With a little planning, shoppers can take advantage of end of financial year sales.
End of financial year (EOFY) sales offer the upper hand to the canny consumer, as retailers seek to get rid of old stock before 30 June. Here are some hints from the experts to ensure you maximise the savings and reduce the risk of buyer regret.
And do your research. A few minutes online comparing your prices and identifying pitfalls can save you time and frustration once you’re shopping. Go to choice.com.au to identify dodgy discounts and other scams. The consumer watchdog site is independent and long-established, and has product reviews and advice on everything from health insurance to frypans. It also has a dedicated EOFY site, a must-read before your spending adventure. The site even identifies products to avoid during EOFY sales, despite their seemingly attractive prices.
Freelance consumer writer Alison Gallagher advises you to set spending limits and devise a sales budget. “Everyone loves to grab a bargain but saving money on an item you don’t need doesn’t actually result in saving,” she says. “Know your spending limits.
“Write a list of items you need and try to stick to only purchasing items on your list. Also check the items aren’t ‘seconds’ stock or damaged, (though if you don’t mind a missing button try to negotiate a bigger discount). If you don't actually need anything, then avoid the shops altogether.”
finder.com.au reminds us to know the true price of our targets. “During EOFY, competition with other businesses means that almost everything is under its recommended retail price (RRP). You can capitalise on this, but you need to know the RRP beforehand – that way you'll know you’re actually saving.”
Money expert Bessie Hassan says this is the time of year for big purchases. “Buy the big and maybe boring stuff – the necessity purchases that you often put off buying until absolutely unavoidable. Things like mattresses, fridges and even TVs are where you’ll make the most savings.”
If you have been working more from home because of the coronavirus rules and need to maximise your tax refund, consider the following from insurance.com.au: “While clothes are discounted throughout the year, electronic and hardware stores often reserve their best prices for times they want to clear their stock like the EOFY and Christmas.
“If you’re required to work from home, you may be able to claim a portion of your home office expenses, such as your phone, computer and printer. The EOFY sales can be a good time to consider making some of those big purchases.”
cua.com.au says the end of financial year is the right time to buy one of the biggest consumer items – a car. But “just be careful not to fall for those tempting 1 per cent finance deals. They usually come with hidden fees and a big balloon payment at the end of the term”.
They also advise us not to “take the listed sale price as a given”. Ask the retailer for a bigger discount. “Also, take in competitive quotes on the same model to see if they’ll price match.”
Buy for later
Simply put, the end of the year is a bad time to shop for Christmas presents. Take advantage of bargains available in June and subtract the hassle of last-minute Yuletide purchases.
“By shopping by pre-purchasing gifts during sale periods, you’ll save a lot later on,” writes Bessie Hassan.
“Try to go for items that won’t go out of fashion or toys that are always on your kid’s wish list, like Lego.”
Alison Gallagher agrees.
“If you’re organised, you can get all your Christmas presents sorted now too, saving you money but also the stress and unpleasantness of having to brave the manic shops in December.
Hank Coleman, of moneyqanda.com, wants you to avoid adding to credit card debt with December buying.
He lists gift recipients and how much he wants to spend. From mid-year, he puts cash in an envelope and spare change in a jar to save for Christmas. He also ‘stalks’ his wife and children, taking note of off-hand comments they make throughout the year.
And, if the item is on sale at some point, he pounces, saving money.
“I also love to stalk my wife on Pinterest and Etsy,” Mr Coleman confesses. “Look at what your wife pins and adds to her favourites in Etsy. These are easy, no-brainer gifts that you know she wants.
“Once you know which gifts you want to purchase for your friends and family, consider shopping online instead of in the store. If you are patient and continuously look for deals, you can find the best prices possible for your gifts.
Do you have any end of financial year sales tips? What do you need to buy?
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