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Money Expert - Diana Clement - Financial Planning, Career, Investing, Economy, Property - MSN NZ

Warning: The Warehouse is bad for your wealth

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The Warehouse is a downright dangerous place. How often do you go into New Zealand's favourite shop "where everyone gets a bargain" for one or two things and come out with a trolley load?

Do you get conned into buying things you don't need at The Warehouse and its competitors? Have your say below.

Once upon a time I used to say that "everyone except me gets a bargain" at The Warehouse. I'm a Kmart girl. But I have discovered that twice a year The Warehouse has a sale where it offers two yellow-stickered discounted items for the price of one. Each year I look out for these sales in the fliers and buy my kids' pyjamas and trainers. Last time I got Reebok trainers at $15 a pair down from $49.99, and pyjamas as cheap as $4 a pair.

Likewise I look out for the sales when Farmers takes 50 percent of its already-reduced red-stickered stock. Just a week ago I bought the next two seasons' tops for my daughter at $7.50-8.50 a pop down from more than $20 each.

Regular-priced stock at The Warehouse and Kmart isn't necessarily cheap. That's especially so if you compare prices at auction websites as well as high-street stores. When I checked Warehouse's flier while writing this blog, a Logitech cordless EX90 keyboard was "on sale" at The Warehouse for $49.90. The same item was $39 at Dick Smith Electronics and cheaper than The Warehouse at another 10 vendors according to

As well as shopping around I always think of Warren Buffet, one of the world's richest men, who in his early days would consider every small purchase he made in terms of what that money would be worth invested over 20 years or more.

The trick is not to go to the store, instead check out the fliers and do a guerrilla raid as soon as you see the annual discount you're after.

Here are the rules of the game:


  • Don't shop with the kids unless you have a strict rule like I do that they only buy things with their pocket money.
  • Don't think your time doesn't cost money.
  • Don't wander the aisles. Go get exactly what you want and leave.


  • Think about the petrol costs. A round trip to The Warehouse costs me at least $5 in petrol and a trip to and from Kmart costs $10.
  • Shop with a list. This could be a permanent list of items you would buy and what they cost elsewhere. The Warehouse sells groceries and I've got a note on my smartphone just how much expensive items such as Persil front-loader powder cost at my local supermarket.
  • Shop around. Even if you think you must buy the item now or lose it, put it in your trolley and use your mobile phone to check out the opposition or get a friend to look online.
  • Return the item if you find it cheaper elsewhere.
  • Remember that buying more than you really need wastes the world's resources.

Finally, I would like to say that it's not just the shops that con us into buying items we don't need or more than we need. If you hear yourself saying any of the following, then put your credit card away immediately:

  • I may as well get it, it's a bargain.
  • I've always wanted one of those.
  • I need it. (Need is something required to maintain life, want is having a strong desire.)
  • I might need it.
  • I'll get two at that price.
  • It's only 20 bucks.
  • I won't have to come back if I buy it now.

Ask yourself instead: "Can I live without it?" or "Why haven't I bought it until now."

Have your say: Do you get conned into buying things you don't need at The Warehouse and its competitors?


User comments
I thought this article might have mentioned that if you buy a low priced item that only lasts a month or two, rather than a better quality one that lasts more than a year (I'm thinking specifically of sports shoes - personal experience) then you are going to spend more over the year on that item than if you just keep an eye out for sales on decent quality products at other stores. We bought flannelette sheets from the warehouse and they fell apart the first time we put them on the bed. They must have had a threadcount of about 5! Who is going to take their sheets back? That is how the warehouse make their money. Better to buy better quality on sale somewhere else. Don't waste your money on rubbish items.
To start with I agree their prices have become highend the same or worse then any upmarket store ,it meant to be a budget store because of poor layout and customer service. In which store will you find fertiliser stored in the centre of it ? is that normal?
Perhaps, instead of looking at how YOU can get a bargain, look at who you`re affecting by choosing to shop at these types of stores. That is, companies that influence , manipulate and use weak labour and environmental laws to produce products in one country (often the so called 3rd world) for sale in another (ours for example). Perhaps next time we `look for a bargain` try thinking of the hidden costs that your possibly not aware of, connected to those products. No complaints if your willing to work 16 hours day, 6 and 7 days a week for less than $2 per day. Remember... the businesses may be directly responsibly for the horror they inflict on these people but it`s we, the consumer, who hold the power to dictate how, where and what things are made. Perhaps we can help enrich the lives of those who at the moment we´re enslaving. Lastly maybe you can add `be socially and environmentally aware we purchasing` to the top of your list. Be the change you want to see in the world
Thank you for your advices. There are quite good!! But I don't really beleive The Warehouse is a good reference. I strongly beleive The Warehouse is the LESS dangerous among all the stores in the NZ. Unless there are other reason you didn't tell us.
Hi Biigm, the Logitech Mouse was an item I chose from the Warehouse's catalogue. It was important enough to advertise.
Logitech cordless EX90 keyboard I would not have thought that was 1 of the warehouses key lines but hay it helps your story I find that I do get a bargain most time I shop. I shop because of need and don't have time to spend time shopping round
Okay yeah fair enough when you go into The Warehouse for one thing you end up leaving with like a million other things you didn't particularly need but it's not like it's different to any other store. If you think about it properly every store tries to con you into buy more than what you really came in for. The Warehouse is only as dangerous as any other store.

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