Buy crikey there are some stonking good shopping deals on offer right now.
Retailers are getting 3 per cent net margins on sales compared with as much as 7 per cent eight years ago, says John Albertson, chief executive of the Retailers Association.
And shops have noticed customers aren't getting out of bed for a 20 per-cent off special any more. "Now they don't get excited until it says 40 or 50 per cent off," Albertson says.
Every week there is a deal that hits you smack between the eyes.
I took more than a double take when The Warehouse sold Converse sneakers online for $59. I have a child who wouldn't be seen dead in anything else and thought I should pay $89 for said shoes.
The daily deal sites are also competing hard for our consumer dollars.
This coming week, daily deal site GrabOne is repeating some deals that have been hugely popular in the past. One is a degustation menu (where you get to taste a bit of everything the restaurant offers) from Auckland's Mikano restaurant. It costs $120 for two people. The usual price is $105 each. If you've got the time it's worth perusing daily deal emails. I've picked up some really great offers lately.
One of the best ones for me was three hours of electrical work from Auckland-wide Lyon Electrical for $89. The electrician was working faster than I could come up with jobs for him and all of those little things that hadn't worked for years were sorted out for less than $30 an hour. Tomorrow GrabOne members will be able to pick up eight man-hours of work and a one-hour assessment from Rochford Landscaping.
Tomorrow there's a real bargain for the girls from The Warehouse, too - LiLash eye serum, a cult product that makes eyelashes longer. It's $115 for one day only from The Warehouse online. I've checked and this magic serum is $199 virtually everywhere else it sells in New Zealand, excluding duty free.
The folks at the Warehouse assure me the product is genuine. If you've never heard of it, try searching "LiLash" on YouTube and watch before-and-after videos from women who have bought this product.
Consumers have made it quite clear to retailers, who noted it in their annual association report, that we don't just want cheap price offers. We want them linked to brands. Retailers are responding. The Warehouse has launched Red Alert daily deals, which often include parallel imported goods at bargain prices.
This weekend Bond & Bond has really good one-day deals. Tomorrow it has a Fisher & Paykel E372BRT3 fridge freezer for $899, which is $188 cheaper than the cheapest otherwise available when I checked.
Apple iPad 2, 16gb, $555 from Expert Infotech Limited. Online and retail store.
Converse Chuck Taylor Hi/Black Glitter. $59.98 from Lastseason.co.nz. Online only.
Fuji Xerox A4 ream of paper. $3.89 from Bond+Bond stores today only. One per customer.