Why choosing a coach is like buying a fridge in UAE
Purchasing a fridge in the UAE is an obstacle of its own, much like choosing a life/business coach!
You finally got your villa or apartment – it’s unfurnished. You can do without many things for a while. But still need to get Fridge. Particularly in summer. How long can you go without a fridge?
You can try Dubizzle or other sites to get used ones. But where are they located and how do you move them?
Do you go to the mall or big supermarkets? Do you go the local ‘mom & pop’ store or look on line. Googling ‘buying a fridge in UAE’ will tell you nothing. I assumed that the big mall/local supermarkets are least likely to run off with your money.
So what do you look for in a fridge? Size, features, cost and maybe brand.
Will it fit in the space? Internal storage is different from physical size. Why?
What does a brand tell you? You will find brands familiar to US and Europe. But different products. Big brands have good marketing. Their fridges might last. But you don’t need your fridge to last 30 years in Dubai because you won’t be here. Several products are identical but with different branding and pricing - because they are all made by the same company!
Glass shelves vs metal shelves? Silver vs white? Cooler or not? Frost Free? Energy efficiency? How much more does an inefficient fridge cost to run? The assistants, always happy to help as they are on commission, may tell you an item’s features. But they have no idea whether one feature is better than another, and reading the instruction leaflet will tell you otherwise.
And the classic- this one is made in India, that one in Turkey, another in China, another in Italy. This one was imported from U.S. at great cost but actually made in China! So???? They cannot tell you what you are supposed to deduce from this. Is it racism? Is the manufacturer more important than the place of manufacture? And in any case is it the place of assembly and all the parts are sourced from elsewhere.
Go to the Mall and look at the prices. Identical items at different prices in different stores. Even at different prices at different branches of the same store. Different prices on different days. And looking at the web – same products, different prices, maybe or not out of stock. Sometimes there is a general sale, sometimes featured discounts. So how do you choose?
Consider this. Many products will have an offer price, and then a cashback discount. So the actual price you pay is offer price less the discount? Not necessarily. Some places they apply the discount immediately, others they give you ‘vouchers’ to use on other goods in the same store in a short period. Get it?
Certain stores, particularly with washing machines and cookers will have a display card showing price and features sitting on top of the particular product. Don’t expect the display card to match the product underneath! There may be several cards, but the one you want will be elsewhere.
The purchase experience
Finally you chose your product, pick your salesman, and try to buy - it’s out of stock!
“Can I have the one that’s just over there?” “Can I have a discount on that one?”
“No – it’s a display model”
“When will they be in stock?”
Sometimes it’s out of stock in that store, often out of stock with the retail chain, frequently out of stock in the country. And don’t be fooled by the ‘out of stock’ sign in the store. – that could have been there for months and the product has been in stock all the time – why? Because of that notice.
Assuming successful purchase there will be this enormous form to fill in. In particular they will want to know the delivery address. Then they want to know where it is!
Typically next day delivery happens – but they can’t tell you when. And someone with incomprehensible English will call to confirm – and they can’t understand your response either. But it works.
Decide the essential features – what’s essential (e.g size) what’s nice to have (efficient)
Initial research will give you some idea of budget
Watch out for misleading product descriptions
Don’t expect the sales staff to know anything
Really get to understand the complex pricing structures.
Don’t spend forever – fridges are not so expensive here. If it fails or you don’t like it get another one! Does it really matter that much which one you get?
I pride myself on quick decision making. I don’t need a lot of information but I do need a reason to choose one appliance over another. If I had known all this in the first place I could have decided quickly – as it was it took a month and in the heat of June. And I am very happy with the purchase.
Pretty similar really to choosing a coach:
Decide what kind of coach you want – what’s essential what’s nice to have
Initial research will give you some idea of budget
Ensure you understand what they claim to be able to do on Linked In for example
If you use agencies don’t expect them to know why you would choose one over another
There can be complex pricing structures too! Buy 5 sessions get one free.
You can use your coach to help you by a fridge! The experienced ones come in white or silver!
(Main photo via Flickr & Creative Commons, Nick Taylor).