Paying in instalments
Another popular trend mentioned in the Option consommateurs trust index: instalment payments. This solution allows consumers to pay a participating retailer in several instalments spread out over time—without interest and with no credit check—for something they want now. Payment providers such as Afterpay, Sezzle, and Paybright are the leaders of this solution in Canada.
Several consumers now choose to “buy now, pay later, and . . . consume more.” It could be tempting to increase the value of your shopping cart, knowing that the $100 expense could be divided into four $25 payments—the first payable immediately, and the others on a biweekly basis.
The survey also mentions that 68% and 44% of participants, respectively, buy clothes and shoes online. In the first case, 9% of buyers use this financing method, whereas 7% choose this option to pay for a new pair of boots or sneakers.
Users of such a service, who buy more as a result of the staggered payment option without carefully managing their budget, could quickly find themselves spiralling into debt. “It’s best to plan the expense beforehand, setting aside a given amount at regular intervals, and eventually making the desired purchase,” Boulerice recommends.
And as is the case in all buying processes, it’s recommended that you carefully read the contract’s conditions. “Consumers who miss a payment as stipulated in the payment agreement could be required to pay the amount in full, in one lump sum, losing the financing and facing additional financial pressure,” he warns
The multiplication of digital subscriptions based on opt-out contracts and the use of instalment payment options are two consumer habits that are gaining traction. Slowly but surely, they eat up your savings, possibly without you even noticing . . .
There’s a third major issue that remains a concern of Option consommateurs year after year, and it is likely to increase your shopping bill even more: the extended warranty. Over the past two years, 17% of responders acquired one. For 71% of them, they did so for peace of mind, with the remaining 29% convinced to do so by the salesperson.
And yet, in Quebec, consumers already have access to a legal warranty. Note that the legal warranty typically covers more aspects, and for a longer period, than the extended warranty. So next time you’re offered an extended warranty, think twice. Because there’s no lack of expenses and increased costs in 2022!