Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Rant : Prices of beauty products in Malaysia

Today I am going to talk on a topic that not many people has touched on.
The steep increase of prices of cosmetics in Malaysia.

I used to come back to Malaysia once a year when I was pursuing my studies overseas. 
This year when I came back, what shocked me the most is the total steep increase of prices of cosmetics especially in Sephora and Departmental Store. 
For example, when used to be Luxola, my Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured in Moonstone used to be RM102.50 and now it cost RM195. What is this atrocity! And, I only placed an order on Moonstone a year ago. What is this 190% price hike? 
Don't come blaming on GST and currency fluctuation. It won't add up to the extra 90%. That is blatant daylight robbery.

In red are the prices of Luxola before it became Sephora. 

Are Malaysians that easy to rip off?

Why Sephora thinks they can get away with the crazy irrelevant pricing.
The main reason, Sephora for one dominates the beauty market currently in Malaysia by bringing in many brands that are exclusive to Sephora.
There is no competition. 

Another thing, based on my surrounding friends who purchases quite frequently from Sephora. 
People do not bother to do researches on the products they are about to purchase. It is just too bothersome to compare prices and not everyone has the luxury of time to do so. As long they can get the item, they do not mind paying whatever price tag. 
Also, many do not like online shopping due to waiting time. 

Back to prices,
Let's take Becca Shimmering Splits as an example. It cost MYR 209.00(about USD50) in Malaysia based on current rates and in the US it is USD38, in UK, GBP 32 (about MYR 164).
MYR 209 is a lot compared to USD38 and GBP 32.  Just think MYR 209 is worth USD209 and GBP 209. That's how much we can do with MYR 209. 
Based on what I found on google, the average salary for a fresh graduate in the US is USD 44,455 whereas in the UK is GBP 29,000. In Malaysia, the average fresh graduate salary is RM 25,200 which equates to USD 6033 or GBP 4931. 
Let's say RM1 = GBP 1 or USD 1. RM38 or RM32 what can you get in Sephora or the departmental cosmetics section? Almost nothing. Probably could get one Maybelline lipstick or mascara from the drugstore. 
So why are we paying way much more? Our spending power is not strong. 

I am a fresh graduate, I do not have the luxury of extra cash to throw around.  
Nowadays, I just stick to online shopping where I can get my products for a much fairer and reasonable pricing than to pay such a cut throat price locally. 
There are so many websites or preorder agents to purchase items from. 
I also have been noticing I do not purchase as much from Sephora anymore, the last was from their 20% off sale and since then I haven't exited Sephora with purchases. Now, it has became a place to look around and play around with swatches and see if I find a product I like, if I do I would order online.
But mostly, I have been cutting down my spending on makeup products. At some point of life, you have other priorities. 

I find it so sad that cosmetic products are getting pricier in Malaysia. At this rate , many people won't be able to afford their favourite cosmetic brands anymore.
Also, I wish Malaysians would be smarter consumers because by doing so, company will realize it is not okay to put on crazy price tags. 

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