Thrifty shoppers know there are few things more satisfying than getting a great deal in the end of financial year (EOFY) sales.
Conversely, finding out you’ve paid full price for something unnecessarily, or that your new purchase is a dud, can leave you frustrated and distressed.
Buyer’s remorse is real (especially if you’re supposed to be saving and need to hide the delivery boxes from your significant other).
Between lockdown and our unstable economy, 2020 was a tough year for many of us, so it wasn’t surprising when the EOFY sales took a nosedive.
A new survey by Finder shows Australians are looking to indulge in considerably more retail therapy this EOFY than last year.
This time around, nearly nine million Australians (46 per cent of the population) are expected to dig deep and spend big from June 1.
Comparatively, only 27 per cent of Australians took part in the sales in 2020.
Not only will more of us be shopping up a storm this year, but we’ll also be collectively spending $4.6 billion – a substantial increase from the $2 billion spent last year.
Taylor Blackburn, Finder’s personal finance specialist, said Australians aren’t being as frugal as last year.
“This time last year, the pandemic was at its peak in Australia and most of us were reluctant to spend,” Mr Blackburn told The New Daily.
“But life has returned to a new kind of normal, the economy has bounced back, and consumers seem ready to spend big.”
If you’re getting ready to buy, here’s how to make sure you nab a true bargain in the EOFY sales.
Tips and tricks
The internet will be your best friend when it comes to maximise bargains.
Online shopping, Mr Blackburn said, gives you “the power to make sure you’re getting the best deal”.
It will also be the preferred method of shopping for Australians, with only 33 per cent heading in to stores.
“Always compare across retailers before making your purchase – you may find another outlet stocks the same item for less,” Mr Blackburn shared with TND.
“Make sure to double check the postage costs and refund policies, which can impact how much you actually save”.
As for what we’ll be buying, at the top of our wish lists are discounted homewares and appliances, furniture and electronics.
Jonathan Brown from consumer advocacy group Choice told The New Daily slow cookers are especially popular at the moment, but there are other appliances to keep an eye out for.
Red-hot deals on whitegoods
With many of us still spending at least part of the week working from home, our visits to the local coffee shop have declined.
This is particularly true for Melburnians, who have found themselves in a fourth lockdown, and are readjusting to working from home again.
“Now that the cold weather is starting to set in, it’s a great time to buy a coffee machine, so you can make yourself a nice warm cuppa without having to venture outside in the chill,” Mr Brown said.
“If you’re someone who is working from home, buying a coffee machine is a particularly good investment.”
To get the best-value coffee machine, Choice recommends looking for a number of key features.
- Clear and simple controls
- Adjustable grinder (avoid automatic machines with built-in grinders)
- Variable coffee strength
- Size (don’t buy something you won’t have room for)
- Removable froth enhancer
- Cup warming tray.
Shoppers tend to wait for EOFY sales for big items like fridges and cars, but a big markdown doesn’t necessarily mean a good deal.
Some fridges are considerably better than others, and it pays to know which ones to look for – and which to avoid.
Reading reviews will help make sense of your options, especially if you’re about to drop more than $1000.
“We know that people often use significant sales like the EOFY sales to pick up big, expensive items such as fridges,” Mr Brown said.
“If you’re looking to buy a fridge in the EOFY sales, there’s one in particular that you should avoid: The Smeg FAB38RCRAU is the worst fridge we’ve ever tested in the Choice labs.
“It received a dismal score of just 22 per cent, despite costing $3990.
“This goes to show that just because a fridge is expensive, it doesn’t mean that it’s a good performer.”
Rather than walking around inside wearing seven layers and a scarf, it might be time to invest in a heater.
As we head into winter, heaters will be a hot ticket item on plenty of shopping lists.
But they aren’t the most cost-effective solution to heating your home.
“Some of our top tips for buying an electric heater include looking for one that has a long cord,” Mr Brown said.
“You’ll want the heater to be reasonably close to you, and you don’t want to be using an extension lead as it can be a fire risk.
“Try to get a heater with a timer, as electric heaters are the most expensive heating product to run.”
Heating your clothes on a heater is also a fire risk and should be avoided.
Another thing to consider is storage – do you have space for the heater to be packed away in warmer months?