Most essential items Kiwis were able to buy during the coronavirus lockdown increased in price, a price comparison website reveals.
Prices were starting to decrease since the country entered alert level 3 last week, but were still higher now compared to before the levels were introduced.
And except for washing machines, the top ten most clicked-on products on PriceSpy were more expensive on April 30, 2020, compared to the year before.
"Normally, we would expect the price of goods to decrease over the course of a year as products get older in their life cycle," PriceSpy country manager for New Zealand Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett said.
"However, 70 per cent of the top ten most clicked-on fridges and freezers were found to cost more in 2020 compared to 2019."
Prices of essential items also increased before the alert levels were announced and since the country had left alert level 4.
Between March 1 and April 30, some chest freezers increased in price by between $50 to $200.
The indexed price across all 108,000 products on the PriceSpy website increased by 5 per cent in March 2020.
A freezer that cost $949 on March 1 skyrocketed to $1499 by March 31 as lockdown conditions limited trade throughout New Zealand.
Over the course of the month, 90 per cent of the chest freezers listed on the website were found to cost more by March 31.
Webcams, heating and cooling products, washing machines, desktop PCs and ebook readers all shot up in price over the same period.
"As consumers continue to shop over the next few weeks, first and foremost we encourage everyone to not panic buy," Matinvesi-Bassett said.
"Instead, people should spend a few extra minutes researching the historical price points of the products they are looking to buy using a price comparison site like PriceSpy – such essential shopping steps can help save shoppers hundreds of dollars."
Key insights of the top 10 most clicked-on products:
• 80 per cent of all fridge and freezers were more expensive at the end of April in level 3 compared to March 1, before the alert levels were announced.
• Similarily, 80 per cent of all chest freezers were more expensive and 20 per cent remained the same price over the same dates.
• 50 per cent of washing machines cost less to buy at the end of April compared to the start of March.