Oh, and are you highly encouraged to pay cash/ cash transfer at any point from sales to site visit? Why, cheque cannot ah?
SIGN 3. LIKE A LATE PERIOD
Delivery is 5 minutes later, you receive a call from the boss. He says sorry, shipment is delayed, will need 2 more weeks. This is after "I forgot to order!" "I'm overseas." "I lost my cat!" You're frustrated but what can you do? You've paid 70%. So you wait.
Delivery is 30 minutes ago, but there's still no sign of your dream furniture coming. You call the boss, no answer. You call the charming sales guy, he's resigned. You call the boss again for the next hour, he answers and sounds more puzzled than you. He tells you he'll find out what's going on. Half a day later, you call him again for another hour. He calls back and says the supplier made a mistake, wait another 2 weeks. By now, you're furious. But what can you do?
THE day comes, nothing again. You call and nothing. A day gone by, nothing. The next day you go back to the showroom with your 6 packs and a bat, just to find the showroom empty. Completely evacuated. Up on the glamorous door is a sign that says "WE ARE TOTALLY UNRELATED TO S.C.A.M. PTE LTD". You realize you've been s.c.a.m-ed.
WATCH OUT FOR THESE:
I'm sorry. By now there's nothing to watch out for. You're bounced from SPF to CASE and back to your home with that empty corner, a hole in your pocket and a sore thumb from poking that a*hole on your phone. So you move on. And like for every one of us, a lesson learnt. Nooooo, cuz a year or 2 later you find out that a*hole still lurking out here preying on consumers like you and me. I feel you mate.
If this sounds horribly familiar, and you've done everything you could, leading to dead ends, pm me for a sharing session.
STAY SAFE EVERYONE! HAPPY SHOPPING!