Retail pricing – jungle warfare

For the last week I’ve been negotiating my way through the minefield of purchasing options available to secure the TV and DVD mentioned below – Sony 46X4500 and BDP S350. It has been quite an eye-opener. I’ll recount the tale here in case it helps anyone else looking to do the same or similar.

Some time ago I was told about the web-site Ceneo as being a great place to find bargains on the internet.

It’s a sort of price search engine and you just enter the details of what you’re looking for and it comes up with the various options of where you can purchase it on-line with links to the seller’s website. My initial investigations started on Ceneo in addition to looking around the various retail stores. With costly items such as I wanted to acquire the differences were huge and so it would be worth shopping around.

In the Sony shop on Elektoralna a week ago, the TV was 8,999 PLN and the DVD was 999 PLN, a combined price just shy of 10,000 zlots. I moved on. Euro RTV AGD, Saturn and other retailers were also showing the price of the TV between 8,200 and 8,900. Makro had the DVD for 950.

Checking Ceneo at the same time showed prices for the TV from about 7,200 and for the DVD from about 740, so a package price ending up below 8,000 zlots, a potential saving of 2,000 PLN (450 GBP). Pretty significant.

We ordered the TV from an internet company called Audio Swiat for a price of 7,200. Reviews of the company were good but our experience is otherwise. We made the order on Saturday and were told it would arrive Monday evening at 19:00.

On Monday I went back to the Sony shop with the intention of buying the bracket for wall hanging, some HDMI cables and perhaps the Blu-ray. To my surprise they had lowered the prices of the TV over the weekend and were offering a package of our TV plus the DVD we wanted for 8,790! That’s a 1,200 reduction for the package by just waiting a weekend and was now starting to look like a competitive offer. As it turned out, the wall installation is free when you buy 46″ or 50″ sets by just calling a phone number – irrespective of where you buy the set, they just need the serial number. They didn’t have the Blu-ray in stock either, so I left empty handed.

At 18:00 on Monday we checked our order on the Audio Swiat website and it said our order was ‘cancelled’. We called them and were told that they had so many orders over the weekend that they had run out of them and so some orders were being cancelled. Not much of an apology given either! Strike them off the list of internet retailers we might use in the future. To be fair to them, the TV is at least no longer listed on their website.

By now I was running out of time off work to deal with this and also getting stories that there were very few of these TVs left in Poland. Marta called the internet sales end of Euro RTV AGD on Monday evening to see if they had any. They did, they guaranteed collection at Arkadia store on Tuesday at 15:00 and their price was 7,400. We placed the order. It was a strange experience to be standing inside the Euro RTV AGD shop in Arkadia looking at our TV on sale for 8,990 but then carrying it out the door having paid 1,500 less than that! Why would anybody want to buy straight from the shop when a phone call saves you that much?

All that was left was the Blu-ray and the cables and so I popped into MediaMarkt to see what their offer was. I was in luck, the cheapest non-internet price so far at 820 PLN, 100 more than the internet price but 130+ less than than other retail prices. I bought it and a couple of cables and thankfully closed the case of how best to buy this stuff.

End result for the package was:

Worst case – 9,998 zlots (Sony shop, last week)
Best case – 7,940 (internet, if they have in stock)
My case – 8,220 (Euro RTV AGD internet phone order plus MediaMarkt retail)

It’s a complicated business and for many things I wouldn’t bother but when you can save anything between 500 – 2,000 zlots it certainly pays to shop around.

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