Shopping tips to save money during end of financial year sales

Bargain-hungry Australians are expected to throng to end of financial year sales this year, with retailers hoping $9.3 billion will be spent.

But consumer group Choice is warning sales advertised by the big retailers are designed to make shoppers feel like they’re missing out, advising Australians to be smart shoppers.

“If you’ve had your eye on a special product or appliance, the end of financial year sales can be a great time to find a bargain,” Choice director of reviews and testing Matthew Steen said on Thursday.

“But remember, the EOFY sales are designed to make you feel like you’re missing out – do your research and buy the product on sale if it’s right for you.”

Australians are expected to shell out for big household purchases over the next few weeks as tax time approaches, with figures from eBay on Thursday suggesting office furniture and travel gear are most popular.

That makes sense because both these categories include products that could be included in work-related tax claims, depending on your job.

Either way, Choice published some tips on Thursday to help people find the best EOFY deals and avoid overspending, whether they’re just after steeply discounted white goods or a juiced-up tax return in 2023-24.

1. Stick to the basics

“Newer appliances tend to come with fancy features, adding more money to the price tag for things you might not even use,” Mr Steen said.

“If you’re trying to save money, it’s best to stick to the basics. Decide on the features that are your ‘must haves’ and the ones that are nice but possibly not worth paying more for.”

2. Try an older model

“Chasing the latest and greatest appliances might not be the best way to save your hard-earned money,” Mr Steen said.

“Consider looking for older models that have been replaced by the latest versions. They may be almost identical, give or take a few features or upgrades, and you’ll often find them at a discounted price.”

3. Is there another brand?

Mr Steen also warns that you don’t always get what you pay for at EOFY sales, with testing often showing that cheaper products from less well-known brands “perform just as well”.

“Checking reviews before you buy may also reveal a cheaper brand that performs well that you may not have considered before,” he said.

4. Haggle

Compare prices online before going into a store, but once you’re there don’t be afraid to ask for the best price.

“If you’re confident and have done your research, you can usually shave a decent amount off the price tag by haggling,” Mr Steen said.

“Always ask ‘what’s the best price you can do?’ and go from there.”

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