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Products to avoid in the EOFY sales

CHOICE experts name the products you should avoid, regardless of how cheap they are.

worst EOFY buys ikea smeg subeam Ffalcon speed queen
Last updated: 09 June 2021

Planning to buy a washing machine, TV, dishwasher or fridge in the end of financial year sales? There are some products you should avoid, even if they're massively discounted. It's hard to pass up a bargain, but these products just aren't worth it, no matter how tempting the sale price may be.

CHOICE has done the hard work for you so you don't end up with a dud in the sales. Our expert testers put household appliances through their paces in our labs so we know which ones are the good buys, and which ones to avoid.

smeg worst fridge ashley iredale

Worst. Fridge. Ever. The Smeg FAB38 shocked our seasoned experts with its incredibly low performance scores.

Fridges

Just when we think we've seen the worst appliance on the market, another invariably comes along to knock it off the top (bottom?) spot. 

When we awarded Ikea's Nedkyld fridge a Shonky in 2019, we thought we'd seen the worst of the worst: it failed its energy test and failed to even keep food cold.

But then the Beko BBM450W arrived in our fridge labs and managed to out-Shonky the Shonkiest fridge we've seen. Not only did the Beko fail its energy check, it also scored 0% on our temperature stability test (how much the fridge and freezer temperature fluctuates). For context, the Ikea fridge scored 30% on this same test, which our expert fridge testers consider "very poor".

This luxury retro-style fridge is little more than a schmick cupboard

Pretty bad, huh? Well, you ain't seen nothing yet. Enter the Smeg FAB38RCRAU, which did the fridge equivalent of saying "hold my beer".

"This fridge is the worst we've ever seen in decades of testing," says CHOICE fridge expert Ashley Iredale.

Costing an eye-watering $3990, this luxury retro-style fridge is little more than a schmick cupboard. It scored just 22% overall in our independent lab tests, due in large part to its scoring 0% (yes, zero) for temperature stability. 

"And that's only because we can't give a negative score," says Ashley.

For the money, there are many other fridges on the market that do a much better job. (Heck, you could probably even buy two of them for that price!) To find them, check out our expert fridge reviews.

Lowest rated models:

speed queen

A dud washing machine will do a poor job of the laundry, but also cost you more to use.

Washing machines 

Let's be real: there's probably a thousand things you'd rather spend your money on than a washing machine. But if you're going to buy one, you might as well make sure it's good. 

A lacklustre washing machine won't only fail to make your whites whiter and your colours brighter, it'll chew through electricity and water – which will cost you (and the environment) even more in the long run. 

While our list of the worst performers includes two Samsungs, don't write the brand off altogether: there were other models that performed much better in our testing. Check our washing machine reviews to make sure you're buying the best. 

Lowest scoring models:

ikea hokksen

This Ikea mattress may leave you sleepless... and sweaty.

Mattresses

A mattress should last you around eight to 10 years. If you're clocking up the recommended eight hours' sleep each night, that means you'll be spending more than 29,000 hours up close and personal with your mattress. And some of them cost as much as $5000. This is one purchase you definitely don't want to mess up.

We use high-tech labs in Europe to test mattresses, assessing things like comfort, sagging, stabilisation, sweat resistance and more, and our results regularly show that there's no correlation between price and performance. 

Lowest scoring models:

Ffalcon 40f1 tv

Its poor picture and sound quality scores contributed to the Ffalcon 4051 placing last in our TVs test.

TVs

Poor sound quality, so-so standard definition picture quality and humdrum high-def picture quality are some of the delights that await you if you buy a TV that performed poorly in our expert tests. 

The worst of the worst in our TV review failed to even crack a score of 60% overall, and the others didn't fare much better. In fact, the worst of all the scores was the Linsar's 15% for sound quality (that's 'very poor' according to our experts). 

Lowest scoring models:

Omega Benchtop Dishwasher ODW101W

'Very cheap to run' was about the only good thing our testers could say about this benchtop dishwasher from Omega.

Dishwashers

A good dishwasher will save you hours of slaving over a full sink; a bad one will create even more work for you and will empty your wallet. 

Our kitchen experts have tested more than 50 dishwasher models, comparing them side-by-side on their ability to handle dried-on foods like egg yolk, spinach, butter, oats, baby cereal and more. We've been doing this for decades, so we know exactly what makes a good dishwasher and what will leave you elbow-deep in greasy washing-up water. 

Lowest scoring models:

nescafe dolce gusto piccolo xs 9781

If you think life is too short for bad coffee, you might want to leave these models on the shelf.

Coffee machines

If you're as serious about coffee as our experts are, then you'll know how important it is to buy a coffee machine that ticks all the boxes. 

Whether you're looking for a manual coffee machine so you can geek out on grinds, dosing and tamping, or you're a lazy coffee lover who just wants a caffeine hit at the press of a button, it's important to get it just right – is there anything worse than a bad coffee first thing in the morning? 

When we test coffee machines, we enlist industry experts to blind taste test coffee from each machine, and we also assess ease of use, milk frothing and temperature consistency in our testing labs. 

To make sure you don't end up with a dud machine that'll leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth, check out our reviews of manual, semi-automatic and pod coffee machines, along with our coffee grinder reviews

Lowest scoring models:

simpson sdv457hqwa

Good points? 'None to mention' said the testers about this Simpson dryer.

Dryers 

The key to shopping for a clothes dryer is to find the sweet spot between quick drying and low energy use. There are a few different types of machines on the market, so if you're not sure what's best for you, check our clothes dryer buying guide first. 

There's also a little more to using a dryer than just chucking wet clothes in and pressing 'start': check out our laundry expert's tips to avoid dryer disasters.

Lowest scoring models:

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