Various factors play a roll in any business as far as pricing and sustainability is concerned. With any brick and mortar shop we face heavy competition from online shops and being independent, also the bigger chain stores.
Our focus shifted a couple of years ago to concentrate more on service delivery than a run of the mill retail store. With this has come higher transport costs in using couriers more often for smaller non-stock items than before.
Warranties has had a big impact as well. Most computer components carry the standard one year manufacturers warranty from date of purchase. This excludes the period any product spends on the shelf before being sold to an end-user. To put this in perspective, if an item sits on the shelf for three months before being sold, the last three months of that items warranty is carried by that retailer and not the distributor. Anyone can see the risk involved here with high value items.
Independent retailers do not have the luxury of negotiating warranties as is the case with the bigger boys. So this is an inherent problem with all smaller retailers. Thus the reason for a day or two waiting period on purchasing specific non-stock items and a requested non-refundable deposit on high value items preventing some customers from not returning and ending up with an item we cannot sell. From here also the increased courier costs which must be recovered in order to stay in business.
This is where personal service comes in. This is also where good business ethic and honest trading principles play a major role.
Over the past three years our pricing has stayed constant (no major increases in pricing dependent on the distributor), and we’ve been very competitive on every day items with even the biggest retailers. But unfortunately certain things have changed quite drastically over the past couple of months.
Our input costs have increased drastically as anyone living in South Africa are well aware of. The direct impact of the increased fuel costs will have to be countered in an effective and logical manner without compromising our market and clients. Our increased cost with regards to products not so much as we will endeavor to keep supplying products at competitive prices.