Consumer Watch: Lowest prices if you're Australian

By Susan Edmunds

Some Bunnings prices are much higher on this side of the ditch

Bunnings' Kiwi customers are missing out on savings. Photo / APN
Bunnings' Kiwi customers are missing out on savings. Photo / APN

New Zealand Bunnings customers are finding out the hard way that its "price guarantee" does not apply to prices within its stores.

The hardware chain offers to beat any price on the same stocked item by 15 per cent.

But a Herald on Sunday survey of products, conducted at random, found that New Zealand Bunnings customers are paying significantly more than their Australian counterparts for some items.

Paint was substantially more expensive in New Zealand.

The Dulux Weathershield four-litre range retailed for $124.99 in New Zealand and NZ$77.73 in Australia. British Paints' four-litre product sold for $82.95 in Bunnings New Zealand this week but $67.34 in Australia.

Power tools are cheaper in Australian outlets - a Makita 185mm circular saw was available for the equivalent of $121.20 in Melbourne outlets while being stocked at $322 in New Zealand.

That's a price difference of more than 62 per cent.

Bunnings marketing manager Valerie Staley said the Australian saw had an output of 1,050 watts compared to 1,800 in the New Zealand model and produced 4,700 revolutions per second compared to 5,800 for the model in New Zealand.

"We purchase from Makita in New Zealand directly and will continue to work with them to ensure we can offer our customers the lowest prices in the New Zealand market."

Staley said New Zealand was a different market from Australia and had to deal with different exchange rates and other cost factors.

"Wherever possible, (we) take advantage of opportunities to drop prices. We are committed to consistently delivering the lowest prices to our customers every day."

Liz Woodward, who has just finished building a new house, said she spent thousands of dollars with Bunnings. "It seems unfair the way they price it. It does seem a huge gap between the two."

A 1,595 psi Karcher waterblaster was 10 per cent cheaper in Australian shops than in New Zealand Bunnings outlets.

Of the 10 products surveyed, only a Victa lawnmower was a better deal for Kiwis, 7 per cent cheaper.

A Commerce Commission spokeswoman said prices in other countries had no bearing on New Zealand prices, even when charged by the same company.

- Herald on Sunday

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