Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Officeworks calls the newsagency to check ink prices

Mark Fletcher
May 13th, 2014 · 5 Comments

officeworkspricecheckSomeone from the local Officeworks called my newsagency Saturday morning to price check a couple of ink cartridges. They said they had a customer there who buys ink from us and Officeworks wanted to price check because of their cheapest prices guarantee.

I was shocked when I heard the story from a team member who mentioned in passing.  I was more shocked, however, when the team  member told me they gave Officeworks our prices! They won’t do that again now they realise what happened. I have ensured we have a policy that all team members are aware of regarding price checking now.

But back to Officeworks. talk about lazy marketing. They don’t advertise the lowest prices, just that they will undercut anyone else. Our small business newsagency goes out there with genuinely competitive ink prices, generating good interest and Officeworks stands on the sidelines saying they will beat our low prices – if customers ask.

I bet most Officeworks customers do not ask to compare prices.

It is cheaper for Officeworks to spend big on general advertising of beating prices than advertising genuinely low prices. I think they do this because they think shoppers are suckers when it comes to pricing and that they will think because Officeworks advertises the price comparison they must have good prices to start with.

Officeworks is expensive for ink! I think their calling businesses like newsagencies to price compare is unethical.

This experience makes me want to work smarter and harder competing with Officeworks.


Category: Competition · Ethics · Newsagency management · Stationery

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Terry // May 13, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    Checked my laser toner prices against Office Works and low and behold they were exactly $100 dearer than our prices for the exact same toners brought from the same company (GENERIC BRAND)


  • 2 Angelo // May 13, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    I often get phone calls from customers checking for prices to compare with the local Post Office which are a pushover thanks to their inflated prices. I get that people may want to check and that some may want to test the slogan that Officeworks and Bunnings use in their marketing but it sucks.
    Most customers are genuinely surprised at our cheap prices but there will always be that customer that wants to squeeze that last saving they can out of someone. I have a local business in town that used to call up to check my prices before going and spending it elsewhere generally the $2 shop in the next town or some special in Woolies. I can do without that type of customer.


  • 3 Chris // May 14, 2014 at 8:02 AM

    I did leaflet drop using a poster similar to one you posted a few months ago. We had a sudden increase of consumable sales of 20%. Customers did not realise we were cheaper and now they are spreading the gospel. Also when I sell an ink jet I look it up on Officeworks and inform the customer that they have made significant savings. Every time I see an ad for Officeworks on TV I have a little sick in my mouth. Such lies!


  • 4 Bruce // May 14, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    Not sure if everyone is aware but there is an Officeworks app available which allows your smart phone to scan any stationary product in your store and show the Officeworks price. Obviously GNS products etc. don’t work on this but its a handy tool although I’ve found that their prices seem to vary dramatically compared to ours and many items I know they have don’t scan at all.


  • 5 Mark Fletcher // May 14, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Chris that’s great news!


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