VAT increase on 1st January - how high will prices rise?
If you've watched any television over the past few days, you can't help but notice there's a SALE ON NOW. That's not a surprise, obviously, with many stores dangling an extra carrot in front of consumers; the VAT increase arrives on 1st January, meaning an extra 2.5 per cent will be piled on top of most price tags in just four day's time, so bag your bargains now, now, NOW!
If you'd like to play a fun consumer-related game with us, then have a crack at the following:
- Choose a shop that is currently predicting some sort of financial Armageddon if you don't buy from them before the VAT increase on 1st January - your television is currently stuffed with commercials for them. We've chosen Currys who are desperate for you to enjoy the bargains while they last.
- Make a note of some product prices -we've taken a screengrab of the Beat the VAT promotional page on the Currys site because the suggestion is all these prices - whether they're sale prices or not - will increase
- Come 2010, compare the prices in January to those offered now
We're curious to see what stores do, because sticking the additional VAT on prices will cause all manner of ugly numbers - an iPod Touch at Currys costing £149 will become £152.73 £152.25, and so on. So will stores:
- round up their prices up to something which won't necessitate lots of change in the till and mean the prices look less ambiguous - i.e. £153 in the case of the iPod Touch - but which means charging more than the VAT increase dictates?
- round their prices down for the same reasons as above, but absorb part of the increase themselves?
- make a merry old song and dance about not increasing their prices at all and take the hit, and hence another reason to grab a bargain while you can!
The sales will no doubt continue into January, so let's see if any dastardly outlets take the opportunity to introduce price rises above 2.5 per cent in the hope nobody spots them. Let us know in the comments or by emailing [email protected]