Watch out for deceitful ‘discounts’

It pays to do your research before shopping just because of an impressive-sounding discount. Photo: File.

Despite stores touting impressive-sounding discounts, it might pay to do your research before making any big Boxing Day buys.

According to a recent consumer omnibus survey commissioned by PriceSpy, New Zealand’s biggest impartial price and product comparison site, Boxing Day continues to be the most popular sale shopping event in the country, with almost half of those surveyed (46 per cent) saying they had purchased something on the sale day last year (2018).

Data from PriceSpy reveals on Boxing Day 2018, 39 per cent of all products listed on its site decreased in price while 13 per cent went up. The average discount was also less than people may have expected - at just four per cent.

“You might expect people to be all shopped out by the time Boxing Day comes round but according to our consumer omnibus survey research, it is still seen as the nation’s favourite shopping day," says PriceSpy New Zealand country manager Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett.

"Our historical data also reflects these findings, with a third more Kiwis (33 per cent) using PriceSpy on Boxing Day compared to Black Friday.

“While Boxing Day can be a brilliant time of year to make a saving or two, this is unfortunately not always the case. Our data suggests retailers also use such big sales events to increase the price of some items, meaning despite being on the look-out for a saving, consumers may actually end up paying more for a product compared to if they bought it on another non-sale day.”

PriceSpy data found on Boxing Day 2018, the biggest discounts offered came from TVs, providing an attractive average price drop of 15 per cent. But those who planned to get off the couch and go for a run with a pair of new trainers purchased in the sales weren’t so lucky, as 13 per cent of running shoes had a price increase.

The PriceSpy consumer omnibus survey also revealed:
• Three in five Kiwis (63 per cent) say they have waited to purchase a Christmas present in the Boxing Day sales, so that it is cheaper
• Almost half of New Zealanders (45 per cent) say they have felt pressured into buying things during flash sales like Black Friday and Boxing Day

“To avoid consumers paying over the odds for any Boxing Day purchases or feeling pressured into buy something just because it’s a sale day, our advice to shoppers is to plan ahead," says Liisa.

"Using a price comparison site or app, like PriceSpy helps ensure consumers don’t overpay for something that may cost less to buy at a different time of year.”

Although the Boxing Day sales are still a firm Kiwi favourite, PriceSpy’s year-on-year historical click data has revealed the shopping day decreased in popularity by six per cent (2018 vs. 2017), while Black Friday increased by 21 per cent during the same period.

"More and more people are starting to switch their shopping allegiance from the traditional post-Christmas Boxing Day sales to the newer phenomenon, Black Friday, which originated in the United States. It could be just a few years before we see a complete turnaround at the top with people opting to do their sales shopping ahead of Christmas instead of after it," says Liisa.

“But no matter what day of the year you choose to shop, the key thing to remember is: don’t rush buy – do research first. If you’re looking to make a purchase, keep a close eye on prices and don’t assume you’ll always get the best deals during the big sale events. Smart shopping is the best and simplest way to save the most money."

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Interesting report.

Posted on 31-12-2019 13:09 | By morepork

The last paragraph has some excellent advice but they missed one essential: Be sure you can afford it, even if the price is lower than usual.