Become A Market
There’s no doubt that markets are becoming more confusing than ever, with the consumer faced
with a bewildering range of options. This overwhelming choice has opened up an opportunity for anyone who can cut
through the fog, and guide consumers in the right direction.
Few markets are more confusing than the one for beauty products. For $10 a month, Brooklyn based Birchbox send
their subscribers a specially selected box of sample products each month. Subscribers can then buy full sized
versions of anything they like at the companies website, and get their $10 credited from the price. All this is
backed up by advice and tips from experts, who post articles and videos on the companies website.
This is something that could be adapted to other markets. Which other groups of consumers would appreciate
receiving specially selected samples each month, supported by information and support from experts in the
field? The health food and supplement market seems an obvious one for this. I’m sure there are plenty more.
Time to think how it might apply to your own market.
It’s just been announced that the government is cutting the amount
of tax-free income that higher-rate tax payers can put into their pensions. The annual limit will be reduced
from £225,000 a year to £50,000 a year from next April.
As such, it may be time to look at your unused allowances from this and earlier years. The government will allow
savers to offset the decrease against unused allowances from earlier years. As always, do take professional advice
appropriate to your particular situation.
The Land Registry and the Law Society have got together to produce
two new guides to help property owners protect themselves against fraud. There have been increasing numbers
of fraud cases involving identity theft and forged documents. Home owners who live abroad, absent landlords
and those without mortgages are often targets for fraudsters.
Law Society President Linda Lee says, "Land and buildings are usually the most valuable assets people own. They can
be sold and mortgaged to raise money and can therefore be attractive targets for fraudsters.” Visit
Javier Ballester, managing director of Taylor Wimpey de España,
offers advice on where to buy in Spain. “Spain is a very fragmented market which varies from one region to
another, even from one town to the next. For instance, premium locations like Mallorca are today already in
short supply. Areas like Casares, Manilva and Calahonda are still suffering from oversupply and will take
much longer to recover. If you are heading to a premium location like Marbella or Benahavis buyers will find
that good product between €200,000 and €300,000 is already hard to find.”
“It is also very important to research a developer before you buy. With some still struggling to make ends meet we
sadly have seen a number of people coming to us having lost deposits as their developer has gone into
administration. Ensure your builder has financial stability before parting with any cash. This is especially
relevant for off-plan purchases.”
The Competition Commission (CC) has just announced that banks are to
be banned from selling payment protection insurance (PPI) at the point of sale.
PPI is, for many, overpriced (especially when bought via banks who rake off commission) and riddled with exclusions
(being self-employed, for example, will often invalidate a claim). But many people feel obliged to buy it as they
think they need it to get that loan or mortgage. Not so!
The date of the ban has not yet been announced but, if you are thinking of taking PPI, it’s a good idea to reflect
on it for at least seven days or so before considering it seriously. Meantime, drop us an email and we’ll send you
an article with plenty of points to ponder.