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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Shopping in NZ 

I'm just a couple of weeks away from returning to NZ to set up house so have been using my sparetime in Korea looking at NZ retailers online websites to see how much I will have to spend on the 492 different items commonly found in a house.

I'm comparing them to prices in Korea to see how ripped off I'm going to be.

This list will grow I expect.

Thus far:
Splashed out on a little wee sony handycam.
Price in Korea $1,425.
Cheapest I saw it in NZ $2,800.

Best internet available in NZ 69$ a month with Clear.
Bullet speed in Korea with unlimited allowances $49 a month.

Satellite TV in Korea with 50+ non free to air channels including 4 sports, about 10 movie channels etc $47 a month.

SKY Satellite with about 30? non free to air channels $74.93 a month

NZ double door models $1,900 - $6,200.
In Korea the most expensive models $3,500 (with most being larger than anything you can get in NZ).

Things aren't impressing me too much so far :(

Obviously the bigger and more condensed market in Korea and shipping costs etc are playing a big part but the differences are pretty astronomical all the same.

Tell you what though, Noel Leeming seems to be outpricing all the competition in NZ. They are even cheaper than the online only stores such as Appliances Direct, which I have found. Much cheaper than rip off Farmers that's for sure. Dick Smiths also seems to be a bit on the steep side.

Briscoes is the place to go for the smaller things though.

And ya just can't beat the Warehouse for the cheap shit in every sense of the word. Christ the amount of money I spend there each time I go home is nuts. All those planter bags, bags of potting mix for my hobby Nikau farm and the sketchy boxer shorts :)

If I get time I'll expand this thread as I get more info, and price comparisons, plus throw in all the useful links. Shopping about sure does pay off when you start seeing some of the price differences. I'd say I've saved myself a fair bit of cash already.

Something else I've found that Korea has that NZ could do with is a website which tells you where you can buy the cheapest electronic items at. Here you simply type in what you want to buy and it does a search for who has the best price. I heard something about a site like that maybe starting up in NZ. It was successful in Aussie or something. I might be wrong though.


Bear in mind it's January Sale time. As well as constructed deals, everyone is trying to clear their aged stock out before end of financial year. So after Jan expect some prices to revert to the usual, although there are always specials. Need to have them.

Noel Leeming, Bond & Bond and Big Byte are owned by the same people but have different markets. NL has range. BB has price,if you utilise the price promise (on stocked items) and Big Byte is predominantly computers.

Briscoes have their retails on electronics overpriced ny about 10%. When they have a one day sale this allows them to show a bigger save.

Farmers also have higher retails on a wider variety of things. The farmers card and the other products (clothing etc)ensure people buy them at the expensve prices.

Harvey Norman don't have a site(useless) but have a really good range. On av gear, specifically Plasma and LCD you can get some stupid prices (for the NZ market).

Also not on line are the Appliance Shed in Papatoetoe.
Some very cheap deals. They stock firsts and factory seconds. The factory second pricing is worth looking at.

DSE are good for the generic IT stuff. They tend to have newer technology available more readily.

Various parallel importers have good prices but you rely on the store and the Consumer Guarantees act for warranty. Can't fault the price though.

Furniture depends on what you want. Noel Leeming, Farmers and Harvey Norman have furniture stores although HN is very MOR. Freedom Furniture is low build quality but trendy.

Warehouse is great. I'd love to know their items per sale. Even a hard target shopper such as myself ends up walking out with something more often than not.

100%, Hill & Stewart and Retravision are probably not worth bothering with unless you get a hot priced clearance product.

Some good independants around also. If you're Wellington bound try LV Martin. For the South Island try Smiths City.

Price Spy can find best retails but has a limited range with an IT focus.

Hope this is of some help. Apologies for not posting much on the discussion board. Trying not to spend so much time on the internet.

Cheers - Polar Bob

you should also bear in mimd that retailing over the internet is in its infancy, if that, as compared with where you and I and most of the rest of the world are living. So don't believe that the best prices you see on the net are in fact the lowest. Regarding the net and broadband, beware the high prices and less than broadband speeds that the monopoly(ies) are offering - the almost total monopoly that Telecom has over net access and its ability to manipulate prices and control competition (by being the major network provider with others begging for access) is a major scandal. Helen's Government should be brought down on that score alone, but the great majority of NZers are quite unaware of what is being denied to them, how backward NZ is electronically, and how much more they are paying than they should. Buy everything you can - dual or 220-240 voltage, overseas. Cheers. (frown)
Cheers Polar Bob.

Ditto about spending less time on the internet. Was doing quite nicely until I started researching retail prices in NZ for about 50 items.

I'll check out some of the places you mentioned and maybe some second hand places as well. The budget won't get anywhere near buying new everythings.
I think that in NZ if you are careful (frugal perhaps) and shop around and look for deals etc you can do quite well, but just your basic stuff on a NZ take home wage is mightily expensive.

Especially on anything slightly top end or slightly lavish (which seems to be sky tv or the internet or any electronic items with some flash brand label).

The average wage in Korea might only be about 80% of that in NZ so people may look at them and think of them as being a little on the poor side, but when you can earn 30,000 a year in Korea and only pay about 2,500 of it in tax your take home pay is pretty impressive.

Once you start doing sums with your averare NZ wage of about 35,000 and take off tax and then other general costs in NZ it's no wonder that young people are giving up on ever owning their own home, are staying home with their parents much longer and NZers in general are causing major concern to the powers that be that they aren't saving enough for their retirement.

It's because they can't. Well not without cancelling their life and hiding in a box living on bread and water for years. In 6 months before coming to Korea I managed to save 2,000 bucks and I'm no big spender. In Korea I then proceeded to wipe out my 11,000 dollar student loan in 4 months and save 26,000 in the next 11 months. I was only earning 10,000 more per annum.

And what's the deal with rugby jerseys being 180 bucks these days? At that price you'd want to be able to play like a pro when wearing it.

It's time that the moneymakers in NZ were called to task over their prices once and for all.

Bloody nice place to live though.
The $4 cucumber is a favourite of late. As Ms_Red said to me, "for $4 I expect a meal, not just a cucumber."

Noel Leeming seems ridiculous (remember the $1600 vacuum cleaner?) and I wouldn't set foot in the place.

If you can find a K-Mart, esp. during a sale, you can pick up cheap electronics (generic TVs, stereos, DVD players etc).

Couches, beds and those sorts of things on which one actually spends quite a lot of time resting one's weary bones can be ridiculous, although the 50% off bed sales come around pretty regulaly, and you should be able to get a really decent queen size for ~$800.

How does that compare with Korea?
A $1600 dollar vacuum is expensive, but not overpriced. There is a standard mark-up on products in relation to quality and feature set,and NZ is a parity market unless you parellel import or lose money on one category to offset another, warehouse style. (Or conversely drive small manufacturers to the wall and promote slave labour overseas). The prices are dictated largely, "not totally", by the suppliers as the retailers, funnily enough, buy off them. Unless you don't want access to products you don't screw them over too much. If you like cheap stuff that's cool. DSE is of course not Marantz standard. It will do what you want. If you want financing to buy a houselot, good luck in K-mart, or the Warehouse.

Personally, everyone wants shit for free or cheap. Everyone presumes they are being ripped off. Can't afford it? Try running a $600mil + turnover business. Now that's expensive.
Noel Leeming has vac's ranging from about 80 bucks to 1,600 so there's something for everyone I guess.

Personally I'm looking at the Samsung model at 150 bucks dicounted from 300. Or rather overpriced for 10 months of the year.
No. You can't hold overpriced stock for that long. At this time of year (xmas - new year) there are special deals able to be brokered. Also, you'll find that the cost price of a unit has likely come down and companies are legally able to claim a save from the RRP for a period of time as the new RRP is not established until that period is over.

Polar Bob (I remembered to put it this time)
What 'confuses' me is how can I buy an elctronic item in Korea for example for 1,400 when the cheapest I can get it in NZ is 2,800?

Does it cost 1,400 dollars to get this little wee thing weighing less than a kilogram to NZ?

I've just sent 8 boxes filled with crap to NZ all weighing 15-40kgs each for only about 40 dollars per box.

To my knowledge NZ doesn't impose massive fees on letting these things into the country seeing as how we don't actually make the damn things (handicams that is).

A few of reasons I can think of.

Economies of scale is one.
The amount of stock is important in lowering freight costs. You do not order 1. And many might be a risk. So demand may also keep prices up. Which leads to....

Market importance.
NZ is bugger all is the scheme of things. Take the iPod. Going gangbusters leading into Xmas then discontinued. All stock slated for Asia Pacific is cut off at the knees, and syphoned off to dedicated Apple stores in the US and UK. And now....

Company remuneration.
NZ works on profit as there aren't enough people to drive a "volume at all costs" mentality. Stretch rebates abound but not the vast values that are available to other markets. This lack of population also affects general business costs, so everyone wants their slice of the pie. Overseas the work off volume, hence parallel importers scoring cheap stuff and, being a lean operation anyway, undercutting in NZ. Another factor is....

Consumer Guarantees act.
You don't have anything comparable that I've heard of overseas. Very much caveat emptor. Another cost of business for the retailer and manufacturer. And then...

The distributor.
A lot of companies do not view NZ as big enough to have a presence here, so a distributor acts on their behalf. Being a different entity, they need to add their expected profit to the existing costs.

A lot of reasons but they add up. Prices are getting cheaper a new technologies reach critical mass and become cheaper to make as well as a strong NZ $, but not enough for all to own the luxuries that we all want, but don't need. : )

Cheers, Polar Bob
Oops, I forgot cxompetition. Specifically Manufacturers. In a country of a few hundred million+ you may have a number of companies you don't all see in NZ making the products. Tiis drives pricing in order to compete for market share. The flow-on is to the retailer who has to complete for the volume sales also.

I NZ as nearly everything is imported, and mainly name brand, prices will be set higher by the companies who distribute, and the Retailers have to play the "safety in numbers" game. Samll retailers can't survive unless they are part of a bigger buying group, which means less retail competition. Until you get a bigger player who "Wal Marts" anyone, driving under small local manufacturers who cannot run on the margins demanded by the bigger outlets, so the market ends up going to a larger company and so on, ad infintum.

Be nice if it was Black & White.

Polar Bob
I also forgot spelling. c-o-m-p-e-t-i-t-i-o-n. How the hell did an X get in there? One day my typing will improve, really. Now where's my Mavis Beacon disc?
Yes Polar Bob, all true stuff and I nearly managed to read it all without falling to sleep ;)

Somebody be's making some good money though somewhere along the chain.

That would have to explain certain gaps in wealth continuing to broaden in NZ. I assume it isn't just doctors and lawyers at the top of the creamy pile.
Fuck me. Samsung have just announced their profits have exceeded 10 billion dollars this year. Guess they'll be discounting their vacuums soon YAHOOOOO!!!!
Yeah, Yamis. I'll work on livening it up a little next time : )
There are certainly people making money. Samsung is a giant wordwide. They really rip through the LCD's, and other companies use some Samsung parts in their machines.

Retailers make money too, it's just harder to obtain. Most GM's & CEO's get a good income. For people under them it depends if, and what, the public buy.

What's yer job PB if you don't mind me asking?

Nothing specific, just a vague hint if need be.

I'm 10 hours into a drinking stanza and about to flake out so excuse my fuck I can't even think of what I'm talking about.

Good night.
I'm in the retail industry. Not shop floor.

Hi, I hope you dont mind me posting on your blog. I thought if you like skateboarding apparel, you might be interested in taking a look at the site There is some pretty cool stuff there and they are adding a lot of stuff everyday. Anyway, hope you dont mind.

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