5 Mother’s Day rip-offs

Mother’s Day comes around once a year and every year we’re forced into the commercialized hype of of it all. Why? It’s because we’re pressurized by the media, bloggers, advertisers and retail stores to splash out on moms.

Don’t get me wrong, moms do deserve a good spoil, but the last thing she’d want (I’m sure) is for her kids to be ripped off. Here’s how you can ensure that you don’t get pushed into paying more than what you should:

  1. Avoid buying flowers – particularly online

Flowers are a popular gift on Mother’s Day and florists know this. They offer ‘discount’ deals and take on hundreds of orders. Buying flowers online is particularly popular among consumers these days. But guess what, EVERYONE else has thought of the same thing. If you want to get your mom flowers buy them yourself and pitch up on her doorstep. That way you make sure that the flowers aren’t droopy or of poor quality or even worse, late. The last thing you want to be accused of is forgetting about Mother’s Day.

  1. Be careful of hair and beauty salon ‘offers’

Thinking of treating yourself to a quick ‘wash and blow’ to look good for Mother’s Day? Well be careful because some hairdressers can rip you off in the process. Just today I stepped into a salon and got offered a ‘quick’ flat iron after my blow dry. Before I’d stepped into the salon I’d seen that the price for a wash and blow was R220. But when I had to pay the bill it was suddenly R250. I enquired why it was more and the hairdresser sheepishly said it was for the flat iron – she’d omitted to tell me at the time of the offer that the flat iron would mean paying more. Moral of the story – be sure that any extras hairdressers, beauticians and nail technicians offer don’t come with a bigger price tag at the end.

  1. Avoid taking mum to a restaurant

This is another favorite way to treat mom on Mother’s Day, but I’d advise against it. According to the UK’s Nuts magazine, restaurants tend to bump their prices up by at least 10% on days like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Then, because everyone will have the same idea the waiters will be rushed off their feet and you won’t have the type of service that you’ll expect. Instead of pushing through a rushed lunch or dinner service why not rather cook mom some good food at home? If you cook it before she arrives you’ll be able to sit and have a decent conversation. If you go to a restaurant you risk being pressured to finish up because the restaurant manager wants to turn tables and make money as much as possible.

  1. Don’t buy mom a card

Just like the restaurant menus and flowers you’re bound to pay more for cards. Most of them, in my opinion are cheesy and don’t convey the right messages anyway. Rather make your own card. That way mom will get the message just the way you like and you can use the money you save to buy a more expensive gift.

  1. Chocolate prices are also bonkers

Just before Valentine’s Day I took a double take when I saw the price of a well known chocolate brand at a popular retail store. They had definitely more than doubled in price. And don’t fall these heart-shaped boxes with your favorite chocolates inside. They are just the same chocolates but with ‘better’ packaging.

How not to get ripped off
So what should you do for Mother’s Day? I’m not in any way suggesting that you shouldn’t get your mom anything. But if you’re on a tight budget, make sure you can afford the chosen and don’t get suckered into paying more for something.

Use websites that offer tabs like ‘gifts under R500’ etc., so that you only shop in your budget category. If you want to spend more shop in places where you can cash in your rewards/loyalty points.

If you get offered an extra service or item don’t assume it’s free or part of the deal. Don’t be shy about asking ‘What does it cost?’, because you may just get a surprise at the end when the bill arrives.

By all means shop around for a good deal but if a price is too good to be true or comes from an unsolicited source – rather avoid it! Scammers use days like these to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers.

Think ahead and see what you can do differently. There’s no rule to say that you have to celebrate Mother’s Day on the actual day. Besides, with restaurants guaranteed to be busy and managers keen on turning tables it’s probably best to arrange a quiet meal on another day so you can enjoy your time with your mom without getting bad service or feeling pressured to leave.

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