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PriceSpy Research Reveals The Price Of Many Essential Good Items Have Skyrocketed Throughout March

According to new research conducted by the fully impartial price and product site, PriceSpy, many products now considered to be ‘essential goods’ have been subjected to huge price hikes throughout the month of March, with some items jumping in price by as much as $550* if purchased at the end of the month compared to the start.

Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett, New Zealand country manager for PriceSpy, says: “According to our historical pricing data, the price points across many shopping categories have skyrocketed this last month.”

The PriceSpy research found:

  • The indexed price across all 108,000 products listed on PriceSpy increased by five per cent in March 2020;
  • The indexed price for chest freezers grew exponentially, increasing by 28 per cent between 1st March to 31st March;
  • The indexed price for webcams also surged, up 14 per cent over the same period of time;
  • Other essential good shopping categories that experienced price hikes included whiteware goods (up four per cent), heating and cooling products (up six per cent) and computers and accessories (up five per cent);
  • Looking at the top ten most-clicked-on items:
  • 90 per cent of chest freezers were also found to cost more to buy on 31st March compared to 1st March 2020;
  • 80 per cent of webcams and 70 per cent of whiteware goods were also more expensive to purchase at the end of the month compared to the start.

Liisa continues: “One of the biggest price hike culprits uncovered this month was chest freezers. Our data suggests the overall indexed price rose by a massive 28 per cent between 1st March to 31st March 2020, which is huge.”

The graph below reveals the indexed price increases and decreases on PriceSpy by shopping category between 1st to 31st March 2020:

The graph below reveals the indexed price increases and decreases on PriceSpy for chest freezers and webcams between 1st March to 31st March 2020:

Liisa continues: “As well the pricing index changes by category, we also compared the cheapest price found on PriceSpy for the top ten most-clicked-on products on 1st March across several ‘essential item’ categories. These were then compared to the cheapest price listed on 31st March.

“Shockingly, the findings revealed 90 per cent of the top ten most-click-on chest freezers cost more to buy on 31st March compared to 1st March, before the national COVID-19 alert system was implemented.

“Similarly, over three quarters (80 per cent) of the top ten most-clicked-on webcams were more expensive to purchase at the end of the month compared to the start. A similar trend was also apparent for whiteware goods, with 70 per cent of the top ten most-clicked-on items costing more on 31st March compared to 1st March.

% of top ten most-clicked-on products that cost more to purchase on 31st March compared to 1st March 2020
Shopping categories%
Chest freezers90%
Fridge & freezers80%
Whiteware goods70%

Source: PriceSpy

Liisa adds: “In monetary terms, these differences were pretty significant. For example, if consumers purchased the Fisher & Paykel RC376W1 (White) chest freezer on 31st March, it would have cost them $550 more compared to if it was bought on 1st March.

“The research also found another chest freezer, the Haier HCF-264 (White) cost $999 on 31st March and just $599 on 1st March, so $550 more expensive.

“Unfortunately these price hikes were not just restricted to the shopping category of chest freezers. In fact, similar price spikes were found across many other products from essential shopping categories, such as ‘computers and accessories’ and ‘heating and cooling’ items.”

Price hike examples:

Liisa concludes: “Whilst we expect the retail price points for products to fluctuate daily, some of the hikes witnessed this last month have been extraordinary high.

“If we are to compare like-for-like and look at the biggest savings offered across the top ten most -clicked-on products across the same shopping categories, the most substantial saving found was for the Apple Mac Mini (2018), which cost $190 less on 31st compared to 1st March.

“During such unprecedented times, our key piece of advice to consumers who need to make an essential purchase right now is to be vigilant and conduct important price research before they commit and buy, as our insights suggests many products have received a price hike over this last month.”

Download the PriceSpy app here.

© Scoop Media

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