Want to buy the latest television or property? The festival period would see builders and white goods companies putting out special offers to attract buyers.
For example, Tata Housing is planning to offer its buyers vouchers for a trip to Europe, on projects such as GatewayTowers in Mulund (Mumbai), Primanti in Gurgaon and The Promont in Bangalore. Kamal Nandi, business head and executive vice-president, Godrej Appliances, says the company will launch plans around Navratri and take a three-pronged approach, of new launches, aggressive finance schemes and attractive gifts.
Before you jump to buy, remember not to splurge for the sake of it. Gaurav Mashruwala, financial planner, says: "If you have been prudent during the year and saved, there is no harm in splurging some money. After all, it is the festival season. But the problem is that people buy goods for the free gift, more than the good itself."
So, what's on offer?
In white goods
Offers will be unveiled in the next few weeks. Consumer durables and electronics companies are putting the final touches to their festive period plans.
This stretch contributes 30-40 per cent of annual sales for these companies.
Some have already started offering discounts (Samsung has since August 15).
Preponing the discount period, say industry sources, shows the company is keen the dealers stock its products and not be laid-back in anticipation of weaker sales this festive.
Manish Sharma, managing director, Panasonic India, says: "This year, we have announced consumer promotion offers like assured gifts with our top-of-the line Viera TVs and home appliance products. Our consumers can also avail rewarding finance schemes on Viera models which are 28-inch and above and with a year's warranty, plus an additional one-year comprehensive warranty with specific models. The festive season has always been a sales driver."
Others are trying new varieties of schemes. "Zero per cent financing is no longer permitted. But there are interesting offers such as a 10:1 or 12:1 scheme, where a consumer makes a single down-payment and the rest of the amount can be paid in 10 or 12 instalments."
"What you are doing here is allowing a consumer to own a product with a single down-payment which is not steep. We will be pushing these kinds of schemes aggressively, coupled with assured gifts such as 3G-compliant tablet computers and small appliances, along with big-ticket products such as high-end flat panel TVs, fully automatic washing machines and frost-free refrigerators," said C M Singh, chief of operations at Videocon Industries.
Last week, Videocon also set the ball rolling with the launch of 4K ultra-high definition LED Smart TVs.
The line has five new TV models in sizes between 40-inch and 85-inch, and starts from Rs 91,000. Samsung, LG and Sony Electronics are expected to announce their new product line-ups shortly.
Offers in property
After a lull of three to four years, the real estate sector has been abuzz with activity, on the back of a stable government.
A residential unit can come cheaper by as much as Rs 5-15 lakh across major cities.
"With the backdrop of a stable government, coupled with high expectations of faster decision making and positive reforms, there is a positive outlook pertaining to the residential sector in terms of sales and launches. In fact, prices are also perceived to go up in the coming six months," said Samantak Das, research director at Knight Frank India.
Mobile phones and email accounts are being flooded with messages. Brokers are cutting prices by seven to 15 per cent across major cities.
According to real estate site Magicbricks, as many as 250 property deals are currently on in the major cities. Another portal, Indiaproperty, talks about flat discounts of up to Rs 15 lakh and other freebies on various residential projects. Free vacations, gold vouchers/coins, a modular kitchen, free furnishing up to Rs 5,00,000 and no registration fees are also being offered by developers.
A Harikesh, senior vice-president, marketing and sales, Tata Housing, said: "The festive season is considered an auspicious time to purchase property. We are also offering gold vouchers for Amantra in Mumbai during the Navratri festival."
As mentioned earlier, it is offering vouchers for European trips on select properties.
Supertech chairman and managing director R K Arora said brokers were giving 10-12 per cent discounts on the upfront price of flats.
"In Noida, customers looking for affordable housing expect large discounts, unlike in Gurgaon, where discounts will never be more than four to six per cent," he says.
A broker in Noida is offering an upfront discount of up to 10 per cent on per sq ft charges, along with no transfer charges (which a buyer pays to the developer after selling his unit before possession).
In Gurgaon, the discounts vary by location in the range of seven to 10 per cent. Region-based developers Saya, M3M and Chintels have readied new projects for launch during the festival season.
Godrej Properties, Tata Housing, Supertech and Mahindra Lifespaces all had recent launches.
ICICI Bank has introduced several offers. Beside a fixed home loan rate of 10.25 per cent from last week, it has started a scheme that allows fixed deposit holders to make bulk purchases through a debit card and repay through equated monthly instalments, attractive for people with savings but not immediate liquidity.
Punjab National Bank and Federal Bank will offer discounts on interest rates and processing fees on retail loans. ICICI Bank and State Bank of India (SBI) are announcing offers for online shoppers. Some are planning to waive the processing fee on loans. Federal Bank has waived processing fees for loans of any model of the Tata Zest. It is also offering a flat 10.9 per cent interest for all auto loans, irrespective of tenure. SBI and Axis Bank are finalising their festival offers.
What to look for
Everyone will dangle the carrot of discount, special offers and so on. Ask yourself: Do I need this product or am I buying it for the discount or free gift? If you really need the product, then free gifts or not, it makes sense to buy it.
Importantly, look at the fine print. Many offers are available on only select models. "Many people buy a higher version or lower version of a product because they will get a good discount.
In the case of lower versions especially, it could be that the product is being phased out and one might not get spare parts of that version in the future," says a financial planner.
Then, understand the discount. For example, the company will say it is offering five per cent cash back but there is a limit of, say, Rs 1,000.
So, buying a Rs 20,000 product will give you the exact five per cent. But purchasing something worth Rs 50,000 will mean a discount of only two per cent.
There are several other conditions like shipping and handling charges. This is one way of adding to costs.
A discount of Rs 1,000 would mean nothing if there is an additional delivery cost of Rs 2,000.
"The idea is that one should not go berserk due to discounts and offers," adds Mashruwala. In the case of property, there will be freebies like a modular kitchen, registration and stamp duty and so on. But calculate the actual value that you are getting. If you can do without some of these, seek a cash discount.
FESTIVAL OFFERS ALL AROUND
Consumer durables and electronics companies are putting the final touches to their festive period plans. This stretch contributes 30-40 per cent of annual sales for these companies
Property brokers are cutting prices by seven to 15 per cent across major cities. According to real estate site Magicbricks, as many as 250 deals are currently on in major cities
Some banks are planning to waive the processing fee on loans. PNB and Federal Bank will offer discounts on interest rates and processing fees on retail loans
ICICI Bank and State Bank of India are announcing offers for online shoppers