Today I bought a new TV at 68% off the regular price. After bad financial results and a dramatic drop in share price, news spread quickly that there was about to be a clearance sale at Dick Smith. Sometimes social media just consumes your time, but other times, it saves you money. Today it delivered important, timely information. When things are happening live, Twitter is the place to be and today, that paid off big time.
At 12:02PM @OzBargainBuzz posted a link to a forum thread on Dick Smith Clearance Sales where TVs, Tablets, Smartphones and more were up to 70% off. Initially I was pretty sceptical after seeing plenty of sales that never live up to their marketing. This one is very different. Its not being marketed, not like a normal sale, not even close. I called the local store in an attempt to see how real this sale was.
While I didn’t really need a new TV, if I could land one at a fraction of the normal price, it may still make sense. Some of the numbers being shared were pretty staggering, 40-50″ TVs for less than $100 in extreme cases sounded way too good to be true. Initially I asked about something in the 40″ range and was told they cost around $400, a pretty standard price, nothing special, so I started to loose faith. Instead of being subtle, I explained that I’d seen the crazy numbers of up to 70% off being thrown around online. His voice went a little quieter, but confirmed it was real, but I’d need to come in-store, in-person.
Arriving in the store I walked the floor and seen $50 here or $100 there, but nothing like what I’d read online. I decided it was a bust and walked out. A few steps later I thought I better go ask, on the off-chance there was some crazy deal you only get by talking and asking rather than selecting something labelled on the floor. After asking and explaining I’d read about the sale online and I was after something in the 40″ range, the guy disappears into the back and about a minute later returns with a 40″ JVC LED TV. At that point he didn’t even know the price, once scanned he revealed, quietly, $149.70. Without hesistation I said “let’s do it”. Despite being in a well lit retailer, in a shopping centre, this deal felt more like an under the counter arrangement than any other retail product I’ve purchased.
As I paid and got the receipt, I seen it in black and white, I just got an incredible deal. While I was in the store, I noticed a couple of other young guys, heads down, on their phones and I suspected they were children of the internet as well. I overheard their brief conversation with the sales guy, how many more of those do you have, he asked, met with a short reply, that was the last one.
It wasn’t till a couple hours later when I had a chance to look up the details of the product I just bought. I found that the JVC 40″ LED TV is selling for $468.88 on their site. This means at $149.70 it means I paid just 32% of the original price, or a massive 68% saving. Only then I realised how fantastic this firesale was. The TV I purchased was brand new, in the box, never been opened, while some reports of the big deals only being related to floor stock.
Online there’s been some speculation that a bigger, larger sale on all in-store products is coming this Saturday, but at this rate, there’ll be no product left. If you’re near a Dick Smith store tomorrow, I can’t promise you there’ll be much left, but its definitely worth asking.
As one of Australia’s most high profile electronics retailer, now public, they like many before it, are struggling to make the economics of selling electronics at retail make sense. With most consumers moving to comparison shopping and ordering online with delivery to the door (often free), then visiting bricks and mortar stores to pay heavily inflated prices, promoted as ‘on sale’ is finally catching up with itself. With strong competitors like JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman, there’s not a lot of room left reason for other players in the market.
On the upside, my racing sim has a shiny new 40″ screen TV thanks to Dick Smith.