Crazy rush for pails and storage containers

The Star, 1 Mar 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: Pails and water containers have been selling like hot cakes, especially after news broke of the second phase of the water rationing exercise.

TTS Distribution, a convenience store in Taman OUG, said sales had been very good over the past two days.

“Previously, we re-stocked about a dozen containers a week. Now, we’re selling six to seven dozens a day,” said business owner Lim Say Wei, 24, who was busy talking to customers when approached by The Star.

He said people came from as far as Subang and Klang to buy containers from his shop.

“But we are not increasing prices because we are long-established in the business,” he said.

The best-selling items are the 172.7-litre (38-gallon) containers priced at RM80 each.

“I have customers telling me that in Petaling Jaya, the price for these containers had gone up to RM135,” he said, adding that he was keeping four for his family.

Villa OUG residents’ association chairman Gary Chong, 50, said prices of containers had increased by between RM10 and RM20 at some shops.

“My family has spent a few hundred ringgit on containers. We could have gone on a holiday with the money,” he said.

Chai, 50, an advertising executive of Sin Chew Daily, who was seen shopping for containers with her daughter, said the vessels were almost out of stock when her husband went to Puchong a few days ago.

“With the water rationing, my family might need to bathe at my brother’s place in Kinrara. We also have to plan when it comes to doing the laundry,” she said.

Bat kut teh seller Poh Kim Pho, 58, who was on standby with extra pails and containers, said he might need to close his stall in Taman OUG on days when there was no water.

A check at Perfect Home Marketing, a convenience store in Taman Sri Sentosa, showed that the bigger containers were sold out.

“We have had many people asking for the large containers over the past few days,” said 22-year-old promoter Fauziah Ahmad.

The urgent need for water containers has prompted Samsaimon, 52, to start selling plastic containers from a factory in Balakong.

“The containers are from the factory I work in. I checked with my boss, and he asked me to try to sell a truckload first.

“Yesterday was the first day, and I sold 135 containers at RM10 each, within three hours.”

After the containers were sold out, more people came and asked him for his number.

“I am not charging more. In times like these, if we sell at a higher price, it will be taking advantage of the people.

“I’ve seen similar containers or smaller ones being sold at RM18 each at other places,” he added.