JOHOR BARU: Consumers looking to replace their electrical home appliances should be prepared to pay more as prices are expected to go up following the depreciation of the ringgit and rising production costs.
Johor Electrical Appliances Dealers Association president Gan Cheng Swee said an increase of 5% to 10% was to be expected starting as early as August.
“Right now, the prices will remain the same for existing stocks. Once those are cleared, the new batch of stocks will also come with new prices.
“The increase is expected across the board for products such as refrigerators, washing machines and air-conditioners,” he said when interviewed.
Locally-assembled products would also be affected, said Gan, adding that the price increase was unavoidable due to the current economic situation and costly production parts.
“Businesses are also facing hiring challenges where they have to offer a salary of RM4,000 to RM5,000 to hire a deliveryman as many have chosen to cross the border to Singapore for work.
“The significant currency exchange rate makes it an attractive prospect, with many switching to work as bus drivers in the city state,” he added.
Whether there was any shortage of products due to increased market demand, Gan said that, previously, air-conditioners were selling like hot cakes due to the prolonged hot spell which started a few months ago.
“At one point, customers had to wait for some time to have their brand new air-conditioner installed because there were not enough technicians to cope with the demand,” he said, adding that the situation has since improved.
A home appliance store owner, who only wanted to be known as Lee, said he was aware of the expected price increase but he has yet to receive the official new prices from his suppliers.
“I do not think there will be a spike in customers rushing to replace their home appliances before they increase in prices as such products are not usually kept as spares at home – they are usually replaced only when they are damaged.
“Since there is no festive season coming up, the buying power has also been low after the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration.
“However, I will still inform customers of a possible price increase soon and advise them to make their purchases before the price adjustment,” she added.
Shopper Mohd Hafiz Jeffri, 46, said he was looking for a brand new refrigerator, television and blender as he would be moving to his new home soon.
“I plan to make my purchases in the next few days while there are still existing stocks left to avoid having to pay more after the price hike.
“I am already spending quite a lot to renovate my house so I want to grab some savings wherever I can,” said the businessman.