Need to know
- Our experts have tested Kogan dishwashers, coffee machines, air fryers, stick vacs, fans, steam mops and more
- Some rated well in our tests, but others performed poorly
- Kogan has received two CHOICE Shonky Awards: One for its terrible customer service and the other for its dodgy bladeless fans
Since starting in 2006, Kogan.com has become one of the country's biggest online retailers, selling thousands of products across hundreds of categories, including its own range of house-brand items.
It hasn't been all smooth sales, though. Along the way, the company has been busted for bad behaviour, including questionable customer service, flouting Australian consumer laws and misleading price discounts (see the ACCC's successful case against Kogan in 2020).
Kogan is a two-time winner of a CHOICE Shonky Award, and we advise shoppers to be cautious when buying from the company
Kogan is a two-time winner of a CHOICE Shonky Award, and we continue to advise shoppers to be cautious when buying from the company.
But if Kogan's bargains are just too tempting to resist, you should know that our experts have tested many of their house-brand products. To help you avoid the bad buys, here are some of the appliances and products that failed to impress in our tests.
These bladeless fans were awarded a Shonky for being the "worst fans ever".
Kogan SmarterHome™ Bladeless DC Motor Slim Smart Fan.
Kogan SmarterHome Bladeless DC Motor Slim Smart Fan
- Price: $250*
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 44%
- Model name: KASBLSSLFANA
Our testers were less than blown away by the performance of this space-age-looking fan – it received the lowest score in our reviews of a wide range of pedestal and tower fans.
Our experts say the air flow was extremely poor and barely above ambient. Which is kind of awkward for a fan, really.
In fact, it's so terrible that it was inducted into our (infamous) Shonkys Hall of Shame, receiving a Shonky Award for its complete and utter inability to actually create a breeze.
And when you consider that many of the tested fans we recommend cost far less than $250, we don't see any reason why this would be a good buy.
It's so terrible that it received a Shonky Award for its inability to create a breeze
"It's the perfect example of a sham product, because almost every feature either didn't work or was pointless, and the performance was the worst we've ever seen," says CHOICE expert tester Adrian Lini.
This shonky fan is sold through a number of retailers under different brand names, so no matter where you shop, watch out for this dud.
Find out more about why this bladeless fan won a Shonky Award.
Kogan KAWFSMDEHUA desiccant dehumidifier.
Kogan desiccant dehumidifier
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 48%
- Price: $219*
- Model: KAWFSMDEHUA
If you're worrying about the effects of mould and damp on your family's health (not to mention your possessions), you might be looking at buying a dehumidifier. A word of advice: don't look at Kogan.
Sure, this desiccant dehumidifier is a bargain at $219 – especially when you consider that many other models cost $500-plus – but what are you really saving if you're having to run it twice as long because it doesn't work very well?
This model is particularly expensive to run: our experts calculated it'll cost you $14.09 in electricity to remove 10L of water. By comparison, other models cost around $6 – and they deliver far better performance.
You're better off reading our article about how to protect your home from damp, moisture and mould than buying this dehumidifier.
Kogan SmarterHome portable air conditioner.
Kogan SmarterHome portable air conditioners
- Price: from $400 to $1200*
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 50%
- Model names: KAWFPAC12YA, KAWFPAC16PYA, KAWFPAC07JA, KAWFPAC09YA
None of these portable air conditioners impressed our experts. The only good thing they could find to say about one of the models is that it is a reverse-cycle system.
The rest of it was bad news: they're very noisy, they have high running costs and they're terrible at cooling. These models were among the lowest-scoring portable air conditioners we tested.
In short, just don't waste your money. Instead, check our best rated portable air conditioners to find an air conditioner that will actually cool your house.
Kogan's electric oil heater left our testers cold.
Kogan oil column electric heater
- Price: $129*
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 51%
- Model name: KAOILHTB24A
This heater will leave you out in the cold: it couldn't even heat up a room by 10°C in two hours. (The best electric heaters can do this in 30 minutes or less.)
It wasn't quite the poorest performer in our test – that honour goes to an Arlec heater that scored 47% – but it wasn't far off.
Plenty of heaters around this price point are recommended by our experts, so cross this one off your list and look elsewhere.
The entire Kogan online store
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 68%
Yep, that's right: we suggest you avoid buying electronics from Kogan altogether. In our survey of more than 5000 CHOICE supporters, Kogan was rated as the second-worst of 31 electrical appliance retailers.
The worst overall was Dick Smith, with a score of 64%. Dick Smith is now owned by Kogan, so it seems that mediocrity attracts mediocrity.
Kogan was rated as the second-worst of 31 electrical appliance retailers. The worst overall was Dick Smith, which Kogan now owns.
Kogan actually scored reasonably well in some areas, such as for range of products, value for money, delivery, payment options and delivery. But its customer service ratings were woeful: just 53% for after-sales service, and 51% for its returns processes.
Shopping with Kogan might be fine if you're after a bargain, but if anything goes wrong with the product, you're pretty much on your own. If you're willing to take that gamble, by all means go for it, but this is definitely a case of buyer beware.
Read the full electric appliances store review to see who was ranked as the best store.
Not a pretty picture: Kogan's big-screen is a big disappointment.
Kogan 65-inch LCD TV
- Price: $829*
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 69%
- Model name: KAQLED65XQ98JSTA
It's one of the cheapest TVs of its size that we've tested, but unfortunately it's also one of the lowest scoring.
If you're thinking of buying from Kogan and you want to go big, we suggest you go home – even a great price like this can't save this TV.
We recommend TVs that score 75% and higher in our lab tests, and while the top performers tend to be pretty pricey, you can still pick up a 65-inch TV that nearly makes the grade for around the same price as this Kogan. (Some expensive models bombed out in our testing, so don't assume that more money automatically equals better performance.)
Read the full Kogan 65-inch LCD TV review.
All the gear, no idea: Kogan's soundbar with sub and external speakers.
Kogan 2.1Ch 80W Dolby Soundbar with Built-in Subwoofer
Kogan KASBD5123HA Soundbar + Sub + External Speakers
- Price: $159 and $299*
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 68% and 60%
Strangely, the more expensive Kogan soundbar performed worse in our testing, which just goes to show that more money won't buy you better sound quality.
Music lovers will be disappointed by these two: they scored just 50% and 57% respectively for music quality. For voice quality, the cheaper soundbar came out ahead, so would be a slightly better option for watching movies or the news – but we still suggest looking elsewhere.
Read our detailed reviews to find the best soundbars from our tests.
Kogan's not-so-smart smart lock is one of the cheapest but one of the worst performers.
Kogan latch and deadbolt smart lock
- Price: $130*
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 69%
- Model name: KASHFNGDLKA
This Kogan smart lock was the cheapest one we tested, and was one of the lowest scoring. (Are you noticing a pattern here?)
It's a wonder this is called a "smart" lock at all: it scored just 61% for ease of use, and its app can't actually be used to unlock the door – which seems to defeat the purpose of having an app in the first place.
For just a little more cash, you could pick up a much smarter smart lock that'll actually do the job.
Read the full Kogan smart lock review.
Other poor tech performers:
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 53%
- Price: $49*
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 64%
- Price: $60*
- Price: $99*
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 33%
Small size, small score: Kogan's 236L fridge.
Kogan 236L fridge
- Price: $999*
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 58%
- Model name: KAM236TMSFA
This fridge is tiny and anything but mighty. It's patchy in terms of temperature and the freezer has trouble holding a stable temperature.
Interestingly, the Kogan website refers to its "huge capacity of 236L", but our experts recommend fridges of 250L and upwards for households of one to two people. Anything smaller tends to be less energy-efficient and will cost you more in the long run.
For this price, you could size up to a slightly larger fridge that's recommended by our experts – just check our reviews for the best fridges before you shop.
Read the full Kogan KAM236TMSFA review.
Kogan ThermoBlend Elite All-in-One Food Processor & Cooker.
Kogan ThermoBlend Elite All-in-One Food Processor & Cooker
- Price: $350*
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 68%
- Model name: KAPRETHBLNA
With some all-in-one brands such as Thermomix costing thousands of dollars, this Kogan cooker comes at a very attractive price. To its credit, our experts rated its cooking performance as very good, and it outscored some other models that cost upwards of a thousand dollars more.
Sadly, performance dropped off dramatically in our 'ease of use' tests, where it scored just 58%.
The lack of included recipes and basic guidelines make it difficult for all-in-one first timers to get started. And there were some notable build issues, such as the lid still locking despite being in an incorrect position, and a loose measuring cap and weight-scales cover.
Baked-on food on the jug's bottom was also difficult to clean, and strong foods left the jug smelling, requiring bicarb soda to get rid of odours. Read the full ThermoBlend Elite review.
Kogan 850W Centrifugal Juicer.
Kogan 850W and 1000W Centrifugal Juicers
- Price: $60 and $80*
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 68% and 69%
- Model name: KAJCE85FSTA, KAJCE10FSTA
By far the cheapest juicers in our review, these Kogan products didn't exactly perform terribly – but again, they weren't great.
Our experts rated them as 'OK' overall, and on most of our tests they were only rated as OK. While our experts say they're easy to assemble and disassemble and don't require much cutting of fruit and vegetables, their bad points far outweigh the good.
*Retail price paid by CHOICE at time of purchase.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.