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.
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.
The only comparable product available at Masters was this:
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.