Consumers in Ipoh are divided on whether to stock up on essential items to save a little before the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax ( GST) in April.
While some are buying items that they use on a regular basis in bulk, the rest are taking it easy because they feel eventually they will still have to pay the taxes.
Lawyer G. Kirubanantha Moorti said he had bought extra supply of supplements, imported food and pet food among others over the last few weeks; he also purchased imported vehicle parts to avoid paying the tax.
He said the items could last him a few months.
“There will be a big difference in the prices of these items that I use regularly when GST is implemented.
“The current prices of these items are already considered high, and with GST, they are definitely going to increase.
“So buying them in bulk now will help alleviate my burden a little, much so with the current economic situation,” he added.
Manager Savinder Kaur, 37, said she bought books, shampoo and beauty products about a week ago.
However she said she did that moderately, unlike some people who were purchasing items like the world was coming to an end.
“By buying some of the items I am able to save to some extent before GST, although in the long run I will not be able to escape paying the tax.
“Traders are expected to take advantage once GST is implemented by increasing prices of things anyway,” she added.
However Marziana Mohamed Alias, 33, a publication officer at a public university said she was not stocking items.
“I am doing this for the simple reason, because I will not be able to run away from paying taxes in the future.
“Every month I will have to buy household items, so whether I like it or no, I will still have to pay GST,” she added.
Concluding with Marziana, businesswoman S. Bavani Devi, 39 said she felt it was more reasonable to plan and adjust finances and her monthly budget to face GST.
“Stocking items is a short term solution only,” she added.
Martial Arts instructor Khoo Bu Leong said he would rather plan his expenses properly than stocking items.
“I have a small family, and we usually spend wisely.
“So there is no point buying the items now, when in April we will not be able to run away from paying the tax, “ he added.
Homemaker Sally Cheong, 40 said she was not stocking up especially on cosmetics because that would mean spending more than her current budget, and keeping more than what was required.
She said cosmetic products also had limited shelf life that would usually expire in two or three years.
“The products that I usually get are sunblock, lipstick, eyebrow pencils and facial products, and the ones I have can usually last for some time,” she added.
Marketing executive Amelia Yong, 27, however said before GST was implemented she would buy cosmetic products that she had been eyeing for a long time.
She has been aiming to improve her make-up skills, and that would mean she had to invest in brushes and more cosmetic products.
“Instead of buying them separately, I am contemplating to buy all of them at one go.
“Most of the good brands are already expensive to begin with, and I am worried that after GST is implemented, prices may increase because I am not sure how GST is going to impact the cosmetics market yet,” she added.
Accountant Agnes Lee, 24, a make-up enthusiast, will resort to buying cosmetic products directly from the US instead of buying them here in bulk.
She said the prices were much cheaper in the US, and she had relatives staying there who would come back once or twice a year.
“I will ask them to buy the products required, and I don’t mind waiting because American websites offer better deals.
“Malaysian prices for cosmetic products are usually between RM40 and RM60 higher than the price in US dollar,” she added.