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PriceSpy warns of further price hikes in Alert Level 1

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Year-on-year user numbers for PriceSpy were found to have increased by almost a third (31 per cent) in May 2020-, indicating shoppers are increasingly looking to price compare due to Covid-19-;

However, according to PriceSpy’s Price Index--, prices for goods are more expensive in Alert Level 1 compared to other Alert Levels;

Price Index changes were found to have increased three times the amount in Alert Level 1, compared to the start of the year; Example shopping categories found to be increasing in price in Alert Level 1, include: webcams, TVs and washing machines. Mobile phones on the other hand appear to be dropping in price.

According to the fully impartial price and product comparison site, PriceSpy, Covid-19 appears to have changed shopping habits for the better, with more Kiwis found to be conducting price research for goods, following a surge in user numbers for May 2020, increasing 31 per cent year-on-year-.

Despite shoppers becoming more price conscious, historical pricing data-- from PriceSpy indicate overall, price points for goods in Alert Level 1 are more expensive compared to other Alert Levels.

Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett, New Zealand country manager for PriceSpy, says: "With visitor numbers increasing by almost a third (31 per cent) for May 2020 compared to the same time last year, it seems price is certainly going to be a really important factor for consumers who are looking to make a purchase over the next few months.

"Whilst it’s really encouraging to see more shoppers doing their pricing due diligence, data from our Price Index highlights why it’s so important for consumers to always be price aware, as even though life is starting to feel more normal in Alert Level 1, products prices have been affected and appear to be more expensive now.

"If you look across the entire Price Index for the year, you can see just how much of an impact Covid-19 has had on price points. For example, from January through to mid-March, the indexed price change ranged between minus 0.5 per cent and plus two per cent.

"From late-March through to mid-June when Covid-19 was more rife and the boarders were closed, the indexed price changes increased sharply and quickly, varying between 3.75 per cent and almost six per cent - at least three times higher compared to earlier in the year.

"Unfortunately for consumers, many of the price increases we are seeing have been inevitable as Covid-19 has caused huge disruptions to global supply chains, manufacturing, workforces and distribution. On top of that, there has been heightened demand for products from consumers.

"When we look more closely at the price index changes across specific shopping categories---, we can get a clearer picture as to the types of products that may be subjected to price increases in Alert Level 1.

"For example, webcams, TVs and washing machines all appear to be more expensive now compared to a couple of months ago.

Examples of product price hikes in Alert Level 1

Product / 22 March / 22 April / 22 May / 22 June

Logitech Brio / $298- / $301- $3 more compared to 22 March / $318- $20 more compared to 22 March / $347- $49 more compared to 22 March

Samsung QLED QA65Q80R / $3295- / $3299- $4 more compared to 22 March / $3228- $67 more compared to 22 March / $6000- $2705 more compared to 22 March

Bosch WAN21120AU / $861- / $848- $13 less compared to 22 March / $888- $27 more compared to 22 March / $947- $266 more compared to 22 March

Source: PriceSpy (-prices listed are the cheapest found on PriceSpy for each specified day)

Liisa continues: "On the flip side, for those in the market for a new mobile phone, our Price Index suggests overall price points for handsets have dropped considerably in Alert Level 1."

With supply chains continuing to feel the squeeze and price points increasing because of this, one way shoppers can avoid paying over the odds is by using a price and product comparison site like PriceSpy.

Liisa concludes: "Using a price comparison site regularly will help provide shoppers access to a wide range of prices for products that are updated in real time across many stores, so they can always find the cheapest price possible if they need to buy something urgently.

"For less-urgent purchases, we encourage consumers to refer to the price history graph for items they are looking to buy, as this will give them a clear indication as to whether a price has been hiked in Alert Level 1.

"If it shows to be more expensive to buy, shoppers can then simply set-up a price alert which will automatically notify them when the item they want to purchase drops below a certain price point."

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