Australian consumers' love of shopping online has grown dramatically over the past five years, with the industry now worth around $52 billion. Many retailers and brands are capitalising on this surge with online sales events such as Click Frenzy – Australia's answer to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The next event will run for 53.5 hours from Tuesday 8 November at 7pm AEST.
It's an online sale that collates offers from hundreds of brands that customers can search and click through to retailers to buy.
Click Frenzy is known for advertising serious bargains to entice customers, with offers of up to 99% off recommended retail prices, such as $3 Apple Airpods Pro and $2 Nutribullet blenders. To access these deals, you'll need to sign up as a member for free.
CHOICE managing editor Margaret Rafferty says: "It's easy to get caught up in the hype of a seemingly irresistible deal, but when it comes to any kind of sale, we recommend exercising caution and ensuring you know your rights.
"And even five minutes of searching recent prices and independent product reviews can save you from being lumped with a dud product."
Consumers should be aware that these huge discounts will likely only be available to a very small amount of customers, and require you to be logged in during the hours of the sale to receive notifications when these deals are available (so you should be prepared to spend a significant amount of time online waiting for the deals to pop up).
Price promotions do not legally have to include delivery charges, either (although minimum delivery charges do need to be listed separately).
CHOICE recommends being strategic about what you want to buy. If it's an item you need, make sure you've researched it first so you know which one will give you the best bang for your buck. Don't be tempted by unknown brands or seemingly irresistible prices.
CHOICE has lab test results for thousands of products on our website, so use our reviews to find out which products are best for you and your budget. Popular products in the upcoming Click Frenzy sale include food processors, TVs and electric heaters.
This year, Click Frenzy is partnering with cashback site Cashrewards. Cashback sites offer people cash rewards for buying from a particular retailer.
Free money just for buying something you were going to buy anyway – sounds pretty good, right? Well, as with any deals that seem too good to be true, there's a catch.
To access these cash rewards, you'll need to hand over some personal information: name, email address, date of birth and phone number. Not much different to signing up to a retailer's newsletter to get some juicy discount codes, right?
What you might not realise is that you're also handing over information about your online and sometimes offline shopping and browsing behaviour.
If you're thinking of using cashback sites, make sure you know exactly what you're signing up for and consider if it's truly worth itKate Bower, CHOICE consumer data advocate
"This treasure trove of information essentially creates a playbook on how to get you to spend more, and can be shared with the thousands of retailers that partner with the site – so, in the long run, you might find you've spent a lot more than you've saved," says CHOICE consumer data advocate Kate Bower.
"Cashrewards can even use your transaction behaviour to capture sensitive information about things like your health, sexual orientation or practices, ethnic origin or religious beliefs. If you're thinking of using cashback sites, make sure you know exactly what you're signing up for and consider if it's truly worth it."
Here's everything you need to know about how cashback sites use your data.
Whether you buy something in a bricks-and-mortar store or an Australian online store, you have the same rights and are protected under Australian Consumer Law (find out more about your consumer rights and ACL). When shopping online, or in special sales events such as end of the financial year sales, be on the lookout for misleading prices and promotions.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says a price may be misleading when:
- the "discount" is off a recommended retail price that's never been used
- the "before" price wasn't in place for a "reasonable period"
- a sale or special isn't actually temporary and creates an "unwarranted sense of urgency"
- fake wholesale prices make the discount look bigger than it is
- the sale price or discount is compared with another region.
Think a Click Frenzy deal is misleading? You can complain to the ACCC.
Got a dodgy product and need a replacement or refund? Find out what to do with a faulty product or use our consumer complaints checklist to assert your rights.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.