Why don’t online sellers disclose the prices of their goods?
The question has certainly raised plenty of debate online, and drew the attention of the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry. The ministry will soon be cracking down on such unscrupulous practices, and that online sellers will come under scrutiny the same way regular retailers do.
What are your views?
It’s very frustrating when you come across an item you like and in order to find out how much it is, you have to message the seller privately. This cuts across a whole lot of products, from cosmetics all the way to real estate. Why is this? Some people have told me that this is the seller’s way of boosting engagement. But to me, as a consumer, it just screams that I’m going to be cheated and I’m going to be quoted a price that’s diferent from someone else.
Does the ministry really think that they can impose regulations on online traders, especially those on social media? It’s a very hard area to police, and the moment you decide to take action against one person, the trader just changes phone numbers and sets up another Facebook page. I truly wish the ministry well in their effort to clean up the traders’ acts but I am skeptical that it will work.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The power lies with the consumers. The purchasing power is in your hands and it is you who should be making the decision to not buy from traders who take a liberal view of what is legally and morally correct. If they don’t play by the rules, don’t buy from them. Buy from someone else. These traders need your money, don’t forget that.
KAMARIAH ABU SAMAH
It goes without saying that some online traders have less scruples than others. I’ve been burnt many times before by offers that seem too good to be true, and well, guess how they turned out. The online market via social media in Malaysia is still very much akin to the ‘wild, wild west’, where there is little supervision going on. Any effort to regulate this would be very much welcomed.