[Letters] Buyers are aware

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[Letters] Buyers are aware

In a recent “News in Focus” feature, you reported that a pair of Korean agencies charged with consumer protection are looking with suspicion upon the falling prices at local discount chains such as a E-Mart and HomePlus. Supposedly, any price fluctuations are confusing to consumers who, the thinking goes, are too simple-minded to know a good deal from a bad one (“How low can the mega mart prices go?” Feb. 9, 2010).

Yet, contrary to the claims of the Korea Consumer Agency (KCA), the role of mega marts is not to “stabilize prices,” but rather to meet the demands of their customers. To the degree that the store succeeds in doing this, it earns greater profits. Given the reported surge in sales since the recent price-slashing began, it’s fair to say that these stores are providing exactly what customers want: lower prices.

Could it be that individual consumers are better positioned than the KCA or the Fair Trade Commission to know what is in that person’s best interest?

These agencies would do well to look at the sales figures and have a bit more trust in the public’s judgement.

Aaron McKenzie, Seoul
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