Now you can buy more stuff you don’t need on tick
It seems some things never change. The incorrect use of apostrophe’s will continue to drive commenters mad, no-one will ever know the correct spelling of Tennent's, and ‘aspirational’ shoppers will still want to buy things they can’t afford.
Now a new website enables these people to do just that. The site’s aim is to “target people who are on a tight budget and want to lead an aspirational lifestyle. It is also targeted at the people who like the finer things in life and want to buy items seen on various celebrities.”
The idea is simple*. You want something, you can’t afford it. Instead of saying “I can’t afford it, I’ll look for a cheaper alternative/do without the latest celebrity tat” you think “I must have this product, show me a way I can think I can afford it”.
The website advertises a range of products, from celebrity fashion, to Macbook Airs with the eye-watering RRP shown next to the much nicer Pay Now figure which is a mere third of the price. A 13” Macbook Air for just £316.34? Don’t mind if I do.
Unfortunately this is not how it works at all. How it actually works is that you pay a third of the price now, and the remaining two thirds over the next two months. However, there is no interest charge for these instalments, and the RRP shown does seem to be an actual RRP, with no sneaky price inflation built in.
So is this, arguments of want vs need aside, actually a good way of providing interest-free credit to consumers? Secretaries desperate for a £100 pair of shorts would undoubtedly agree. The idea comes from Korea (where apparently instalments on designer products are common), and anything coming from Korea after Gangnam Style must be good. The site says it makes its money pocketing the cashback commission its retailers pay, and presumably in any discounts from RRP it can negotiate.
And is it responsible lending? Perhaps wanting to “keep people fashionable and allow them to buy designer items on an affordable budget without gaining any expensive bills in the process” is not only not-responsible but partially untruthful (after all, the expensive bill still comes, just in three parts), but the company do run credit checks on potential purchasers. After all, they can’t have just anyone in the latest calfskin loafers. Besides, as they put it so nicely:
“We’re hoping that you won’t commit to buying anything that you don’t expect to be able to repay on the agreed repayment dates.” Yeah, right.
* like the customers