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How to shop smart and save money on new appliances in the EOFY sales

Fridge on the fritz or dryer dead as nails? Here are some tips for buying a new appliance while sticking to your budget. 

Last updated: 04 June 2024

Isn't it always the way that when you're trying to save a bit of money or struggling to stick to your monthly budget, one of your essential appliances gives up the ghost? If your fridge has decided to call it a day or your washing machine has spun its last cycle, you may be reluctantly shopping around for a replacement (if it's not practical or worthwhile to get it repaired, of course).

The one consolation is that June is a peak sales period, with many retailers currently offering end-of-financial-year (EOFY) discounts on many different appliances, so it may be a good time to pick up a bargain.

But, rather than get caught up in the sales frenzy, it's worth taking the time to ensure you're really getting a good deal. There are many budget buys and dud products discounted at this time of year that may not go the distance (and perhaps won't perform as well as you need them to).

Follow our CHOICE expert tips to ensure you keep costs down when buying new appliances without sacrificing on quality or performance, and make your dollars go a bit further.

1. Stick to the basics (don't be swayed by fancy features)

From smart ovens and air fryers with Bluetooth connectivity to auto-dosing washing machines or Bluetooth-speaker-equipped fridges – no matter what kind of appliance you're buying, you'll likely be presented with an array of models with fancy features that are undoubtedly adding extra dollars to the price tag.

Paying more for high-tech features is only worth it if you're actually going to use them, or if they genuinely affect the performance of the product. If you're trying to save money, it's best to stick to the basics. Decide on the features that are your 'must haves' and the ones that are nice but possibly not worth paying more for.

CHOICE head of research and testing Matthew Steen recommends buying the base model if you're trying to save money on a new appliance. "Often washers, dishwashers and dryers have 'families' of models and they can all be essentially the same, with some models having additional features, programs or colours that are given different model numbers."

"Buying the base model gets you the product that matters. You may lose out on some features but you'll still likely get the same quality of performance and lifetime as the fancy expensive version of the same model," he says.

2. Compare prices with older models

Similarly, you don't always need the latest and greatest model of fridge, vacuum cleaner or washing machine. Often, previous models that have been superseded by the latest version will be available at a discounted price – and they may be almost identical, give or take a few features or upgrades.

This can be especially true with electronics such as TVs and appliances such as premium stick vacuum cleaners.

Buying a TV in the EOFY sales

"The end-of-financial-year sales can be a great time to update that 10-year-old plasma TV that is eating up half of your electricity bill, or your old LCD TV that isn't quite as smart as you'd like," says CHOICE tech expert Denis Gallagher.

"Although we usually say you can pick up a cheaper deal by buying last year's models, this year I strongly recommend looking closely at the prices of 2023 TV models to make sure they are actually cheaper than the brand-new 2024 models," he says.

"Strangely, as we head into this year's sales, we are seeing some cases where the newer 2024 models are cheaper (and LG actually highlights their 2024 range is 20% cheaper than their 2023 range)

"When shopping online or visiting a store, make sure you're armed with the right information on model numbers, so you can quickly recognise the difference between a great buy and a good price for ageing stock.

Denis recommends looking closely at the model numbers and 'product codes' – read more of his tips: How to buy a bargain TV.

The trick is to know which TVs are 2024 releases and how the prices compare to 2023 models

CHOICE tech expert Denis Gallagher

Buying a stick vacuum in the EOFY sales

Stick vacuums are another product where you can nab deals on older models that still perform well.

Dyson is known for continuing to sell models that were flagship products a few years ago, but are now part of their entry-level line-up, often with hefty discounts on the original sale price.

Although shopping online or instore from retailers that stock different stick vacuum brands is a good way to compare prices, Dyson is also offering EOFY deals directly from its website, with discounts of up to $550 or more. 

CHOICE expert Adrian Lini says: "The newer Dyson stick vacuums have some upgraded features, such as a head attachment specifically designed for hard floors and unique particle detection technology. However, if you have mostly carpets, many of the older and cheaper models are still a good buy and are often on sale."

And, as we always says, don't buy on brand alone. Different products from the same brand often perform vastly differently in our testing, and when it comes to stick vacuums, you could cast your net a little wider to find a good deal: stick vacuums from brands such as Samsung, Shark, LG, Electrolux and Bosch also perform well in our expert testing so check out CHOICE stick vacuum reviews before buying.

Things to watch out for

If you're opting for an older model of any product, it still pays to do your research, and it's a great idea to check CHOICE reviews before you buy. Selecting 'discontinued models' on the bottom left filter of our product finders will show you how a range of superseded and discontinued models performed.

Even if you're buying the latest and greatest model, you might want to check how it performs compared to the old one it's replacing.

Selecting 'discontinued models' on the bottom left filter of our product finders will show you how a range of superseded and discontinued models performed

And be aware, a slightly older model can often mean better discounts, but it may mean that the appliance you are buying may have limited ongoing support for spare parts (for a vacuum for example) which could affect the lifetime of the appliance.

3. Do your research and consider alternative brands

We say it all the time, but the most expensive products aren't always the best, and sometimes while reviewing different appliances in the CHOICE labs, we find that cheaper products can perform just as well as – or ever better than – the pricier big brands.

This is often the case when we test kitchen appliances such as air fryers, food processors, stand mixers and blenders.


It's always worth doing your research – the most expensive product isn't always the best.

"In our recent review of stand mixers, where we score models based on their performance and how easy they are to use, a stand mixer from Breville that costs $279 scored the same as a $999 Kitchenaid Mixer," says CHOICE kitchen expert Fiona Mair.

"Checking CHOICE reviews before you buy may reveal a cheaper brand that performs well that you may not have considered before."

CHOICE tech expert Peter Zaluzny says this is also important to remember when buying tech products. "Generally, you get what you pay for with laptops as far as performance goes. But our tester Elias has found a few gems that outperform their price point so it's worth checking our scores and price findings."

Checking CHOICE reviews before you buy may reveal a cheaper brand that performs well that you may not have considered before

CHOICE kitchen expert Fiona Mair

"Also look at models that fall just below a recommendation. You might not need a powerhouse PC and there are plenty of mid-range models that can handle most day to day tasks."
Peter also says that it's worth getting your head around computer basics, to avoid the marketing fluff.

"Our buying guide covers everything you need to know so you can make an informed choice. That way, salespeople can't take advantage.

"Don't be swayed by buzzwords such as '4K', '8K' or 'gaming' littered through promotional material. Understand these terms to use them, rather than be confused by them. Otherwise you may wind up with a laptop you don't need. 

"For example, there's more to a TV display than the number of pixels on screen. This is why we conduct viewing panels to find the best video picture quality."

Once you've done your research and know the list of brands and products you're interested in, head online and visit a range of retailers to compare prices.

4. Always ask for discounts

While shopping online gives you the advantage of easily comparing prices with a few clicks, it does make it trickier to ask for discounts. Some retailers offer online price matching, however, it may be worth heading instore (armed with all your online research of course) to directly ask a salesperson for their best price.

Whether or not this is effective will depend on what kind of appliance you are shopping for, and even the time of year. A salesperson will likely be more keen to move old stock around the end of the financial year, for example, or if new models are about to be released. But it never hurts to ask.

This is especially true if you're buying a mattress.

"CHOICE has been buying mattresses for years for our tests and we've found many retailers have a lot of room to move when it comes to price," CHOICE expert Peter Zaluzny explains.

"Though online only mattress-in-a-box brands don’t give you any grounds to negotiate, sales are pretty frequent. There's really no reason to pay the recommended retail price for a mattress instore or online.”

"If you're confident and have done your research, you can usually shave a decent amount off the price tag by haggling. Just ask 'what's the best price you can do?' and go from there."

Discounts when shopping online

But what about shopping online? You may be able to pick up a discount by doing a quick search for promo codes. Many retailers offer discounts and promo codes for their newsletter subscribers, to certain automotive club or health fund members, or tied to a sale or special occasion, and there are a number of sites and apps that will share them with you. 

It can be a bit hit and miss, but an online search costs you nothing, and you can often net yourself a sizeable saving for a few minutes of your time.

5. Don't forget to account for delivery and/or installation costs

Before you buy anything, ensure you're clear on what comes with the product and if anything extra is needed for installation once it is delivered.

CHOICE product researcher Christine Shaday has ordered and researched many products in her time at CHOICE and her advice is: "Always try to get free delivery and installation on new appliances, and get them to take away the old appliance."

This will save you spending any extra money or time disposing of your old appliance. This is particularly important for large appliances such as fridges, which you'll struggle to fit in a car, or even carry on your own.

6. Buy an energy and/or water efficient model

It's no use picking up a cheaper fridge, washing machine or dryer if it's an energy or water guzzler that's going to cost you more over its lifetime in energy bills.

"Your fridge is responsible for around 8% of your total household energy consumption so opting for an efficient fridge will translate to big savings in the long run," says CHOICE expert Ashley Iredale.

If you are buying a medium-sized fridge (for example, 381–450L), we've calculated running costs for various models and found that the difference from one model to the next can run into the hundreds of dollars over a 10-year period.

The same goes for washing machines. Some of the top-loaders that scored the lowest in our washing machine reviews are not only water-wasting culprits, they also have some of the highest energy costs, which means that even if you pick up a cheap deal at the checkout, it'll likely cost you later.

7. Don't pay for extended warranties that offer you little value

When buying a new appliance, either instore or online, it's common to be 'upsold' an extended warranty that is framed as extra protection for you in case your product fails. 


Most extended warranties don't offer good value for money.

But stop before you drop that cash, as these extended warranties are often no more than a sneaky sales tactic. Ask the salesperson, or read the fine print, and find out what guarantees it gives you above and beyond what you are already entitled to under Australian Consumer Law. 

Otherwise, you're paying for rights you already have – in some cases, these warranties actually offer fewer rights than your consumer guarantees.

Extended warranties are often no more than a sneaky sales tactic ... find out what guarantees it gives you above and beyond what you are already entitled to under Australian Consumer Law

For example, if you buy a $2000 TV, the salesperson may try to sell you an extended warranty that guarantees you a free repair if your TV becomes faulty within a specified time period, such as three to five years after you bought it.

But under existing consumer law, you're already entitled to a free repair, replacement or refund – the choice should be yours – if your TV develops a major fault within the first few years after purchase. Find out more about what happened when we investigated the sale of extended warranties at some of Australia's largest retailers

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.