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Jun 222014

Carindale local Rod Lovell likes a good product and service challenge. You may have read his chip challenge. His latest challenge explores how he made his decision when purchasing a television in the Carindale region.

Retail stores have Recommended Retail Pricing (RRP), Sale Pricing, 20% Off Sales, Clearance Sales, and salesmen verbal on-the-spot pricing. All this makes it difficult to choose between stores when you have decided to buy a major item.

In my home, it was time to forego the tiny 15 inch screen we had used for some months, and the second-hand mid-sized replacement we had been given by my mother-in-law. She knew it was faulty. I knew it as the annoying tv that had to be restarted 6 times in 5 minutes to get it to work.

It was time to get smart. A Smart TV that is. There are quite a few out there in a range of sizes and models. We wanted one that had good sound (independent of a sound bar), a good picture, and looked ok when sitting quietly in the corner. After some investigation we settled on a 2014 model Samsung 55 inch, 200mhz, Smart TV, model number UA55H7000AW. Now it was time to find the best price.

The Samsung model we identified had just been released when we first started looking in early 2014.

At VideoPro, it had just been set up on display and the price tag had not even been added. That’s how new it was. The RRP was $2999, and we were offered the TV for $2500. A $500 discount in the first few days it was available! However, I had decided that my budget for a Smart TV, which would also replace an old laptop computer plugged into t old TV, would be $2000.

A few days later, I went back to VideoPro, the now-tagged TV was about $2770, even though I had been offered it at $2500. After checking other major retailers, I decided to wait until prices reduced. I wasn’t sure how long I’d have to wait until prices were in the vicinity of my budget.

Investigating this model further, I found that a keyboard was recommended. A keyboard cost an additional $98. My $2000 budget for the TV now had to include a keyboard.

6 months after I began looking, I checked the JB Hi-Fi price. At around $2300, they wouldn’t budge on price, so I was very surprised a week later when page 1 of their catalogue showed my model TV at $1998! The keyboard was an additional $98. I needed a $97 discount on the package to meet my budget.

How did the other retailers compare?
Harvey Norman had my TV on display at the RRP of $2999, with a sale ticket of $2997! A $2 discount, and $1000 more expensive than JB Hi Fi! $1000! I thought it must have been a mistake, but, no it wasn’t. They offered to price match JB, but would not beat them on price. They were ready to discount $1000 on the spot.

Myer did not have the TV on display but they had one in their warehouse. The salesman seemed pleased as punch when he told me that they could discount the $2999 RRP to around $2500. He seemed dreadfully embarrassed when I told him the JB Hi Fi price was $500 cheaper. I prefer to buy from Myer or David Jones as I’ve found them easier to deal with if an after-sales problem arises.

Back to VideoPro. Their tag price was now around $2500, and they also said they would price match JB but not beat it. They told me a Sony with free X-Box was a better TV. They’d never told me that during my previous visits when they were happy to sell me the Samsung. Now, they’re telling me that I don’t know what I want. See you later guys.

Into David Jones where their TV and electrical section is operated by Dick Smith. DJ’s tag price was around $2087, and I had to revisit 3 times to get to the sole salesman on duty. He’d been busy all morning with customers queuing for his assistance. Finally, it was my turn. He rang his boss. The bosses best price was $1 less than JB. Big deal.

I’d checked The Good Guys Mt Gravatt via the internet. Their TV price was about $2150. I rang to find their best price, but couldn’t get hold of a salesman. The only store who stocked a Samsung keyboard was JB Hi Fi. None of the others could offer a bundled price of TV and keyboard together
My mission to get the TV with an additional keyboard for under $2000 was not looking good. I had no retailer prepared to significantly lower the price of my preferred Samsung TV. I had no bargaining power with any of them. All would simply match JB’s TV-only price of $1998 … and just a week earlier JB had refused to budge on price when it was $300 higher. Internet retailers also had pricing higher than JB Hi Fi. I thought I’d have to endure my tiny 15 inch screen at home a little longer.

My last visit was to JB Hi Fi. I explained that I wanted the TV and Keyboard for the cost of the TV. Ready to walk out and wait until the Christmas sales, I was surprised to find that within 60 seconds the salesman agreed and the sale made. Mission accomplished. JB Hi-Fi reduced their own price by another $100.

JB Hi-Fi are the clear winner of the Carindale TV Challenge!
I got home and checked the internet again to discover The Good Guys had just reduced their TV price to $1989; $9 below JB Hi-Fi. Did they sell the additional keyboard? Would they discount further? Who knows? They were too slow with their discounting. JB got the sale. I’ve got my Smart TV.

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