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Thursday, 20 February 2014

Perks of Shopping in Germany

As a Malaysian living in Germany, I observe many cultural differences between my homeland and Germany. The differences is so huge like a Malay's proverb "Bagai langit dan bumi" which means huge differences like the sky and earth. Germany does triumph in every aspects, literally! Sometimes it just sad for me to think why Malaysian folks doesn't act like the Germans.

And as a woman, shopping is something I can't avoid. My honest confession is I like shopping in Germany than in Malaysia although the goods are quite pricey or as they say "sau teuer". And I'm talking only on general view of shopping here in Germany in exception of electronics item as this items are much cheaper in Malaysia than here.

Customers always right!
I never encounter any situation where customers are told to f*** off when they report any problem with the item they bought. They seller in fact never questions the customers whether their claim are true or not. I once bought a bathroom scale that turn out to be faulty when I open the packaging. I quickily told the seller about the problem. Without further question, the seller sent me a new one with a free Return Postage of the faulty item. Its get better when I shop for clothes. The shops usually let the customer to buy and try their clothes at home. And when the clothes doesn't suit with them or in a wrong size, we could just return the clothes back and request for a change (i.e sizes, styles). You wouldn't get this privilages when shopping in Malaysia as I quite sure majority of buyer in  Malaysia will wear the clothes once outside and return it. Why I would say that? Because when I brought this story up to someone, they usually say "If I were you, I will wear the clothes for an occasion once and return it back." The reason I have trust issue.

Shop Freely
This is probably what I love the most aboit shopping in Germany. No more bugging sales assistant that will follow you inside the shop. Seriously, I hate it. If a sales assistant follow me while I browsing some items, I'll immediately leave the shop. Here in Germany, you are free to experiment with any item in the shop. The shop are arranged so that customer doesn't need to call sales assistant just to find a shoes size. As for a Shoes shop, the shoes are arrange on shelves according to the size. So in shelves 38, you will find all type of shoes in size 38. I once spent 2 hours in Humanic (shoes retailer) just trying different kind of shoes and left without buying anything. Not a single sales assistant disturb me although I left around 5 pair of shoes out of the box lying around me. They just asked me occasionally if I need any help. That's all. And after that I returned all shoes back to its shelves, sorting according to its initial position and left the shop as a gappy customer.

Use Plastic
Ok. Not a plastic bag or packaging. I'm referring to credit card or debit card. Here in Germany every bank card is a debit card or as the called EC-Karte which EC stand for Electronic cash. Which means I could totally survive having no cash here in Germany. Why? Because you can pay almost everything with EC-Karte. The Supermarket, Asian Market, Optic shops, Restaurant, train tickets you name it! Only banking is always issue together with a bank's account. I'm not really sure for a normal adult, but as a student, I received my EC-Karte and Online-Banking free of charge from Deutsche Bank. In Malaysia, you need to apply separately for online-banking and Debit card for a price. Which I think that is totally uncool. Perhaps it because the use of debit card isn't as wide as here in Germany.

Sale! Sale! Discount! Discount!
I guess all multi-seasons country have a lot of discounted sale. Sale on early October is for the shop to get ride of every summer clothes/collection. Sale on March are to get rid of every winter clothes/collection. And my favourite Christmas and New Year sale. An branded item for christmas sale can be too cheap that you make an excuse only to buy it. And as I always say, Christmas/New Year sale is the best time for Bride/Groom-to-be to search for barang hantaran (Gift on wedding in between Bride and Groom). Most item are cheap and nicely packed. The only reason stopping me from buying all the discounted stuffs are because I'm not any near to marriage or in need of barang hantaran.

I guess many factors cause this difference between shopping in Germany and Malaysia. Perhaps the factors lies ob cultural reason, society's behavior, and difference in technology. I really hope I can experience this kind of shopping in
Malaysia.

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