Restrictions imposed on Consumers

With all the rules and regulations regarding consumer rights and economic policies, consciously or unconsciously, there are some restrictions that are placed on the consumers as well.

1) Lack of sustainable products

With the rising issue of climate change and the planet dying, consumers are advised to use sustainable products. This will include products that are not packaged in plastic and that are environment friendly. However, the producers continue making products as always have. This inflicts a conflict of interest among what the consumer wants and what the producers are producing. Even though, we say demand creates supply, consumers cannot cut off on the majority of the product in the market at a single go. The consumers are therefore restricted to buying the products that are already available. Even though sustainable products are available to a certain extent, they are extremely expensive. For example, if a plastic straw costs around 1 rupee, a metal straw, a much sustainable alternative to plastic straws, costs around 600 rupees. So, even though there are choices, the consumers are restricted from buying what they really want.

2) Monopoly of Markets

For certain products, a single company may have monopoly over the entire market. This again restricts the consumer from having adequate options or alternatives in the market. This restricts the consumer from making the choice that s/he wants to make because of the lack of available alternatives. Another restrictions is the increased prices charged by monopoly markets. Netflix can be considered as a good example of a monopoly.

3) Filter bubbles

The filter bubbles are an example of restrictions faced by consumers in the internet. Any user in the internet can be a victim of the filter bubble. This particular phenomena occurs when a consumer receives content from the internet that are in alignment with his or her own thought processes. This restricts the consumer from receiving what is actually the truth or useful information that could possibly help him. Thus the consumer is left in an intellectual bubble and is not able to realise his flaws or to change his cognition.

4) Advertisements

Despite the ability of advertisements to provide good information, it can also restrict the consumer. It has the ability to instil a feeling of want in the consumer that did not exist previously. This restricts the consumers from purchasing what is actually required as the focus is shifted and the consumer ends up buying things that they don’t need.

5) Status Symbols

Consumers are social animals and continuously seek for approval. Due to this innate drive to please others and improve their self-image, consumers tend to make decisions that are not ideally suited for their optimal use. They end up buying products that have high brand value. This in turn restricts their ability to purchase what they really need.