With prices for food, fuel and other retail products skyrocketing, a group of concerned Australians based in Canberra has joined forces to form a national buying group whereby it can use people power to pressure retailers into providing lower prices for goods and services.
The new group, Action Village, which is aiming to sign up one million members in its first year, will have the sole objective of using its combined spending might to bring petrol retailers, supermarkets and other chains to the negotiating table.
"We’re aiming to build an army of consumers and empower them to take action against the obscenely rising prices that we’re encountering at the moment, particularly with fuel," says Bill Burdin, one of the founders of Action Village.
Using sophisticated website technology, Action Village has been set up to run online from the website www.actionvillage.com.au People who join Action Village will be able to use the site to view the discounts that have been negotiated with retailers. They will, eventually, receive a plastic membership card they can use when they shop at those outlets.
Signing up to Action Village is free and the card will be issued for free to those people who successfully invite five other people to join.
"We will not be issuing the cards until retailers join the initiative," Mr Burdin said. "A retailer must nominate a discount on the check-out price that they’re prepared to offer the membership.
Mr Burdin says that the key objective, at this stage, is to build up Action Village membership so that it has enough power to make retailers take notice.
"The strategy we’re using is to call consumers to action first. I suppose you could say that we are the trade union for consumers. Individually we don’t have a voice, but if we’ve got a million members who collectively ask ‘What discounts can you give us?’, then retailers will definately come to the table. Business is all about buying power. The bigger your buying power, the stronger you are at the negotiating table.
We’re confident we can do it, especially under present circumstances where every day prices are rising. Those rises seem unreasonable. If we have one million members with each spending $500 per week, that’s over $25 billion a year. You would imagine that wherever a lot of money is spent, retailers would be attracted to that community.
We have the technology to ensure that membership grows at a rapid rate. We have an invitation system built into the website that makes it easy for people signing up to invite other people to join, thereby spreading the word."
Mr Burdin says that once enough people have joined, the first target will be the petrol retailers. Action Village plans to strike a deal whereby each week retailers nominate the petrol discount our members will receive for the following week. All members will receive an SMS email message detailing what discounts are available from which retailer for the following week.
Participating retailers will receive a display sticker to show that they are an affiliate of the Action Village group.
"Eventually, there will be so many members that retailers won’t be able to refuse to take notice of us."
For further information, contact:
T: 02 62312300 or M: 0401796160