1. Rollercoaster pricing or fake sales: The terms ‘rollercoaster pricing’ and ‘fake sales’ refer to a strategy where retailers incrementally increase a product’s price and then abruptly lower it, promoting a discount based on this inflated price.
2. Yo-Yo Pricing: Here, prices fluctuate frequently, sometimes even within days or weeks. Retailers might present these as limited time offers to stimulate quick sales.
3. Bundle Pricing: Retailers offer an item for free or at a discount with the purchase of another product. However, the price of the main item might be increased to offset the cost of the ‘free’ item.
And here are PriceSpy’s tips on how to shop smartly to avoid deceptive sales tactics:
- Search out the cheapest price
Don’t settle on the first price you see. Take the time to compare prices across different retailers. This step is crucial, as the same item can often be found at a better price elsewhere, leading to significant savings.
- Check the price history
Gaining insight into the true worth of a product is possible by examining its historical pricing data. This information provides a transparent view of how the product’s price has varied over time, enabling shoppers to make more informed purchasing decisions.
- Efficient Shopping with Price Alerts
It’s also worthwhile that shoppers make the most of free features, such as price alerts for items they are interested in buying. These alerts notify a shopper when the price of a monitored item falls below a set threshold.
Finally, if you want to know what shoppers may be looking to buy, PriceSpy has shared the most-popular products and categories Kiwis were looking to buy on Boxing Day last year.
Five tips for shopping the 2023 Boxing Day sales
Consumer NZ shares 5 tips to help New Zealanders spend smarter and navigate the frantic marketing frenzy this Boxing Day.
- Shop carefully
The Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) provides great consumer protection but doesn’t require retailers to provide a refund if you buy something and change your mind about it.
“It’s easy to get swept up in a buying frenzy when something on special catches your eye,” said Jessica Walker, Consumer communications and campaigns manager.
“Once you’ve bought it, the retailer is not obliged to provide you with a refund just because you change your mind or your circumstances change. But check with the store, as some have generous returns policies.”
- Don’t fall for the hype
Walker wants to warn shoppers that promotions are often not what they seem.
“Don’t fall for a massive discount on a ‘usual’ price without checking the ‘usual’ price. The actual savings could be very different from the advertised offering,” says Walker.
“Different stores will have different ‘usual’ prices, too. Check out PriceSpy and PriceMe to gauge the real value of any items that catch your eye.”
- Don’t believe the disclaimers
Limitations or blanket disclaimers on sale items like “no refunds” or “no exchanges” are misleading.
“Whether you purchase an item on sale or not, you have rights under both the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) and the Fair-Trading Act (FTA). We think a store that displays a ‘no refunds’ sign is breaching the FTA.”
“If you get your heavily discounted air fryer home on Boxing Day and it doesn’t work, you are entitled to a refund – even if the retailer said, ‘no refunds’.”
- Don’t waste your money on warranties
Under the CGA, manufacturers and retailers must guarantee the products they sell. This includes guaranteeing that goods are of acceptable quality and fit for their purpose.
“If your product develops a fault when it’s still reasonably new, the retailer is required to sort the problem – even if the manufacturer’s warranty has expired,” says Walker.
“You’re already covered. Say no to extended warranties, and don’t be fobbed off by a store trying to tell you a product is out of warranty.”
- Know your consumer rights
Research from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment found that almost 50% of 18-26-year-olds are likely to leave a complaint unresolved due to gaps in consumer knowledge.
“The CGA gives people powerful rights, but we can’t exercise them if we don’t know about them.
“For example, if your new washing machine won’t work properly, you can claim for laundry costs or the cost of hiring a replacement machine while your machine is being fixed.
“The act also applies to goods you hire and gifts, too. If you’re gifted something, you have the same rights as if you bought it yourself, and you can seek redress directly for any problem. However, you will need a gift receipt or proof of purchase.
“If you buy a product knowing about an existing fault, such as buying a ‘second’, you can’t then ask the retailer to fix the problem.
“Get to know your rights under the CGA using our handy explainer so you’re confident exercising them.”