The price of technology products – including PC components and TVs – is set to increase in the coming months, according to South African retailers.
With Black Friday and the holiday season approaching, South Africans may have been hoping to save some money on their technology purchases.
However, the weakened value of the rand and increased demand for certain products could result in the prices of products becoming higher.
Retailers still plan to offer big price cuts across multiple products on Black Friday, but noted that the price of many items may increase in the near future.
Makro online and marketplace merchandise manager Mark Scott said that deflation can play a big part in the technology product category.
“Tech products continue to evolve and, as markets mature, deflation comes into play in many of these product categories,” Scott said.
“However, of course, given that many of these products are imported, a weaker rand will drive the cost up, but the net impact depends on the extent of product deflation and exchange rate movement.”
He added that Makro strives to optimise its procurement in an effort to offer customers better prices across all products.
“I do believe though that the customer will get more value for his money in most cases this year compared to last year, as product quality and specifications improve,” Scott said.
Wootware founder Rory Magee said potential price increases would depend on the product in question and the pace of stock movement.
“Some products containing NAND and DRAM have come down in price (in US$ terms), even as the rand has weakened,” Magee said.
“Slower-moving stock may still be available at more favourable pricing, but this would likely change as those products sell out and stocks need to be replenished.”
He added that shipping costs increase over peak season, although price increases would depend on each product.
“It does become busier and shipping rates tend to increase in peak season. Manufacturers also tend to experience more demand and this may influence production schedules, leading to delays in some instances,” Magee said.
“As it relates to pricing though, it does depend on the products in question and how the agents for the products locally handle any price changes.”
Raru director Neil Smith said the company has seen price increases at suppliers on a variety of products.
“We have already had some supplier increases come through on a wide range of products, ranging from the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch Consoles to PC accessories and more,” Smith said. “So the weakened rand influence is already very much in effect.”
He said they expect to see more price increases in the near future as the rand remains weak.
“We expect more price increases in the coming weeks and months as the rand continues to remain in the R14 to the dollar range,” Smith said.
“We do daily updates for most of our suppliers so prices vary on a daily basis, based on the pricing we receive from the supplier.”
In the case of pre-order items where the price of the product suddenly increases, Raru absorbs the price difference.
“If the pre-order price should go down, we would credit the customer with the difference,” Smith added.