There's a new incentive for hanging on to used transport and airline tickets as they could mean cheaper purchases of a variety of goods ranging from clothing and bathroom tiles as well as services, thanks to the Money Back system.
A recent initiative, Money Back (http://wp.moneybacksystem.gr), allows consumers to get a discount on products and services based on the value of the bus, train, boat or airplane tickets they present to stores and establishments that have signed on to the scheme.
Numbering around 170 businesses so far – mostly in Athens – Money Back's members include a few bars and fast-food eateries, pet shops, clothing stores, book shops, car mechanics, pastry shops, hair salons, dry cleaners, hardware stores and even pharmacies. The establishments – currently restricted to Attica and Crete – display the Money Back sticker on their window to show that they are a part of the scheme.
The way the scheme works is that customers hand in their used transport tickets at the till, where they are given a discount on their value. The price of the discount is determined by the establishment and can be 1 euro off purchases and services for every 10 euros' worth of tickets, for example, or 1 euro off for every 5 euros.
The size of the discount offered is small enough to make the founders of the initiative optimistic that they will be able to reach their target of over 600 participating establishments so that they can offer a wider selection of goods and services to commuters and travelers.
As far as consumers are concerned, the benefits are obvious. “According to available data, the average commuter spends between 145-350 euros a year on transportation,” Nikos Imirziadis, the chief executive officer of the sales promotion center that manages the scheme, told Kathimerini. “A large portion of that money can return to the market via the Money Back system, improving the revenues of establishments at a time when business is at such a low.”
Still in the early stages, the scheme is already seeing some businesses receiving around 15-20 customers a month using the system.
“We are very pleased, given that we are still in the first few months of the system's operation,” said Imirziadis.