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Most popular products in the EOFY sales

We round up the most researched products in the lead-up to the sales, and give you our top tips to help you shop.

Last updated: 16 June 2022


Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

The sales period leading up to the end of the financial year (EOFY) is one of the busiest times for CHOICE, as lots of you visit our site to search for advice on the best products to buy.

There are many deals available and, while lots of us are trying to save money right now, there are still lots of dud products out there that you shouldn't buy just because they have a cheap price tag.

There are still lots of dud products out there that you shouldn't buy just because they have a cheap price tag

Over the past five years, the top products researched on CHOICE at this time of year have consistently included big-ticket items such as washing machines, dishwashers and mattresses. Fridges and stick vacuum cleaners are also consistently searched, indicating they are popular purchases at this time of year. And last year, for the first time, air fryers sneaked into our top five most researched products in June. 

Our experts have shared some tips that will help you make the best purchase possible – and save money both at the checkout and throughout the lifetime of your appliances. 

1. Dishwashers

It's a closely run race as to which appliance gets the greatest work-out in the kitchen. Sure, your fridge is on 24/7 and many people regularly cook up a storm in their oven or air fryer, but for some busy households, the dishwasher is the true hero. 

Modern dishwashers are very efficient and use far less water than hand washing. And because most of the energy used in washing up goes towards heating that water, it can save you money as well as time. 

CHOICE whitegoods expert Ashley Iredale shares his ultimate top tip if you're shopping for a dishwasher in this year's sale: "There's no point buying a great new dishwasher if you can't fit your dinnerware in it," he says. 

There's no point buying a great new dishwasher if you can't fit your dinnerware in it

Ashley Iredale, CHOICE whitegoods expert

He even goes so far as to suggest taking your plates and cups to the shops with you to see if they fit, before settling on which one to buy. 

"The rack configuration is really important, too," he says. "That'll have the biggest impact on the liveability of your new dishwasher and how easy it is for you to stack. Adjustable racks are very handy.

"Save money by making sure you're not paying for features you don't need, like Wi-Fi integration (yes, some 'smart' dishwashers now come with added technology such as Wi-Fi connectivity, which can add a lot to the purchase price if you're not going to use them)."

Before you buy, check out:

2. Washing machines

There's lots to consider when choosing which washing machine to buy – size, type, features and more – but the first decision you'll have to make is between a top loader and a front loader. If you want to pick up a machine in this year's sales, the choice you make can have a big impact on both your wallet and the environment.

CHOICE experts say opting for a front loader is the best choice when it comes to saving you money in the long run and being kinder to the environment. 

"They're usually a little more expensive to buy upfront, but a front loader washing machine uses a lot less water than a top loader and because most of the energy that goes into doing your laundry is used heating that water, they're the more energy efficient choice," says Ashley. "Over the long run, it's a more affordable option, considering the savings you'll make on energy and water.

"Due to the way they wash your clothes, front loaders are also more gentle on your clothes, which means they will last longer."

Before you buy, check out:

3. Mattresses

Buying the right mattress can be a minefield. You can search high and low online, or hop from mattress store to mattress store, navigating quite a few enthusiastic salespeople along the way, and become quite quickly overwhelmed with the vast options and prices on offer. 

Mattress manufacturers make all sorts of wild claims when spruiking the benefits of their mattresses, often about how firm they are, or how 'warm' or 'cool' they'll make you feel. Our testing finds that these claims can often be untrue.

CHOICE experts recently reviewed 47 of the latest mattresses and expert Peter Zaluzny has a few top tips to share: 

  • Don't pay full price, even if it's already on sale – we've found many retailers have a lot of room to move when it comes to price. In the last batch we bought , we managed to negotiate a cheaper price on a mattress more than 50% of the time, in one case knocking almost half (49%) off the recommended retail price!
  • Our test results show that mattresses rarely, if ever, live up to their advertised 'firmness' claims – don't be swayed by a mattress that promises it is 'firm' or 'soft'.
  • On average, mattress-in-a-box types outperformed retail mattresses in our test – so if you're looking for a mattress in the EOFY sales, you may like to consider a mattress in a box as an alternative to traditional retail options.

Before you buy, check out:

4. Air fryers

In 2021, air fryers jumped into the top five of the most researched appliances in June. Not surprising, given the rising popularity of this appliance that many say is their favourite kitchen companion. 

While CHOICE experts say air fryers are simple to use and handy for cooking small amounts of food, with less time required for preheating, they remind you to check you have space to store it out on your kitchen bench before buying. And, contrary to many marketing messages out there, they're not a magic way to make fried food healthier for you.

"They're quite large and you probably want to keep it on your benchtop to get the most use out of it," says CHOICE kitchen expert Fiona Mair

"An air fryer is essentially just a mini oven. They are particularly good at cooking things such as chicken nuggets, steaks and chips, but they're no healthier than cooking these foods in your oven."

When buying an air fryer, your top priorities should be how well it performs and how easy it is to use

Fiona Mair, CHOICE kitchen expert

CHOICE experts have tested a range of air fryers for different budgets and say that when you're considering which one to buy, don't be swayed by all the bells and whistles some products offer.

"When buying an air fryer, your top priorities should be how well it performs and how easy it is to use," says Fiona. "Consider the size and how much food you can fit in it, and how easy it is to clean. Some models have pre-set cooking functions and timers that alert you when the cooking time is finished, which can be handy."

Before you buy, check out:

5. Fridges

EOFY sales can be a great time to get a discounted price on big-ticket items such as fridges, as retailers attempt to clear leftover stock. But don't just buy the cheapest one you find.

Because fridges and freezers need to be plugged in and running all the time, they're the most energy-hungry appliances in your kitchen and account for about eight percent of an average home's energy use. So if you're buying a new model, it's important to consider things such as size and efficiency, as well as the best price. 

CHOICE's Ashley Iredale says: "Don't buy a fridge bigger than what you need, because a bigger fridge is more expensive to run. Look for an energy efficient model and if you're looking for an easy way to save money, don't pay for fancy features which are 'nice-to-haves' rather than essentials. Not everyone needs an ice-maker or a smart fridge connected to Wi-Fi."

The most energy-hungry fridge we've tested will cost you $1950 in energy over 10 years. The most efficient will cost you just $570 – that's a whopping $1400 difference!

Before you buy, check out:

6. Stick vacuums

Stick or cordless vacuum cleaners are becoming a regular fixture in the home thanks to their convenience, handy features and ease of use. And you'll find many retailers spruiking them in this year's sales.

CHOICE household goods expert Kim Gilmour says: "Despite their small size, these days many stick vacuums perform just as well as a standard corded vacuum cleaner, but not all. We've found some surprising results." 

With prices ranging anywhere from less than $100 to almost $2000, there's certainly a huge variety on the market, so how do you know how much you should spend or which one you should buy? 

"Be wary," says Kim. "There are definitely some dud stick vacuums out there that performed poorly in our tests. We test each vacuum's ability on hard floors, carpet, pet hair and in a car, and assess ease of use and how they perform on corners and edges.

Swappable batteries are more common in higher-end models. If you have a cheaper model and the battery dies, you'd just have to dispose of the whole appliance in your electronic waste

Kim Gilmour, CHOICE household goods expert

"Keep in mind that, eventually, batteries used in stick vacuums will lose their charge – battery life is one of the biggest problem with stick vacuums. Thankfully, many models let you easily swap over the battery. This means you can extend the life of the appliance or even keep a spare one charged to increase your running time. 

"But swappable batteries are more common in higher-end models. If you have a cheaper model and the battery dies, you'd just have to dispose of the whole appliance in your electronic waste."

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Smart shopping tips to live by

Before you hit the sales with credit cards blazing, there's some key things to keep in mind if you want to shop smart and dodge a dud. 

1. Expensive brands don't always perform better

Our product test results regularly disprove the age-old adage that 'you get what you pay for'. Our experts often see very pricey products underperform, while cheaper, lesser known ones shine. 

That's why it pays to do your homework and check our reviews. Check out products to avoid in the EOFY sales for further proof of expensive fails.

2. A brand's product range can vary dramatically in quality 

It's another revelation our experts see all the time in their tests. A brand can boast some of the best performing products in a category... and some terrible ones too. 

It all depends on the build quality and design of each product, which is why individual reviews are so vital. 

3. Be critical of sale offers

Sure one site is offering 20% off its usual price, but was it more expensive to start with compared to others? Before you 'add to cart', it's worth playing the field and sizing up the best deal and assessing delivery costs and times too. 

Check out more expert shopping tips

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