Need to know
- The end-of-year sales can be a good time to pick up an item you've had your eye on for a reduced price, but it's important to do your research
- Popular items this year will include small kitchen appliances, discounted Christmas food items and discounted Christmas decorations, followed by phones and whitegoods
- Be wary of expensive extended warranties that add little value, and products that failed to impress CHOICE testers
Hot on the heels of the Black Friday sales in November, both retailers and shoppers are gearing up for the end-of-year and Boxing Day sales that kick off as early as mid-December and last through until early January.
A recent CHOICE survey found that almost one-fifth of shoppers are either 'probably' or 'definitely' intending to buy something in the Boxing Day sales.
These are the items shoppers flagged as those they're most interested in buying, ordered from most popular:
- small kitchen appliances
- discounted Christmas food items
- discounted Christmas decorations
"The Boxing Day and end-of-year sales can be a great opportunity to nab an item that you've had your eye on for a while at a cheaper price, or save money by stocking up on Christmas decorations for next year or your Christmas in July celebrations," says CHOICE editorial director Marg Rafferty.
We independently test products in our labs, so you can rely on us to bring you unbiased results that will help you pick the best product and ensure you're getting value for moneyCHOICE editorial director Marg Rafferty
"But before you buy, it's important to do your research and compare prices across multiple retailers. If you're buying any small appliances, tech products or whitegoods for example, check the CHOICE reviews.
"We independently test products in our labs, so you can rely on us to bring you unbiased results that will help you pick the best product and ensure you're getting value for money," says Marg.
"Our experts often uncover cheaper products that outperform more expensive brands, so our reviews really can help you get a great deal."
Most searched-for products on CHOICE and what to avoid
Our survey found that nearly half of those intending to buy in the end-of-year sales are delaying the purchase of an item in order to get a better price.
If you're one of the many getting ready to spend, knowing which product is worth splashing out on will give you a head start on the other shoppers when those sales kick off.
Many of the visitors to the CHOICE website are doing just that, with thousands of people coming to our site to check reviews on products they're interested in buying in the sales.
The top categories that Australians have searched for on our website during the end-of-year sales period over the past five years are:
- washing machines
- air fryers
- air purifiers
"It's no surprise that we see Australians looking for independent product reviews on big-ticket items such as whitegoods and TVs at this time of year," says Marg.
"Many of these items are ones we see discounted heavily in the end-of-year sales. And as products such as air fryers and air purifiers have surged in popularity over the past few years, we've also seen an increase in search demand for them on our site.
"Just as we've seen many great products come through our CHOICE labs this year, there's also been quite a few duds that have failed to impress our expert testers," she says.
Watch out for expensive but useless extended warranties
If you're buying an expensive item in the sales, be wary of adding an extended warranty to your purchase, even if your salesperson tells you it's a good deal. And if you're buying online, check if it's been automatically added to your shopping cart.
"When you buy something like an expensive TV, salespeople will often try to sell you an extended warranty or 'extended care' that promises to protect you if something goes wrong.
When we looked at the details of many of these extended warranties, we found that they don't give you much more than you're already entitled to under Australian Consumer LawCHOICE editorial director Marg Rafferty
"But before you hand over that extra cash, you should know you already have rights under the Australian Consumer Law that will cover you if something goes wrong with the product you're buying."
In many cases, the purchase of an extended warranty means you're paying for rights you already have.
"When we looked at the details of many of these extended warranties we found that they don't give you much more than you're already entitled to under Australian Consumer Law," says Marg.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.