I met my son after lunch recently. I have not met him for a while. The first words my son spoke to me were not the usual salutations we exchange as Muslims. Instead he asked, “What’s with that bright coloured diary?”
My son and family know me as an ultra-conservative, reluctant to try new trends in fashion and usually dressed in plain colours like grey, blue and earth shades. My wife tried to change that and bought me a dark green material for a shirt. Well, I duly got it made. My daughter felt I wasn’t quite comfortable with the dark green colour, and chose a lighter green material also some time back. Well they are both made into fine shirts and are still in my cupboard, looking quite pristine! J
So, bright green is a colour not associated with me.
So now I need to explain to my son how I ended up buying a green coloured diary.
As is a common denominator among businesses, earnings are quite important. Non-profit organizations and such likes often claim to profit marginally, although we are all aware of many cases where charity is a money making process! I shall not go into that.
If a company has strong mass appeal and its main clientele are the glamorous people of this world, than a product may only be worth RM200, but is sold at RM2000 to a strong base of purchasers.
These are the top brands of the world such as Apple, Microsoft, Coca Cola, McDonalds, Louis Vuitton, etc. Now look at brands such as Olay, Estee Lauder, L’Oreal, Lancome which pays millions of US Dollars for their Brand Ambassadors. Does it not make you wonder how much they really make?
As a consumer, I refuse to be forced to buy products which are greatly over-priced. Do you think I am being a cheapskate? Whatever you may believe, I try my best to buy things at less than the actual recommended retail price.
So, as I explained to my son, I have always used organizers and diaries so I would not be hassled by unexpected events. These items can be expensive unless one buys the generic ones or one at Daiso. Daiso diaries are in Japanese, so one has to guess what is actually printed on the diary. So the cheaper diaries won’t do. Thus, the expensive ones are usually the better ones.
I used to follow the Franklin Covey system when I was working. These I found were extremely helpful. They have daily sheets for every day of the year. Franklin Covey sells yearly diaries and 18-month diaries which either starts in July or January. Often I would go in September or March to buy them as they would be at a discount. Often the discount is as high as 50%. Thus I would be paying half price for an 18-month diary. That means I pay for at a value of a 9-month diary for use for 15 months! Is that not worth it?
Now, as I get older I do not have appointments every day. So I use other diaries. But still the same principles apply when buying a new diary. So two weeks into January I went looking at those slightly more expensive diaries. Alas, they don’t have them in my favourite colours anymore. Well I need to be organized so I bought my bright oxide green diary at half its original selling price, two weeks into January!
Two thoughts come to mind.
One is as an individual my concern is not to waste money. It doesn’t mean being a cheapskate, but getting the best value for what one pays.
Another is as a businessman. One must maximize one’s income and the pricing mechanism is key in a business success. One doesn’t sell an item RM110 if its production cost is RM100, because the selling price needs to cover for advertising, packaging, transportation, storage and many more.
I shall write articles for these two thoughts in two websites:
- jaliljamil.com for my personal opinions, thoughts, etc., and
- vibrant-pro.com for my business ideas, systems, etc.
Feel free to comment on these sites.
First uploaded February 2013.