I've dipped my toes in the water …
Ex. 7 Think of the sentences with the phrases:
To wander around the shop, .. help to simplify things, to convert to Internet shopping, I can't help buying on impulse, TV shopping, I couldn't resist, It's a bargain, to make a halfway decent purchase, shopping online, state the sell-by date, to pluck up the courage to buy clothes online, to have qualms about, to take fancy.
Ex. 1 Talk about the advantages and disadvantages of
a) buying things from catalogues;
b) shopping online.
Ex. 2 Give expended answers to the following questions. Express your opinion.
1 Do you think that TV advertisements influence people?.
2 If you had a possibility which kind of shopping would you prefer: shopping from catalogues or shopping online?
Ex. 3 Write an essay: "New trends in shopping".
Unit 9 What sort of shopper are you?
Ex. 1 Discuss the following questions with your group mates:
1 Is shopping anything but a boring necessity for you? 2. What shops do you visit frequently when you go to buy foods? 3 When do you find it necessary to draw up a shopping list? 4 Do you prefer self-service or counter service? 5 What are the advantages of supermarkets for housewives? 6 Why do many housewives prefer to buy food (vegetables and fruit especially) at the market? 7 Are there any kinds of food you find preferable in their frozen or tinned forms to their natural state? 8 Say something about helpful and unhelpful shop assistants. 9 Do you think that shop assistants should act according to the principle "The customer is always right"? 10 How should customers treat shop assistants? 11 Do you like to go shopping alone or do you prefer to have a friend with you? Why?
Ex. 2 Do the quiz to find out what kind of shopper you are.
1 If you are given money for your birthday do you:
(a) Go out as soon as you can to browse around the shops and find something to buy?
(b) Put it towards something you are saving up for?
(c) Enjoy thinking about what you could do with it before deciding?
2 If you had to do the weekend shopping for the family would you:
(a) Make a list of everything wanted and keep to it?
(b) Make a list, but probably change your mind when you got to the shops?
(c) Buy things as you went along and hope the money would work out?
3 When you can choose where to shop, do you prefer:
(a) The supermarket?
(b) The street market?
(c) The local general shop?
(d) The High Street or main shopping centre?
4 If you are going to buy something that must last a long time – say a tape recorder or a sewing machine, do you:
(a) Go to a local shop and choose from what they have in stock?
(b) Spend some time finding out about tape recorders or sewing machines so that you know what to look for and what questions to ask before you buy?
(c) Choose a shop which specializes in what you want and ask the advice of an experienced sales assistant?
5 If you are going to buy a suit or dress do you:
(a) Fall in love with something in a shop window and buy it without trying it on?
(b) Choose several garments and try them all on before deciding?
(c) Check up on what you already have, decide what you need most and what colour would fit in best and go to as many shops as possible to find what you are looking for?
6 If you want something practical to wear for everyday – say a shirt or a blouse, do you:
(a) Buy what looks right without checking whether it will wash well, is drip dry, or will need ironing or dry cleaning?
(b) Look for a label on the garment giving this information and if there isn't one, check with the sales assistant?
(c) Decide in advance that you need a blouse or shirt that drip dries and only look at that kind when shopping?
7 When buying a gadget or piece of equipment do you:
(a) Find an advertisement that describes exactly what you want and ask for that particular product when you go shopping?
(b) Choose a good shop, discuss with the sales assistant what you want and what it will be used for and take his advice into consideration before buying?
(c) Read carefully any guarantees and keep the receipt?
8 If you buy something that proves unsatisfactory – a gadget that does not work or a garment that falls to pieces, do you:
(a) Think it's just too bad and do nothing more about it?
(b) Go back to the shop, complain about being cheated and demand your money back?
(c) Either write to, or ask to see, the manager and state what has happened as politely as possible?
Are you safe with money?
If your answer is (a), you are probably impulsive and imaginative with a gift for enjoying yourself. The enjoyment is probably worth a lot, but you may lose in other ways. You probably buy something that you will lose interest in very quickly, that isn't really what you want or very good value for money. If you are like this, try this experiment: On the days you haven't any money to spend, take time to look around at what is available, and read articles about things you are likely to want to buy in the future. Then you will have some idea of what is good value before you rush out and buy. Score 1.
This advice also holds good if your answer was (b) or (c), so that when it comes to the point of actually buying something, you know what is available. You are more likely to get good value and choose wisely, because you give yourself more time. Score 2 each.
If (a), then you are strong minded, unlikely to be suddenly tempted by special offers and displays and can probably make a budget work. But you may miss a real bargain or a lot of fun if you are too rigid. Score 3.
Answer (b)? Watch what it is that makes you change your mind. Are you pleased you did when you get home, or rather cross about it? Did you get a real bargain or a pig in a poke? Remember the supermarket is specially designed to tempt you and make you buy all sorts of things you don't really want. There may even be background music to put you in a melting mood. You are probably just the sort of customer they hope to get! Score 2.
Answer (c)? You could either be a very skilful and experienced shopper, or a very careless one. An experienced housewife, for example, would know the local shops and go out to see what they have in stock that she could use. Food in season is fresh and often cheap – and she would recognize it and know how to prepare it. She would also know the prices of things very well and would immediately recognize good value. Experience of knowing how much to spend on each item would make it possible for her to budget as she went along: a little extravagance on one item could be saved on another. If you reckon you could be this kind of clever shopper. Score 4.
On the other hand, if you haven't a clue about prices, or what is in season or where to shop for good value, and are just being careless and lazy in not making a list, score 1.
How super is a supermarket?
Whichever answer you gave to this question could be the best one for you and could help you to find out something about yourself and where and how you are most likely to shop wisely. Score 3 for any answer.
Do you like changes?
If you answered (a), you may be lucky, but the chances are that you will discover when you know more about it that there are models which would have suited your purpose better – and they may even be cheaper, too. Try looking around more. Score 1.
Answer (b)? This is a wiser way of going about it. Finding out all you can about the purchase before you buy – from magazine articles, advertisements (though remember they are biased), literature published by an independent body like the Consumers' Association, which publishes WHICH? and, perhaps most effective of all, talking to people who have been using the product you hope to buy and can give you first-hand experience – this pre-shopping preparation well all go a long way towards ensuring that you get what you want and the best your money can buy. Score 3.
Answer (c)? Provided your sales assistant really knows his subject, this could be a good way of finding the best buy for you. Only you, of course, know what you really want and how you will use it, and an assistant can't answer questions you don't ask him – so it is a good idea to explore the market for yourself if possible. But, if you asked his advice, the shopkeeper does have some responsibility in law for what you buy being suitable for your purpose. Score 2.
If you answered (a), you certainly do take chances and would have to be very lucky indeed for this to work. If you are a stock size and know what suits you, perhaps you would be satisfied, but it's hardly worth risking. Some shops will exchange garments that do not fit you after you have tried them on at home. Score1.
Answer (b)? This is the only safe way of finding clothes that really fit you and look good. Take someone with you if you need moral support and a second opinion. Don’t be afraid to say if the clothes are not what you want when you have tried them on. Score 2.
Answer (c)? This demands real planning and effort – luck, too, but you would deserve it. Score 3.
Do you know what you want?
If you set out to buy as in (a), you will probably find out too late that the blouse needs to be dry cleaned (expensive and inconvenient for a blouse) or that it will take hours to iron (so it will never be ready for you to put on when you want to go out in a hurry). Score 1.
Answer (b) ? Many garments are labeled these days and give quite precise information about washing, ironing or dry cleaning. If there is no label, beware, and get the assurance of a responsible assistant that the garment will wash without shrinking or the colours running. If this assurance is given, the shop should take responsibility if anything goes wrong. Score 2.
Answer (c)? If you know that what you really want is a blouse or a shirt that will never need ironing and that you can wash and dry quickly and easily, then it is best to look for these qualities and not to be tempted by something which may look attractive but will not serve the purpose. Then you are a wise shopper. Score 3.
Do you know your rights?
Answer (a)? If you buy a particular product by name, it may be exactly what you want, but it is your responsibility. Remember that advertisements are biased and although they may not say anything that is quite untrue, they do not have to advertise the disadvantages or weaknesses of the product they are out to sell. An advertisement by itself is a doubtful recommendation. Better get a second opinion. Score 1.
Answer (b)? It is the shopkeeper’s job, recognized by law, to sell you something that is suitable for your purpose – provided he knows your purpose is. So if you discuss with him what you want and take his advice, he will be responsible if it proves unsuitable. Score 3.
Answer (c)? Guarantees should certainly be read and receipts kept as evidence of purchase. The word ‘guaranteed’ can be used to lull customers into a false sense of security. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything – in fact, by signing a guarantee, you could be signing away the rights you have in law. There are good guarantees – and bad ones. If you sign a guarantee and send it to the manufactures you have accepted the terms laid down – so be satisfied before you do so that they are to your advantage. There are facts to help you with this on page 44. Score 3.
Making a complaint
Answer (a) means you take the easy way out and accept your loss. But a little effort would probably put matters right. Score 1.
Answer (b)? You are probably the aggressive type. Quick to feel wronged and to blame somebody for doing you down. The chances are that they will react and there will be a row. A lot of energy is wasted. You may get the goods replaced: only is they are defective may you get your money back. In law, you are reckoned to have accepted them once you have taken them home. Score 2.
Answer (c)? Try this method before all others. A reputable shopkeeper is anxious to please his customers and knows their rights. If you have just cause for complaint, the chances are that he will replace the article immediately. And he is much more likely to want to do so if you give him the credit for not wanting to do you down! Score 3.
What is your score?
Between 16 and 24. You are already on the way to being a clever shopper. Be careful that your caution does not make you too careful for pleasure and unable to recognize and enjoy a real bargain when it comes your way.
Between 8 and 16. You are an average shopper; you need to take a little more care if you want to get more for your money. Only 8? Your moods are likely to run away with you and you may easily get caught out or waste money unless you take more care.
Ex. 3 Write an essay on one of the suggested topics :
1 Describe a shopper you would call a) thorough, b) careless c) smart.
2 What kind of purchases would you call "a bargain" and what are the best places to look for bargains.
3 Speak/write on your experience of a shopping spree (real or imaginary one).
4 Create a shopping list for each of the following people (the amount of money to spend is shown in the brackets):
a) a teenager who walks to the store ($ 20);
b) a coach buying for a basketball team ($ 30);
c) a camper preparing for a long hiking trip ($ 60);
I. Study the layout of the supermarkets in your town, then draw a diagram of a supermarket, marking the arrangements of the display. Say why you have put things where they are. If you were in charge of the supermarket, is there anything else you would do to attract customers and make them buy things?
II. Try to make a collection of guarantees, say, for a lawn mower, electric fire, washing machine, electric kettle, electric blanket, clock and any other guaranteed goods. Study the guarantees and decide whether they are good and worth having, or whether they are worthless or even, perhaps, deprive the shopper of his rights under Common Law.
III. Choose an article you would like to buy one day, say a tape recorder, electric iron, transistor radio, washing machine, or something similar. Find out all you can about the products available: the different prices, advantages and disadvantages of each particular model, reputation for reliability, after-purchase servicing, etc. Do this by every possible means – collect advertisements, look in shops and ask shop assistants, find magazine articles and obtain information from newspapers, reference books and the Consumers Association publications. Having collected all the information, say which model you would choose and why.
IV. At the end of your advertising book, give your opinion of a good advertisement, and design one yourself for a product of your choice.
V. If we are buying some big item that has to last a long time, we cannot afford to make a mistake. We often learn from hard experience, but there are many precautions we can take and tips we can learn to make sure that we receive value for our money and choose what we really want. What are they?