Even the feds shop at Harvey Norman

Even the feds shop at Harvey Norman

Summary: It's a well-known Australian joke that retailer Harvey Norman's prices are "hardly normal". After all, you can usually buy the same electronic parts online or at a smaller store slightly cheaper than you can at the retail king.

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TOPICS: Mobility
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It's a well-known Australian joke that retailer Harvey Norman's prices are "hardly normal". After all, you can usually buy the same electronic parts online or at a smaller store slightly cheaper than you can at the retail king.

There's nothing wrong with this situation, despite the healthy dose of cynicism it engenders about Harvey Norman on the part of us geekier citizens.

After all, there will probably always be a market for those who want to instantly satisfy their gadget crave by shopping at a large retail outlet, without waiting for the post in two or three days' time. And there's nothing wrong with charging a premium price for that service.

However, one wouldn't expect the price and privacy-conscious public sector to shop at Harvey Norman.

Yet a quick trawl through the archives of the federal government's contracts disclosure system reveals that's exactly what some agencies are doing. Not in droves, but in dribbles.

The Australian Federal Police, for example, bought some 100 JVC 20GB hard disk-based camcorders in the middle of last year from Harvey Norman (plus tapes) for a total of more than AU$111,000.

The feds also grabbed several Navman and Tom Tom GPS navigation units and a few other bits and pieces.

The Department of Defence also shopped at Harvey Norman, picking up items as varied as LCD TVs, furniture and computer parts. The Australian Electoral Commission picked up some of those combination TV/VCR/DVD boxes that seem to be so popular these days.

Now of course some of this equipment was directly sourced through Harvey Norman, but most of it went through a formal tender process -- indicating Harvey Norman won the government business fair and square.

Maybe the dribs and drabs of business Harvey Norman is picking up from the government indicates its prices aren't so bad after all -- for large organisations.

Is Harvey Norman overpriced for tech goodies? Post your opinion below this article.

Topic: Mobility

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8 comments
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  • Pricing

    Yes certainly they (HN) charge above the Norm (pun) I regulary check their prices against smaller competitors. As you point out and substantial price differences are apparent. They are my last choice for tech gear and I love using and dealing with the smaller tech shops hidden around Sydney that offer not only real value but a great and sometimes obscure range of stuff and real value prices, plus the people actually know something about the product which is not the Norm and HN.
    anonymous
  • when did this happen?

    I always thought Harbey Norman was the most you could pay for something. It was were I window shopped for the range before going elsewhere to find the best price.
    Twice in the last month I've been amazed to find HN was the best price, both times on big ticket LCD TVs. The second was with a friend and I was shocked at the enthusiasm to meet the price he'd found online. The salesman seem relieved he only had to go that low to clinch the sale.
    anonymous
  • price matching

    On the weekend, HN matched the best *online* price I found for the digital camera we wanted - coming down $110 on a camera priced at $599. I have to admit to being amazed, and will ensure I know the cheap prices and ask for matching every time I go there.

    I wouldn't have paid their asking price though, it was still $50 above the more expensive online prices I'd found.
    anonymous
  • Huh?

    Price conscious public sector - isn't that an oxymoron?
    anonymous
  • Harvey norman

    Well, i believe there should be something that other stores don't that has been backing up harvey norman. I agree with the fact that their gadgets might be overpriced, but i do think that their furniture is generally good. Take a look at this article written on 'hardly normal'>> http://dealsdepot.com.au/a23/A-Closer-Look-at-Furniture-From-Harvey-Norman/article_info.html
    I think it pretty gives us an idea of what to look for in harvey norman
    anonymous
  • Harvey Norman

    Open 7 days a week , so Harvey's is virtually a permanent home show with friendly and informative salespeople. On weekends you can get a hot sausage in a roll. You can park for free and let your kids run riot in the furniture section. Or you can spend some time in the massage chairs. Bring a drink in summer and read a book in the air conditioned comfort. You don't need to spend any cash. Interest free is all the go. Hang on , you missed something , bring back all the items you purchased or mis-used and Gerry will give you a full refund. It's true. Go out right now and test the money back guarantee. Then see how the competitors stack up. You will be surprised.
    anonymous
  • The Harvey Norman Price Promise

    Well every time I hear people talk about HN prices, I am reminded of their biggest sucker punch to the masses- the fake price promise. If you actually read the details of it, you'll find they have a way of weasiling out of the deal 9 times out of 10. Unless the "competitor(which I am yet to get a straight answer out of HN as to who they are)" advertises via main-stream media(not including the most main stream media of all-the internet) then you can't do a thing... I mean if you go and buy a $300 router from HN and then find out you could get it for $120 from Umart online then you can't just go in with a quote and say give me my money back. They'll tell you it wasn't advertised and they aren't a "competitor"- The Harvey Norman Price Promise
    anonymous
  • Depending on which article you believe, HN are spending somewhere netween 50 and 100 million to implement, or better termed inflict SAP on their business and suppliers. And these costs could be the tip of the iceberg if their business or army of suppliers have significant problems using the new system. This is why their products cost more.
    William Kelso