The Masters 'Fire Sale' Is A Bit Of A Bust

Image: iStock

So here’s an anecdotal experience that probably in no way reflects the larger picture. It’s about Masters. It’s about the Masters’ ‘fire sale’ to be precise. In short, I was very disappointed by the Masters fire sale.

The situation: I’m really into a niche type of rock climbing called bouldering. Bouldering is about climbing short, extremely difficult routes.

Bouldering is technically tricky. Quite often the success or failure of a bouldering attempt is dependent on temperature. Weird, I know, but climbing conditions are perfect when it’s cold outside. Like really cold. In case you weren’t aware, Australia tends to be quite hot.

Long story short -- Boulderers often like to climb at night, because it’s cold at night. When the temperature and humidity are low, you get better friction on the rock. The rock feels ‘stickier’, meaning you can pull off harder moves and more difficult routes.

And if you want to climb at night you need light. A lot of light, else you're probably going to do yourself a mischief. And this is why, for the longest time, I’ve wanted to buy a big arse industrial-style LED light. So I could venture into the wilderness after the sun sets, set up shop and climb some goddamn boulders.

This is where the Masters fire sale came in handy. Sweet, I thought to myself, maybe I can pick up a really cheap industrial light.

Wrong.

Here’s the strange thing: despite the fact that Masters is supposedly embarking upon the grandest sale ever seen, Bunnings still had a far more suitable range of work lights and – get this – was still far cheaper than Masters.

For me, and my specific situation, the Masters fire sale was sort of pointless.

The range discrepancy – you’d expect that, especially with a company in its death throes. But the prices? I at least expected to be able to pick up something decent at a slightly cheaper price. Sadly that wasn’t the case.

I ended up paying $69 for a 30 watt, foldable LED that blasts out 2300 lumens. It’s a beast.

Image: Supplied

The only comparable product available at Masters was this:

Image: Supplied

Not foldable, less lumens and somehow more expensive ($75) despite being worse, heavier and not portable at all. Masters doesn’t even have a foldable option.

So yeah, the Masters sale -- not great.

The light I ended up purchasing from Bunnings, it wasn't on special. $69 was the price before, when I started investigating this potential purchase, and $69 was the price yesterday, when I picked it up from Bunnings at 7pm.

When the Masters fire sale can't compete with regular old Bunnings prices, that might be a problem.

Your mileage may vary, but with most deals hovering around the 10 per cent off mark, you'll definitely want to shop around. Some fire sales are just smoke and mirrors.


Comments

    Surely this will be similar to the Dick Smith sale, when prices go down over time as stock disappears and time runs out. I never expected big bargains in week one.
    Not that it would have helped you in this case anyway because Masters never even stocked the item you wanted.

    Far too soon. We're still in the "sale in name only" territory. Patience....

    I picked up a new roller blind for 20% off but nothing much else grabbed my attention. I'm in the market for a new fridge and the price after discount for the model I'm looking at wasn't much better than Harvey Norman/Good Guys etc.

    I'm hoping the discounts increase the closer the end date is, otherwise I'll be heading to Graysonline or the local auctionhouse.

      For a big-ticket item like a fridge, I'd also be considering the warranty/service implications that may arise a few months down the line if it devlops a fault and the retailer ain't there anymore.
      Not there should be any issues with going direct to the manufacturer, but experience says otherwise.

        I believe that Woolworths have said they will handle any warranty issues after Masters closes it's doors.

    I heard a staff member saying all the prices were put up about a month ago, so the sale is just back to normal prices.

    So I checked my phone for a photo of a price tag from a few months ago.. $389 for a drop saw.. Today the exact same saw is $429, but you get the 10% off to make it $386.. So not on sale at all..

      I suspect that is reportable to the ACCC.

        they can argue that aus$ dropped or something like that

    Maybe try Kakadu, mountain designs, BCF or some sort of camping retailer sale

    Personally, I'm waiting till Masters hits crunch time with its price reduction, with the Buckaroo Leather Apron Belt With Frogs only being reduced $17.10 is clearly telling me they are in no rush to clear their stock.

    This belt will be perfect for working conventions like PAX Australia, Oz Comic-Con, Madman's AnimeFest, etc.

    If the ACCC has any balls (which it doesn't) they should be keeping a very close eye on Bunnings come the end of the year, With Masters, the closest thing Bunnings has to competition closing, this gives them free reign over the hardware market and are then free to jack up their prices knowing no one will match it.

    Bunnings does a similar trick. They have the well priced items online but stock a dearer equivalent in store. More margin I guess.

    Bunnings and Masters may be big stores full of products worth $$$billions but 99.9% useless in the customer service department. As a tradesman I have a wide knowledge of the hardware products and am appalled when I hear 'team members' incorrectly advising customers with products not suitable for their -customers-needs.
    Another instance of , in many cases, part-time juniors and seniors without product knowledge.

    Well folks if you were wondering how the Mount Gambier MASTERS closing down sale is going...let me tell you about it..first hand.. I got to the checkout with an arm full of ....reasonable bargains.... [and I use that term lightly] ...now,....2 items I intended to purchase were marked 50% off....... in large RED stickers........however this 50% off confused the checkout girl.. "Oh ummm..the computer doesn't recognise this 50% off.. I'll need to get a Supervisor"....... ..well 10 minutes later this bald headed chap waddles out and begins to PEEL OFF the 50% stickers..I say "errr whutcha doin mate?" ... ;(.."uh"? he says""oh Im removing the 50% stickers off these items..the computer doesn't recognise the 50% off..[and then he says..] "YOU'LL HAVE TO PAY THE FULL PRICE".....I kid you not..you could have heard a Fkn pin drop..SO!!.,.....this is where I raises my voice [a little] and gave him a carefully worded retort......."SO! Pisan... The stock you have marked as 50% off..Is actually FULL PRICE?????" ....."Oh yes" he beamed..."the computer doesn't recognise it so Im removing the 50% discount and you can pay the full price....??? [..yure kidding me..am I on hidden camera?]... sooooo!!! I says..."Here you go then [pal] you may as put the rest of these fkn BARGAINS with that there fkn BARGAIN and Ill be off...[or words close to that affect] ...AND he says!!? "Don't you want this stuff now??" [I think he was confused with my intention]....I had to get out of the MASTERS [coughcoughcoughwankerscoughcough] Sale before I actually blew my lid full tilt all over the exit area.......... Well done MASTERS of Mount Gambier...truly an inspirational moment in the history of sales...shit! Ill be back fer suuuuure!!................................... not

      ...to add an update, If you are going to complain to Consumer Affairs about Masters ripping you off, you'll need proof otherwise they can not act. If I had used my phone to video the illegal tactics being used by Masters, they would be News by now....sadly they are not unless a trend appears.

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