Have you ever experienced being pressured by a salesperson to decide on the spot to commit to a hefty sum of money for a service you may or may not need regularly?
This usually takes place when the salesperson brings out a calculator to tabulate how much “savings you can enjoy from this amazing package” promotion.
Sounds familiar? We want to help you to save money today, and to avoid parting away unnecessarily with your hard-earned money. Here are four types of prepaid packages you should never buy on the spot to help save you money in the long run.
# 1 Pre-Wedding Photoshoot Packages
Planning a wedding with a clear budget allocated is always a good habit to have in order to avoid getting a shock after tabulating the bills.
However, knowing that most couples would have little insights when it comes to wedding planning since it’s everyone’s first time, bridal studios at wedding fairs and roadshows will attempt to push through as many ‘discounted packages’ as possible by showcasing their impressive portfolio, with zero disclaimer on how much these couples would eventually spent at the end of the day.
The salespeople at the roadshow will agree with everything you say just to get you to sign a package with them, on the spot.
The horror begins during your first visit to the bridal studio. For instance, most basic packages sold would not include the ‘Grade A’ wedding gowns that you would love to wear on your big day. In order to get them, you would have to top up more money to rent it. In addition, the photographer who did those impressive shots you saw during the wedding fair may not be the one doing your photoshoot, since they will be scheduled based on availability, or at an add-on fee.
You may end up spending about $2,000 to $3,000 more for the extra services which could have been avoided if the bridal studio quoted you based on what you wanted, including the type of bridal gowns you are interested in, rather than to sell you a generic basic package in order to close you as a customer.
It is an absolute no-no to commit on renovation packages on the spot, especially if you are not even sure of the exact requirements for your home.
Even if the packages seem reasonable with a ‘standard renovation template’ for HDB flats, you are less likely to want the exact copy and paste design of another person’s home.
The unfortunate truth for such home renovation packages is that anything extra, which is not included in the package, would be additional cost for you. At the same time, anything that is included in the package, which you may not need, would still be charged accordingly.
Home renovation is a big-ticket item and you shouldn’t approach it as if you are buying tickets at the movie theater.
The best way (in our opinion) to manage your renovation is to get a couple of interior designers to your home to do a detailed measurement on your home so that they can get you an accurate quotation. And always go with someone you can trust, rather than what’s cheapest.
# 3 Gym Memberships
We’ve heard tons of sob stories from consumers losing their hard-earned money from the sudden closure of single gym outlets to even large reputable gym chains like California Fitness.
Though it may seem extremely attractive to get the annual or even the lifetime gym memberships, think about the risks involved before signing the package deal.
When it comes to sudden closure in the case of California Fitness, consumers end up bearing all the losses. Say no to gym memberships unless you are all ready to lose that prepaid amount at any point in time.
# 4 Hair Salons, Nail Salons and Spa Packages
They tabulate how cheap each session would be, if only you would to buy their package. And if you still can’t decide if you really want to get the package, the hard selling continues as they convince you that the package can be shared within your family members and have no expiration date.
We are not here to discourage you from signing up. But we think it’s fair to warn consumers that there is no guarantee that the company would continue it’s operations after you sign up for the package.
Have you experienced getting ripped off package deals? Share with us your experience on Facebook.
Or do you have a real story to share about a bad package you bought from a retailer? If so, you can discuss it with other like-minded individuals in the open SG Scam Discussion Facebook Group.
DollarsAndSense.sg is a website that aims to provide interesting, bite-sized financial articles which are relevant to the average Singaporean. Subscribe to our free e-newsletter to receive exclusive content not available on our website. Follow us as well on Instagram @DNSsingapore to get your daily dose of finance knowledge through photos.