The best deal for you

Filed Under (online shopping, retail shopping, tips and tricks) by rinnah on 20-02-2010

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I like to think of myself as a savvy consumer. Make no mistake, I don’t mean being a stingy consumer, just a smart consumer who knows value when she sees it. So, how can you ensure that you end up with the best deal that is just right for you, the savvy consumer? Let’s have a little demonstration of what I mean.

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Sometime last month (in January), I knew I was running out of my Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief. And I definitely knew that I needed to repurchase this staple in my beauty routine. Instead of waiting till the very last moment to repurchase, I decided I needed a plan of action. I would use the time I had between when I decided to repurchase and when I would run out of my moisturizer to ensure that I got the best possible deal.

I already knew that the regular sized jar (50ml) retailed for MYR 160 at all Clinique counters. Was there any way that I could get a better deal? I was willing to pay the full retail price of MYR 160, but yet I wanted assurance that I would get the best possible value for my MYR 160. Let’s see what I did.

Firstly, I checked out the price of online retailers. From friends’ recommendations and good experiences, Strawberrynet seemed the ideal place to start with. Unfortunately, they were having no special promotions and it would have cost me MYR 166 (with free shipping) when purchasing from them. Strawberrynet was a no-go.

At the recommendation of another friend, I checked out BestBuy World. Although the prices there are much cheaper, the product is not the full sized product, but rather travel/sample sizes as a discounted rate. The different type of packaging did not bother me, but unfortunately, they had no ready stocks of Moisture Surge then.

So, at that point of time it seemed as though I would need to pay the full retail price for my moisturizer. No problem, since I was already prepared to pay MYR 160 for the product. The next question was : Where to buy it? I decided to make my purchase at Parkson, since they have a retail program with Bonuslink which allows you to collect reward points for all purchases. In this way, I could be assured of accumulating reward points for future redemption against shopping vouchers. At least there would be some return on my money spent.

Then, as luck would have it, I received a flyer from Bonuslink informing me that there would be a members’ day at Parkson, which would allow me to collect 5 times reward points on any purchase. Even more value for money, right? So I deferred my purchase for a few more days while waiting for the members’ day to roll around.

During the time between the Bonuslink flyer and the members’ day, I received an email from Clinique, informing me of their latest promotion to redeem a sample of their new anti-aging moisturizer. I decided that I would redeem my free sample at the same time when I made my purchase.

When I visited the Clinique counter, I was able to accomplish a number of things at the same time – restock my moisturizer, redeem my free sample and I also asked the consultant for another sample of Clinique’s best-selling All About Eyes eye gel. Even though I did not purchase enough to meet the Gift-With-Purchase limit, I’m satisfied with getting samples on top of my purchased item.

Better yet, since I made my purchase on the members’ day, not only did I get the 5 times reward points, I also got MYR 20 worth of Parkson vouchers for spending above MYR 150 in a single day. Can you say score?

Total haul on that day :
Moisture Surge – MYR 160
Youth Surge sample redemption – free
All About Eyes sample – free
Parkson vouchers worth MYR 20 – free

Wouldn’t you say that’s a good deal? And all that for just waiting 1 week extra.

You might think that I unnecessarily spent a lot of time comparing prices and still ended up paying the full retail price for my moisturizer, but when I look at all that I managed to get for just one trip, to me that’s worth much more than randomly going out shopping.

So, plan your purchases ahead of time and save money.
Getting additional satisfaction in knowing you got a good deal? Priceless.

I’m not a fan of Clarins Malaysia

Filed Under (customer service, skincare) by rinnah on 24-01-2009

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It’s a pity, really, because I have a friend who swears by their facials and I really love her clear, flawless skin. But the thing is, every time I get anywhere near a Clarins counter in Malaysia, I get very put off by their beauty consultants. They don’t seem to realize that their service is the make or break factor for customers. The break factor for me was my bad experience with one particular beauty consultant as detailed below.

Clarins We Care logo

Clarins recently ran an online promotion (valid until 31 December 2008) giving away two samples of their skincare line, a hand massage and eyebrow grooming. If I’m not mistaken, it had to do with their “Clarins We Care” charity promotion? Anyways, I put down my contact information and printed out the e-voucher that allowed me to redeem the items above. My voucher told me that I could collect the same from the Clarins counter in Parkson KLCC and I headed there on a weekday after work with a colleague. My colleague also had the same e-voucher, but for some strange reason, hers was printed as the Clarins counter in Isetan KLCC. Weird.

Anyway, we went over to Isetan first, being nearer there and my colleague was attended to by a very sweet girl who mentioned that she was temporarily assigned there. All went well and we (my colleague and I) were quite pleased with her service. She did say apologetically when we asked that she couldn’t assist me as my voucher was clearly printed as redeemable at Parkson KLCC but I was fine with that.

So after we were done with Isetan, we walked over to Parkson KLCC, where we were greeted with an empty Clarins counter. No beauty personnel around. We walked around for a bit before coming back to the counter and saw one of the Clarins personnel come out from the door behind the counter. When we approached her to redeem my e-voucher, she brusquely said that I could not redeem the items listed on the e-voucher as I did not make an appointment. I then asked if I could just get the skincare samples – I was willing to forgo the hand massage and eyebrow grooming as I was more interested in testing out Clarins’ skincare products – but again, the beauty personnel brushed me off, saying that I could not get anything from them because I didn’t have an appointment and she didn’t have time to do a skincare analysis for me. Instead, she told me to go to the Clarins counter at Isetan KLCC to redeem the e-voucher. When I mentioned that we had just come from there but since my voucher stated Parkson KLCC I couldn’t redeem it there, the beauty consultant then said disinterestedly that I should come back tomorrow if I really wanted the products. I had enough of her uppity attitude and we left the counter.

I just can’t help but compare the difference in attitude and service rendered between the beauty consultants at Isetan KLCC and Parkson KLCC. It is also pertinent to note that my colleague did not make any appointment at Isetan KLCC before redeeming the exact same e-voucher that I tried to redeem at Parkson KLCC. What’s also interesting to note is that no skincare analysis was done on my colleague before she was given the skincare samples at Isetan KLCC. Hmm. Was it an oversight by the beauty consultant at Isetan KLCC or merely an excuse by the beauty consultant at Parkson KLCC?

Anyway, I don’t think I will be going back to Clarins for a long time, if at all, because of the attitude of one beauty consultant.

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