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Hurry Hurry Hurry! There’s a flamin sale on!

As a public servant who works in media relations, I know a thing or two about getting a message out there. I know that if you push the same message over and over, people stop listening.

A few big retailers in Canberra obviously don’t know this as every week, another ad screams there’s a sale on.

I can forgive JB and Dick Smith, their discount stores so you expect endless specials. Harvey Norman though make a total joke out of the word “sale”.

Gone in three times, twice to weekend sales and once during the week. During the week, no sale on but the price on their laptops was the the same as during the weekend sales and was still the same more expensive than other places, even Domain. Same story down the road at mini Harvey Norman (Domain).

Went in to their Easter sale, found a Toshiba for $1649 “on sale”. Already heard an ad for their next sale, some late night thing on Tuesday saying “unbeatable savings one night only”. Checked on Tuesday night and the price was the same. Just for fun, checked again today without any sale on, same sale tags on the products though and the same price.

These places are just putting on permanent sales. Do you even get excited anymore when you hear “sale” on TV?

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38 Responses to Hurry Hurry Hurry! There’s a flamin sale on!
#1
Growling Ferret8:52 am, 24 Apr 09

Um, no.

Why would you spend money with HN when JB is cheaper for anything electrical.

#2
trevar8:53 am, 24 Apr 09

I always thought it was a silly appropriation of the word ‘sale’ to use it to indicate a time when commodities are cheaper than normal. Shops always sell things; it’s what they do. If they didn’t sell anything, they wouldn’t be a shop. So there is no such thing as a shop that isn’t having a sale. When they stop having a sale, they stop being a shop!

Get a set top box with a hard drive, then you can watch everything in time delay and never have to watch another ad for one of Harvey Normans’ ‘sales’. With any luck, Domayne will be having a sale on them this weekend!

#3
regularbrowse8:56 am, 24 Apr 09

Buyers are also cautious about the financial state of any company who is always “on sale”.

Most customers who responded to recent Kleenmaid appliance sales are out of pocket. Although they may have paid a cheap price for a new fridge or cook top … the goods have not arrived. No chance of getting their appliances – or money back – after the company went into administration. Regulators are looking to whether Kleenmaid traded while insolvent, including the heavily advertised “sales” during that period.

Repeated store sales have definately lost their gloss.

#4
Woody Mann-Caruso8:58 am, 24 Apr 09

Toys-R-Us had a Buzz Lightyear thing on sale. NOW $19.96!! Was $19.98.

#5
trevar9:00 am, 24 Apr 09

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Toys-R-Us had a Buzz Lightyear thing on sale. NOW $19.96!! Was $19.98.

It sounds like a two-cent saving, but if you pay cash, it’s 5c!

#6
emd9:05 am, 24 Apr 09

They must think that pessimistic or cash-short consumers are only looking for cheaper prices. Sometimes it’s better value to buy less stuff in general, but choose higher quality (which may mean higher priced) stuff when you do buy things.

#7
niftydog9:10 am, 24 Apr 09

Haven’t bought anything from HN or Domaine in over 5 years purely because of the incessant ads. Any ad that shouts at me, or insults my intelligence (99.9%) gets immediately ignored.

But, it must work on some people otherwise they wouldn’t be doing it. They’re on every single TV and radio station, all day every day it would seem, that can’t be cheap.

The best deals (and service) I’ve gotten in the last few years have come from JB, DJ’s and Ted’s.

#8
andym9:32 am, 24 Apr 09

I am with niftydog. Absolutely refuse to deal with HN because of their “shout” ads. I especially hate they way they saturate the airwaves right before the news.
Best prices are to be found online and not at chainstores.

#9
pptvb9:57 am, 24 Apr 09

Persian Rug anyone?

#10
Lady_from_Holt10:02 am, 24 Apr 09

trevar said :

I always thought it was a silly appropriation of the word ‘sale’ to use it to indicate a time when commodities are cheaper than normal. Shops always sell things; it’s what they do. If they didn’t sell anything, they wouldn’t be a shop. So there is no such thing as a shop that isn’t having a sale. When they stop having a sale, they stop being a shop!

My partner always says that to me when I come home with bags full of clothes trying to convince him it was on sale and all the money I saved, regardless as to whether I would have bought the stuff in the first place if it wasn’t reduced.

I find the best sales are the ones that don’t advertise (or I don’t see the advertisement), and you just happen to be in their shop and everything is reduced.

However I’m always drawn to that red and white sticker… maybe its a girl thing

Mmmm sale…

#11
trevar10:54 am, 24 Apr 09

Lady from Holt, you just reminded me of that great ad from years ago where the wife has bags and bags and bags laid out across the bed and the husband walks in and she says “I saved hundreds!”, and he holds up a set of car keys and says “I saved thousands”. Hilarious!

#12
daddy11:04 am, 24 Apr 09

Who pays full price anyway ? Unless it’s a grocery store everything is always on sale. I refuse to pay full price and always haggle. Shops know this and in the current environment are more likely to negotiate. I even throw out “I know I can get it cheaper on line for much less but would rather keep you in business”, which is actually the truth, and most places will go at least part way to meeting my price.

HN I have found are the easiest ones to negotiate with and have spent a good bit of my money (don’t get bonuses) there in recent times on the products I required at the price I was happy to pay.

#13
Pommy bastard11:14 am, 24 Apr 09

Isn’t it illegal here to advertise something for sale; unless it has been offered at a higher price, for a specific period, prior to the “sale”?

If not, it should be!

#14
arescarti4211:58 am, 24 Apr 09

It must be working for them, HN, JB, Domayne, DSE etc. are all pretty successful businesses.

#15
Woody Mann-Caruso12:06 pm, 24 Apr 09

Harvey Norman shares fell 22% over the past year (scroll left again to see the full extent of the fall). It’d be worse if it wasn’t for recent growth from the stimulus package. Once that’s gone, who knows?

#16
Clown Killer12:38 pm, 24 Apr 09

I wouldn’t write them off WMC. Any sucessful retail business in this environment will wind back the number of outlets by simply closing the doors of the non-performing stores and moving the stock to better locations, ditching all their non-performing staff (the ones from the non-performing stores) and keep the profits up through turn over and high finance costs for people dumb enough to finance electrical stuff.

#17
Woody Mann-Caruso1:01 pm, 24 Apr 09

Oh, definitely. Didn’t mean to imply that they’re done for, just that it’s been far from smooth sailing.

#18
grunge_hippy1:01 pm, 24 Apr 09

its just the major retailers cashing in on everyones bonus payments

#19
Jivrashia1:15 pm, 24 Apr 09

Bommy Pastard wrote:

Pommy bastard said :

Isn’t it illegal here to advertise something for sale; unless it has been offered at a higher price, for a specific period, prior to the “sale”?

This is a ruse known throughout the retail industry. They jack up the price for a short period of time (e.g. one day), and can then declared that they have a sale on when they bring it back to what had been for the rest of the year.

VFwa2gs just happened to missed those days when the price skyrocketed, so he wasn’t able to appreciate the ingenuity behind the so called sales.

#20
ant1:59 pm, 24 Apr 09

Shops who do this think everyone is stupid. Like those carpet places that are constantly closing down. There was a furniture place (great Outdoors or vast interior or soemthing) that was “closing down” for many years.

It comes down to comparo shopping, unfortunatley. Knowing how much stuff costs so you know a good price when you see it. Like those cheap shops, where people assume everything is cheap because the shop is full of tat and it’s all dusty and jumbled. If you stop and think though, often their stuff is more expensive than in other places.

Sometimes in supermarkets, if you do the maths, the larger size of something actually costs more per gram than the smaller size.

For me, teh big warning sign is pre-printed sale signs. But I’m not tricked by the “prices written on paper bags” ruse either. Another bad one is shops buying in stuff specially for a sale… DJs, Myer/GBs, Allens (or whatever they’re called now) are guilty of this. I used to wander in to DJs just before they closed for Xmas eve, to get first go at the towels and things they were unpacking from boxes for the sale tables for after Xmas. Come Boxing Day, people were flattened up against the doors, waiting to get in to rummage over this stuff.

If you do the work, you’ll find the bargains and not get tricked by cynical marketing.

#21
p12:38 pm, 24 Apr 09

What shits me is the ads every week for the TodayTonight/ACA story “get cheepest prices, we’ll show you how”.

#22
emd2:45 pm, 24 Apr 09

ant, what’s the issue with buying stuff in especially for sales? Wholesalers/distributors offer good deals to retailers from time to time, that’s a good reason for retailers to pass on reduced prices to consumers. I expect there will be lots of this happening over the next few months, as manufacturers try to move warehoused stock.

#23
ant3:13 pm, 24 Apr 09

Becuase they buy stuff in for their regular Xmas and midyear sales. The idea of these sales is that they are discounting left over stuff to get rid of it. This is actually what sales used to be. Not getting in boxes of stuff to sell at their sale.

#24
GardeningGirl3:38 pm, 24 Apr 09

(Showing my age) I remember the DJ’s ads for their “clearances”. No common sales for them, but clearances of their usual quality merchandise. I can still hear that grating voice!
I bought something and it broke the first time I used it so I took it back. The saleslady admitted that those items had been ordered in specially for the sale, and quite a few had been returned.

#25
creative_canberran5:38 pm, 24 Apr 09

arescarti42 said :

It must be working for them, HN, JB, Domayne, DSE etc. are all pretty successful businesses.

Um, no. I know heaps of people in retailer around Canberra and JB and The Good Guys are indeed going quite well despite the difficult conditions. I should also mention that their going well even without advertising with shouty adds every single week.

Dick Smith is doing neither well nor bad, their just keeping things stable and riding out the storm.

Harvey Norman and Domayne though are both experiencing detriment at present. As reported in the news and confirmed by people I know, both are having their margins pushed down and are having to really push to keep revenue up. They’re suffering because people usually go to JB and Good Guys first an then go to HN and Domayne to know the price down even more.

Basically, the store that are doing well are those with fairly good customer service and real savings. Places with bogus savings who shout out “wolf” all the time are struggling.

#26
creative_canberran5:41 pm, 24 Apr 09

emd said :

ant, what’s the issue with buying stuff in especially for sales? Wholesalers/distributors offer good deals to retailers from time to time, that’s a good reason for retailers to pass on reduced prices to consumers. I expect there will be lots of this happening over the next few months, as manufacturers try to move warehoused stock.

Actually, it’s a bit more tricky than that. Wholesalers rarely offer outright price reductions to retailers these days. Instead, they offer rebates to retailers. Hence even when the guy at Harvey Norman says he’ll do something like a Plasma at near cost, the store will get a rebate of about 10%.

#27
BerraBoy686:53 pm, 24 Apr 09

I’m more interested to know if the poster ‘V8 Falcon with a 24k gold spoiler’ is really our beloved ‘VYBerlina’ with an upgrade? Now this would be newsworthy!

#28
Special G7:59 pm, 24 Apr 09

Marketing research has shown stores like these that if they are not continuously advertising a sale of some description people don’t go there. So they spend the cash and advertise.

Any discount you might hav saved on the item has just been lost on the travel/time costs of checking out the items.

#29
creative_canberran11:42 pm, 24 Apr 09

ant said :

For me, teh big warning sign is pre-printed sale signs.

Very true. They get sent in bulk from interstate, about 200 at a time and half get tossed out anyway. A certain retailer used them last year and the prices on the signs (which all had a heading “price smash”) were really the RRP price.

#30
Auntyem7:45 am, 25 Apr 09

Ant is right about DJs. Years ago uncle-em did some refurb of the civic store around Christmas time. He told me that the night before the sale that they packed away all the quality merchandise and rolled out the cheap stuff.

I put it to the test the next year and kept my eye on a couple of handbags, dresses and shoes that I really liked. They were there for weeks up until the day before the big sale but when the doors opened on the day of the sale they were nowhere to be found – only to magically reappear several weeks later when the sale was over

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