I do wish Australian retailers would get their websites sorted out

My wife and I are in the process of trying to buy a blender- nothing too expensive or extravagent, but it needs to be reasonably sturdy and capable of blending ice.

As much as we’d both dearly love a Blendtec blender; they are inconveniently not available in Australia and the only “Export Model” (in 240v) that the company produces is AUD$1,000- so we won’t be getting one of those anytime soon. :frowning:

Anyway, rather than visit every small appliance retailer in town in an effort to get a decent, reasonably priced blender, I figured I’d just do some online browsing to get an idea of prices and features, and then just go into the appropriate store and buy the selected blender.

But almost none of the places that sell small appliances have useful websites! The Good Guys have the best I’ve found so far, but even that has “Price available in-store” for most of the blenders, which is staggeringly unhelpful. RetraVision’s on-line selection is pretty good, but their website is really difficult to navigate and I’ve found from experience that what’s online and what the store actually has when you get there are two completely different things. David Jones and Myer only have an on-line copy of their print catalogue (useless, IMHO), and most of the rest of the Major Retailers (and that includes Harvey Norman) only have “Featured Products” or on-line versions of their print catalogue on their websites.

I know Australia hasn’t really embraced internet shopping the way the US has, but even so, it’s frankly embarrassing how difficult it is to do something as simple as compare the price of a blender between the Major Retailers here.

One day, perhaps, they’ll get themselves sorted out, but frankly I’m not counting on it any time soon…

There is currently a revolution occurring in retail.

The problem is that many people want to be able to (physically) browse goods and perhaps ask a salesperson about them etc. The retail strategy that caters to such people involves large amounts of real estate and staff, which costs mucho dinero

Many people also want to pay the absolute least for everything they buy. The retail strategy that caters to such people involves having an online presence and a warehouse. Period. This saves mucho dinero, and allows one to offer things for cheap.

The problem (one can quickly see) is that people may browse retailers who opt for strategy one, and buy from retailers who opt for strategy two. Consequently retailers who opt for strategy one have to hope to lure you to their store, then encourage you to buy on the spot without (after you have decided what you want) leaving and buying from www. forcheap. com. The more freely they make available the information that their prices are much higher, the less chance they have of inveigling you to come to their store for a look.

It is not slackness, it’s deliberate strategy.

If they did that then you wouldn’t have to come down to the store, find they don’t have what you wanted and hopefully you buy a more expensive model just so the trip wasn’t wasted! :smiley:

I’ve tried doing research for a few major appliance purchases coming up, and that’s hard enough, let alone something like a blender.

This is very true, but the two groups tend to be very separate. The “I want to look at it and fiddle with it and pester the salesman with questions” group tend to be older (late middle-aged to pensioners, IME), whilst the “I already know what I want and what it does, just give me the best price and I’ll be on my way” group tend to be younger (twentysomethings-early middle-aged).

The latter group are more likely to look the product up on the net and just want the best price from an actual store so there is backup if there’s a problem with the product. The former group want the salesperson to know everything about every product in the store because “That’s their job”, even though they get paid the same as someone working as a cashier in a supermarket.

Also, there are virtually no online retailers in Australia anyway, IME, except for books and DVDs.

If you want a Blender, then you pretty much have to go into a store to get it (especially since a blender is usually something you want/need nowish, not in 2-6 weeks). So, IMHO, their strategy is self-defeating, because they’re deliberately making it hard for me to buy something off them and subsequently I’m going to give my money to the company that does list everything they sell on their website, preferably with a price (I can, at least, call a store to get a price, but I do need the techie specs for the stuff I’m after to help me decide if that’s the widget I might be interested in).

Even so, it’s ironic that I can compare prices on Laptops and DVD players and LCD TVs online without any hassles at all, but trying to find out information on a mid-priced blender is an exercise in frustration…

This just isn’t true. I’ve bought heaps of household stuff over the net. I bought a kettle a few weeks back for example. Just enter your model no. in google and various price comparison websites will come up with links to online retailers. For almost anything that I’ve wanted to buy recently.

I meant websites based in Australia; I’m not aware of any reputable ones, at any rate.

So did I. And as to reputable, I’ve never not had something turn up yet.

Fair enough. But I’d still prefer to give my money to companies I’ve actually heard of, rather than trusting to a blind Google search…

Sounds to me like I should move to Australia and develop some websites!

I need to buy another bookcase and decided I’d browse the Knott’s Pine website for a suitable style/size. On their stupid website, the only active links are to find out where the stores are. Can’t find out a single thing about their range of furniture. Idiots.