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CONFIRMED: Harvey Norman Is A Rip Off

By Oonagh Reidy | Tuesday | 30/04/2013

Harvey Norman is still the most pricey electronics and white goods store in Australia and while boss Gerry Harvey is screaming discounts the facts are that his stores are 10% pricier than rivals.

Bing Lee, The Good Guys are also ranked among the more expensive retailers for white goods and small appliances behind Harvey's, despite Bing Lee having a heavily promoted "Everything's Negotiable" price promise.

This information comes courtesy of  Credit Suisse, whose latest Australian Consumer Electronics Pricing Index shows Harvey Norman to be the most costly place to shop when it comes to white goods such as washing machines, fridges, small appliances and electronics gear. 

JB Home and Masters were among the lower end for appliances prices, while Appliances Online was the cheapest.  

In fact, Harvey stores were almost 10% higher than rivals which could blacken its name among consumers, the report warns. 

"Advertised prices presented by Harvey Norman appear high, 9.5 per cent above the nearest major retailer on average," the report states. 

"There is a risk that continued presentation of high prices will negatively impact HVN price perception among consumers, irrespective of realised prices achieved in store."

Harvey Norman has a "Harvey Norman Best Price Guarantee," which states "We will BEAT any genuine competitor's advertised price on the date you purchase or within 7 days of purchase."

E-tailer Kogan also came out as one of the cheapest electronics stores, while JB Hi-Fi and Dick Smith were in the middle, with similar prices although Dick was cheaper. 

The report, by analysts Grant Saligari and James O'Brien also notes "intermittent discounting" by certain retailers. 

"We continue to observe intermittent discounting of certain electronics categories by listed retailers; however in aggregate these do not impact their price position."

But there was plenty good news for consumers - white goods prices are deflating 4.5% per annum on average, while electronics prices fell by 10%, with all major retailers' prices (even Harvey's) going downwards. 

Tablets fell by a massive 24% compared to a year ago, while TV's and camera also fell 15-20%.  

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