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Time to Front Up on inflated NZ prices

Media Release

25 August, 2014

Time to Front Up on inflated NZ prices

The excessive prices Kiwi consumers pay for many products and services compared to what they cost overseas is the focus of new website

Written by a team of independent journalists, reviews the price of goods, compares the price to other countries, and then asks brands and companies to explain themselves by “fronting up” to give their reasoning for the premium cost of the product.

Consumers can have their say about whether the company’s pricing argument stands up by clicking “Yeah” or “Nah”, and then comment via Facebook and Twitter about the cost and quality of the product.

Front Up, which is backed by Slingshot’s Global Mode, covers a wide range of goods and services, including everything from Apple’s iPhone 5S, Sony Playstation 4 and Windows 8.1, through to consumer staples such as bread, milk and coffee.

And with the current construction boom and New Zealand’s DIY obsession, Front Up also casts a critical eye over the price of products such as glass and plasterboard.

“The goal of Front Up is simple – to make sure Kiwis are treated fairly, and charged fair prices,” says Slingshot General Manager Taryn Hamilton.

“There might be a good reason for the high price, but I’m picking most of the time there won’t be. We might be a small country tucked down in the far corner of the world but that doesn’t mean we should be taken advantage of and asked to pay excessive prices for things like Nikes or even basics such as bread and milk.”

Front Up will be updated every week with new products. Its current reviews include:

• iPhone 5S – New Zealanders pay $161 more than US consumers

• Sony Playstation 4 – $100 more than in the US

Milk – Fonterra’s Dairy Dale brand – is $1.70 per litre. In US a litre of milk costs the equivalent of NZ$1.20 and in Britain NZ$0.86. This is even after taking into consideration our GST and exchange rate differences.

When Samsung was asked to Front Up with its reasoning for its Galaxy S5 costing $150 more than in the US, it responded by saying while the company’s New Zealand wholesale prices are comparable with those in other markets, local retailers need to factor in other costs.

“These include things like import duties, goods and services taxes, as well as installation and service policies, marketing promotions, competitiveness, retail channels and logistics,” said the company statement.

Hamilton says the idea for Front Up came about because the team at Slingshot wanted to know why Kiwis seemingly paid more for things than people in other countries.

“We believe it’s important to give consumers transparency, but to also put pressure on big name brands and companies that sell these products to justify these prices properly for consumers.”


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