Takealot’s discounts tested

Online shoppers looking to score big bargains on Takealot should carefully consider the claimed discounts shown on its deals.

South Africa’s top online retailer offers Daily Deals and regular themed sales for certain categories of products.

A big eye-catcher on these promotional offers is the percentage of claimed savings relative to the standard list price.

Numerous MyBroadband readers have previously complained that this percentage was distorted by Takealot, as other retailers offered cheaper regular prices on the same products.

However, many of the products on the online shopping platform are sold by third-party sellers on the Takealot Marketplace and not Takealot itself.

Takealot’s terms and conditions state that the list price shown on Daily Deals and other discounted goods is the recommended retail price suggested to it by the supplier of the relevant product.

“Where the supplier has not provided a recommended retail price, an estimate may be provided,” Takealot states.

In addition, where a product is offered for sale by a third-party seller, the list price may be provided by the third party seller.

To see if there were any merits to the claims of inflated discounts, MyBroadband decided to compare the list prices shown on Takealot with those of other popular retailers in South Africa.

For Takealot, we used a recent sale for TV and portable tech products.

We then compared these with the non-promotional prices of the same products available from other prominent retailers — with Game, Makro, Incredible Connection, Loot, and HiFi Corp considered.

We specifically excluded any promotional prices from these retailers.

We then calculated the actual saving on the product at Takealot’s sale price when compared to the list prices of the other retailers.

The table below illustrates what we found.

Takealot vs other retailers – List prices compared
Product Takealot list price Takealot sale price Takealot claimed saving Non-promotional retail price Actual saving
Ematic AGT 419 4K streaming box R1,599 R1,149 28% R1,299 (Makro and Incredible Connection) 12%
DStv Explora Ultra standalone R2,499 R1,999 20% R1,999 (Incredible Connection and HiFi Corp) 0%
Xiaomi Mi TV Stick R899 R699 22% R799 (Incredible Connection and Loot) 13%
WD Elements 2TB Portable Hard Drive R1,499 R999 33% R1,299 (Incredible Connection and HiFi Corp) 23%
Hisense 43-inch UHD Smart TV R6,499 R5,499 15% R5,999 (Incredible Connection) 8%
Samsung 55-inch UHD Smart TV R11,999 R9,898 17% R10,999 (Game and Incredible Connection) 10%

In most instances, the extent of the discounts was exaggerated when compared to the regular prices of the other retailers.

Despite this, Takealot’s sale prices were mostly still cheaper than its competitors, and we could not find a single one of its products for cheaper at the other retailers.

The only exception was for the DStv Explora Ultra, for which Incredible Connection and HiFi Corp’s regular prices matched Takealot’s sale price.

Takelot told MyBroadband to understand how its recommended selling price is determined, it was important to distinguish between its List Price, Normal Selling Price and the Deal Price.

  • The List Price is the recommended retail selling price suggested by the supplier of the relevant product.
  • The Normal Selling Price is the price that the product is then sold for on the site. This price varies, depending on whether a product is subject to a promotion or if newer versions of a product become available.
  • The Deal Price falls under Takealot’s promotions that are run on the site. Products on the site are subject to promotions at various times and sold at a discounted price.

Takealot shows its discounts against the list price, and not the normal selling price, which is what results in the bigger discount.

In response to MyBroadband’s analysis, Takealot said that other retailers also had the same recommended retail price (RRP) as Takealot,

For example, the Xiaomi Mi TV stick was R799 at Incredible Connection and Loot but was listed at R899 from Game, Everyshop, and HiFi Corp.

Takealot said the list price was determined by the suppliers, who would in certain instances adjust the RRP.

“In the case of the Hisense TV example, our list price was R6,499 which is the same list price as Game and HiFi Corp.”

“A few days ago we received notice of a list price adjustment for this product so you’ll notice our list price has dropped to R5,999.”

The retailer added it always strived to offer our customers the best prices it was able to, however, there will be cases when another retailer can offer the product at a lower price.

“Of course the reverse is also true in the instances when our price is lower,” Takealot stated.

Now read: Makro takes aim at Takealot

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Takealot’s discounts tested