1 FEBRUARY 1963, Page 30

Fair Exchange


PART exchange (PX to the trade) has become quite, a

lucrative racket among the dealers in television receivers. And it is pretty profitable with the boys who buy and sell refrigerators and washing machines, too. Even with the latest hire-purchase concessions, your local dealer is going to tell you that times are hard (they usually are for somebody) and that the most he can allow on your set is a couple of quid, and he's doing you a favour. You pay, or promise to pay, him around 00480; and he knocks off the odd pounds, shillings and pence. But then, he's in the business.

What good is a second-hand TV set to him? Old sets in working order are lent to customers whose sets are in for repair, or rented out after a good overhaul. Quite frequently they are re- sold, even under guarantee. Sometimes they find their way into second-hand furniture shops. In rare cases they go for scrap. Don't waste your sympathy on the dealers. They know their busi- ness. Make sure you know it, too.

The Radio and Television Retailers' Associa- tion has a handbook of standard trade-in prices, and you are entitled to ask to see it. If your receiver is in good condition there is no reason (other than weakness of character) why you should accept less than the price given in the RTRA list. If your local dealer goes in for those

dazzling posters saying, allowed for your old set, in any condition,' stick out for the RTRA price plus the £15. The dealer's margin, you can be sure, has allowed for this concession. You may not succeed entirely, but at least you will do better than most.

As for the new receiver; choose it in the shop, but keep your choice to yourself. Should you like the look of one with a concessionary notice on it, it is almost certain to be a discontinued model sold from the makers at a knock-down price, but none the worse for that. Until 625 lines or colour come along, there is little in the Way of modification between one year's model and the next that makes a significant difference to performance. And this is what matters, not the shape of the cabinet nor the number of knobs.

When your choice has been made, ask for a home demonstration of the type that you have

chosen. You will find that the set brought to you by the salesman is in good order, and prob- ably working better than the others in the shop. Time is on the side of the buyer. If there is an old set to be unloaded, hesitate a little. When a salesman has invested time in a sale, he does not give up easily. The offer for your old set will rise proportionately. If this sounds ruthless, remember that, when dealing with the increasing number of multiples, that the local manager looks for an overall profit on PX goods, and is always seeking to clip L2-£3 off the market price of a used set, so that occasionally he can concede a pound or two to clinch an important sale.

There is no RTRA book for refrigerators or washing machines. But bear in mind that there is a shortage of good second-hand refrigerators just now. You may get a better price through Exchange and Mart than from a dealer. With these and washing machines it also pays to look around two or three multiple stores and check their charges for used appliances. Knock off a quarter of that price to allow for the mark-up, a pound or two according to the state of repair of your machine, and you arrive at an approxi- mate bargaining point for the PX allowance.

This is the consumer durables business, and durability counts if you want to be a wise con- sumer.