It's not unusual to find decent discounts on expensive tech gear. In fact, we'd say you're a bit of a chump if you buy anything at its retail price in Australia.
When you do see a good discount, though, don't automatically presume it's going to be the best possible deal that you'll get.
JB Hi-Fi has a flat 10 per cent off Apple computers at the moment, with savings of as much as $425 on the top MacBook Pro available until the end of tomorrow.
Officeworks has a lowest price guarantee that'll see it beating competitors' prices by 5 per cent. And, in some cases, JB Hi-Fi will price match its competitors.
You see where we're going with this?
Throw in an extra 5 per cent on top of that 10 per cent discount and you're getting yourself a brand new MacBook Pro for less than $1900, like deal-hunter Vaedant detailed getting in this post at OzBargain. That's more than $300 off its $2199 RRP.
If you're shopping for anything reasonably expensive — say, over around $500 — at JB Hi-Fi or most electronics retailers in Australia, it pays to do a few things before you've even walked in the door:
- Check prices online for Australian retail competitors (Officeworks, Harvey Norman, Bing Lee, The Good Guys) and see whether your item is in stock
- Check prices online for online shopping competitors (any eBay store, for example) and consider whether you're happy to wait for shipping
- Check whether there's not an alternative from a similar brand that might be on sale or significantly cheaper than the item you're looking at
Then, when you're actually in store in front of the item you're considering buying, it pays to do a few more things:
- Ask for the store's best price on that item, whether that's for cash or on a store card
- Ask if the store has a price-matching or price-beating policy for competitors
- Tell the salesperson that you've found a better price elsewhere — only if you have, though, there's no reason to lie
There are a few caveats here. Officeworks and JB Hi-Fi, for example, will usually only match a price (or beat it by 5 per cent, in the case of Officeworks) if the item is in stock at a retail store of a competitor. It makes sense, since if you can't actually walk into another store and buy your gadget, what incentive does the first store have to offer it to you at its best possible price?