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More shoppers comparing prices before purchase: report

Price will be an important factor for consumers wanting to make a purchase over the next few months, according to comparison site PriceSpy. 

PriceSpy said the coronavirus outbreak appears to have changed shopping habits for the better with them finding that more Kiwis are now conducting price research for goods.

Visitor numbers were seen to have increased by almost a third, 31 per cent, for May 2020 compared to the same time last year.

Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett, New Zealand country manager for PriceSpy, said it is encouraging to see more shoppers doing their pricing due diligence as data from their Price Index highlights products prices have been affected during the Covid-19 lockdown 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,” Matinvesi-Bassett said. “For example, from January through to mid-March, the indexed price change ranged between minus 0.5 per cent and plus two per cent.”

She said from late March through to mid-June when Covid-19 was more rife and the borders were closed, the indexed price changes increased sharply and quickly, varying between 3.75 per cent and almost 6 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,” Matinvesi-Bassett said. “On top of that, there has been heightened demand for products from consumers.”

Matinvesi-Bassett said during the Alert Level 1 restriction, webcams, TVs and washing machines all appear to be more expensive compared to a couple of months ago.

“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,” she said.

Matinvesi-Bassett said supply chains will continue to increase prices and one way shoppers can avoid paying over the odds is to compare prices.

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