The same shower gel at a cheaper price? How some toiletries stores are undermining their biggest rivals


While large pharmacies and supermarkets usually order items by the dozen, these companies import items in bulk, with quantities measured by pallets or even containers. A pallet can easily hold between 600 and 1,200 products, depending on the size of the item, according to Mr. Lim of British Essential.

“When we bring in a large amount (of goods), the cost will be lower, so we give the same concessions to the consumer,” he said.

Product sales must move quickly to eliminate the large quantity ordered, he added.

“That’s why we prefer to pass on all the benefits we get to the consumer because it’s the only way to consume our quantity. “

Venus Beauty brings in between three and five containers of fast-moving items such as shower gel each month. According to company director Danny Lim, it takes about a week to empty inventory from a container.

He added that the company has a network of international suppliers who import products to Singapore in bulk, which helps keep costs down.

Consumers can also purchase products on wholesale terms, which allows them to take advantage of larger discounts.

“Some things in other countries are much cheaper than in Singapore, even if you just buy it off the shelf instead of wholesale,” Mr. Lim said, adding that Venus Beauty imported products from the store. ‘Europe, the United States and Korea.

“For example, if you want to buy a Japanese item, it will be expensive if you buy it from wholesalers in Singapore, so what we do instead is buy directly from the (overseas retailer) and to bring it then, “he said. noted. “We have eliminated the intermediaries. “


A common concern among shoppers about products that are significantly less priced than department stores is that they might be of lower quality or have minor defects.

However, Associate Professor Stephen Phua of the National University of Singapore School of Law said that in some cases the price difference may simply be due to the actual components of the products and may not be less.

“Different countries may have different technical or regulatory standards, which can lead to a price differential,” he said.

“For example, a country may have more stringent and more stringent regulatory laws for certain products and therefore the manufacturer may need to use a certain type of ingredient or have a higher content, which could therefore increase the cost of production, ”he said. added.

“So therefore when two things hit the shelves, they look the same and they’re both genuine products, it’s just that they come at a different price.”


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