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How to buy better and more sustainably in the EOFY sales

Avoid sale fails and make sure your bargain isn’t burdening the planet this EOFY.

eofy sale sign and packages wrapped in recycled paper

Need to know

  • EOFY sales often see people spending billions on bargain goods, with household items the most popular
  • The sales come in the form of discounts that start appearing in stores and online in the last two weeks of June
  • There are a variety of ways you can make the most out of EOFY without putting too heavy a tax on the planet

They may live in the shadow of their Boxing Day cousins, but the end of financial year (EOFY) sales are a big business in Australia.

The discounts that start popping up in the last two weeks of June regularly get shopaholics salivating, with retailers often banking on the sales bringing in billions for business.

The discounts that start popping up in the last two weeks of June regularly get shopaholics salivating

The lead up to EOFY sale season is a busy time for CHOICE, too, with our experts sharing armloads of advice on how you can have a satisfactory and sustainable shop.

So, whether you're looking for the deal of a lifetime or a just-in-time-for-tax purchase this June, read on for our best tips for making your EOFY splurge better for you – and the planet.

1. Set yourself up to grab an EOFY bargain

You don't have to wait until the end of June to start bargain hunting. Check in on your favourite retailer's website, follow them on socials, and sign up to any newsletters they have to get advance notice of any deals before ads for discounts start going up.

This is also a good time to start making a list of the things you need, and thinking about a budget. These two things will help you avoid winding up with a case of buyer's remorse or getting caught in any debt traps. They'll also help you avoid getting sucked in by big discounts on items that you don't really need.

2. Research the products you're after

CHOICE experts regularly review the most sought-after products in EOFY sales, from heaters and TVs to ovens and coffee machines. If you know what you're after, check out our reviews and our Best Brand endorsements to know what to get and what not to.

Just because an item is on sale, doesn't mean you're getting the best price. Compare different retailers' sites with the recommended retail price on our reviews to see who's really offering the best discount.

3. Avoid power-hungry products

Don't let your EOFY bargain come back and bite you in the form of a bloated energy bill. Take some time to consider the most energy-efficient option for each of the products on your EOFY wish list.

Using energy rating stickers as a guide is a good start. But you can find out how much could be at stake in dollar terms with an inefficient bargain by using our guides to smart appliance choices and power-hungry kitchen appliances

Choosing a more efficient dryer, for example, instead of a poorer-performing model, can save you more than $130 in yearly power bills, as well as reducing emissions.

4. Check the manufacturer's ecological and social credentials

Shopping 'on autopilot' and letting yourself get pulled along by bargains can lead to your dollars going towards some brands with less-than-stellar environmental and social credibility. If being a responsible consumer matters to you, take a moment to make sure you're not supporting poor practices.

You can do this by checking the ethical ratings featured in many of our product reviews. To bring you these, we've partnered with Shop Ethical, an NGO that digs into brands' social and environmental impact, to help you decide which companies to support and which to avoid.

5. Find a retailer that will dispose of your old goods

Here's some good news if you're looking to replace your household appliances this EOFY – many of them are recyclable. The bad news is that you may have to go out of your way to make sure your older, bulkier items get a sustainable send off and don't just end up taking up space in landfill.

CHOICE experts recommend letting someone else do the hard work for you by finding a retailer that will take your old goods away for recycling when they come to deliver your shiny new ones. 

If you can't find a retailer that will do this, check out Planet Ark's recycling directory for recyclers near you who can help, ask your local council if you can recycle via their collection scheme, or even consider if your item has value as scrap metal.

6. Make EOFY your sustainable new beginning

Clearing the house of old workhorse appliances in anticipation of some new EOFY additions can also be a good opportunity to make a few long-term changes for the better. 

If your home essentials have packed it in and you're waiting for EOFY to replace them, this is your chance: replace your faithful old fridge with a more efficient model or update your home entertainment setup with a TV with a better power rating. This is also a good time to pay attention to the energy-efficiency ratings we give products like heaters in our reviews, to make sure you're making a worthy investment.

7. Buy as local as you can

It's a no-brainer, but buying locally made goods helps save the planet from the heavier carbon footprint that comes with shifting products around the world.

Although this won't necessarily work for white goods and other appliances, it can be an option for more bespoke items, such as clothing and homewares.

Also, while some of the biggest discounts can often be found at established chain stores, getting savings where you can at local outlets often means you're buying something that has been made more sustainably.

8. Question technology

Tech products are often at the top of peoples' lists when they go looking for an EOFY bargain. But before you get sold on a deal, there are a few things you should be considering.

These include what else you'll need to make your new device work in your home and whether the item the store is trying to sell you is actually the latest model.

9. Think twice and try before you buy

A bargain is always better when you get it on something you actually need, so it's a good idea to take a moment before you're sold on something.

Clothing stores pretty much invite us to do this anyway by letting us try on new threads. Take advantage of this opportunity to make sure you're spending your money on the right things and not contributing to Australia's growing textile waste problem

Bigger items are harder to try, but mattresses are one of the few that let you do this, with many brands giving you several months to sleep on your purchase (in all senses).

And while you can't usually try appliances before you buy, our experts do that for you. We put everything from TVs and fridges to prams and heaters through their paces in our labs so you can be sure you're not going to end up with a dud.

10. Claim eligible items back on tax

Of course, no successful EOFY shopping spree would be complete without that second win that comes when you're able to claim your bargain purchase back as an expense at tax time.

Although these benefits only count on work-related costs, there are a whole range of tech products that you may be able to claim as work deductions.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.