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‘One-price’ shops applying multiple-price scheme   2009-04-21 - VietNamNet/LD

One-price shops have been mushrooming recently, attracting a lot of buyers who don’t like wasting money on bargaining. However, one-price shops are selling commodities at many different prices.


One price in theory, many prices in reality


Some shops advertise that they apply the ‘single prices’ of VND49,000-99,000.

Chua Boc, Pham Ngoc Thach, Hang Bong and Hue, Ton Duc Thang, Tay Son and Cau Giay are streets on which a lot of one-price shops have been mushrooming recently.


The single prices the shops apply prove to be different for different shops. Some shops advertise all their products are VND60,000, while others say all their products are VND100,000. However, the prices change regularly, depending on the input prices of products. That explains why at a certain time, a shop applies this price level, but it will apply another price level one month later.


Some shops advertise that they apply the ‘single prices’ of VND49,000-99,000.


Bui Thi Thuy, who lives in Xuan Phuong commune in Tu Liem district, related that she and her friends went to the shop at No 114B4 Pham Ngoc Thach one time. The banderole hung over the shop said that the products there were all VND75,000/product. However, Thuy was very surprised when discovering that the products had different price levels. For example, a T-shirt was offered for sale at VND75,000, a shirt at VND99,000, trousers and skirts at VND150,000.


Thuy and the friends then dropped into another shop on Chua Boc street, which was a ‘VND60,000 one-price shop’. However, she and her friends discovered that the skirt she wanted to buy there was actually VND100,000.


Nguyen Tuyet Lan, who lives in Dinh Cong new urban area, related that she was disappointed when discovering that the shirt she wanted to buy was being sold for VND100,000, not VND60,000 as she thought when entering a 'VND60,000 one-price shop' on Bach Mai street.


When Lan asked the saleswoman why the shirt was VND40,000 more expensive than the advertised level, Lan was told that the VND100,000 price levels had been set for new products.


One-price shops, how to control them?


It has been asked how the shops can sell products for prices different from the advertised prices.


State management agencies have been criticised for mismanagement of these so-called one-price shops. To date, no one-price shop has reportedly been punished for false advertisement.


Meanwhile, one-price shops’ owners argue that they do not force customers to purchase their products, and that they do not violate any regulations at all, as sales and purchases are only carried out if the two sides agree.


However, customers say that it is a violation of the law if shops sell products which have quality or sale prices different from what they advertise or announce.


As such, when people enter one-price shops, they'd better ask first: "How many single prices are you applying today?"

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