Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Financial expects

Financial expects refer to the consumer’s demands regarding price, what it costs to purchase and use goods or services. Several factors influence those expects, particularly available financial resources and the consumer’s values. Some prefer to buy the least expensive product; others may be willing to pay a slightly higher price to reduce expenses related to product use. Wanting to pay a higher price may also often relate to image concerns.

There is a very close link between financial expects and those of other categories, particularly functional and symbolic. Thus, one may accept to pay a higher price, if convinced that the product is of a higher quality (functional expect) or for a prestigious brand (symbolic expect); some people systematically buy the most expensive products because they associate price to excellence. Those with a sharp social conscience will also accept to pay a slightly higher price for a product whose production process is respectful of the environment; the same is true of products distributed through fair trade. For example, «Fairtrade Coffee» is a more expensive product, but which «prevents the exploitation of coffee workers and growers. It ensures they earn a decent living and supports environmentally friendly growing practices».

In many cases, financial expects result in a compromise. For example, the buyer who would like to get the top-of-the-line model with all available options, but must be content with a less expensive model featuring fewer options. For that matter, leasing plans offered by manufacturers can be seen as another form of compromise: allowing the consumer to get a luxurious vehicle while avoiding a massive purchase expense. The fact that this type of contract is often more expensive in the long run is of lesser importance for the consumer.

Tourist products are also offered in a wide range of prices corresponding to a variety of functional, symbolic, relational, etc. expects. In my opinion, in the field of tourism, the most interesting phenomenon concerning financial expects is the offer of plane tickets at bargain prices on Internet sites, for last minute reservations; for example, «ebookers.com» in the United Kingdom, «CheapTicketsCanada.Com» in Canada and «Cheapflights.com» in the United States. If in Canada airlines such as «WestJet» offer low cost regular flights, in Europe, «easyJet» and «Ryanair» offer incredibly low airfares for flights to the United Kingdom and continental Europe. This relatively new distribution network fully answers expects of consumers whose main concern is to pay the minimum price.

What have your financial expects been for your last important purchase?

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