Wyngle is a bargain site with an unusual twist: there’s a guarantee that a set number of the items will be sold for $1, rather than the listed price. For instance, right now there’s a bundle including a 16GB iPad 2 and a keyboard dock selling for $742.90, but one in 10 sold will go for $1 instead. Does that make for a good deal? The answer: probably not, especially for solo buyers.
The site points out that if you group with friends, you can guarantee that one of you will get the $1 price, and then split the overall cost. But if you’re buying just one item and you’re not one of the lucky $1 buyers, then you’ll have to pay the list price, which won’t necessarily be a good deal.
Note: I’ve updated and expanded the calculations below to reflect the fact I didn’t notice all the elements in the iPad 2 bundle. Apologies for the error — though it does underscore the point that double-checking prices is always a good idea!
One example: the 16GB iPad bundle mentioned before is $742.90, plus $20 for postage. If you got together with 10 friends, the total price would be $6887.10 (including individual postage for each item).
Wyngle values the items as follows: $579 for the iPad 2, $59.95 for the Speak FitFolio case, $79 for the Keyboard Dock and $24.95 for the packet of screen protectors. That means you’re not saving anything on the standard buy, especially once you’ve paid postage.
What if you go bulk? Contrary to my earlier calculation, there’ll be a slight saving, but not a massive one — effectively, you’ll get the case and screen protectors for free. This also presumes you can line up 10 iPad-buying friends you trust enough to throw close to $7000 on your credit card.
Equally importantly, that’s one of the more generous options. As a commenter notes below, the site is also selling a Brother printer for $234.95 on a 1-in-4 deal. The same option can be had from Officeworks for $126 — a saving of $50 an item even if you buy four of them, and more than $100 if you just buy one. In other words: no matter how many you buy, you’ll overpay.
Another note: the site points out that you can’t get a “change your mind” refund, in order to prevent people gaming the system. That’s understandable, but the claim that refunds on defective goods may be available “subject to the supplier’s refund policy” is nonsense. Under Australian consumer law, you are entitled to have defective goods replaced or refunded, and the onus is on the company that sells you the goods to ensure that happens. Retailers can’t pass the buck that way.
The big lesson here is that for any given retail option, it pays to shop around. To my mind, a chance of getting an item for $1 doesn’t offset the odds I might be paying $100 or more over the odds. If you do want to buy this way, recognise that you’re gambling and do your research very, very carefully.