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15 November 2023

Black Friday tips – top price doesn't always mean top performance

Our independent product testing consistently finds that the products that cost the most don't necessarily perform the best.

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As large shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, we are reminding New Zealanders to do some research before splurging this silly season.

“We know many shoppers wait for the Black Friday or Boxing Day sales to make a big-ticket purchase,” said Paul Smith, Consumer NZ head of test.

"Just because a product has a high retail price, don't assume it's the best product on the shelf.”

We tests hundreds of products each year. If a product excels during the independent testing and analysis, it earns a ‘Consumer Recommends’ tick.

“If we recommend a product, it means we are confident it works better than its peers.”


As the weather warms up, thoughts turn to cleaning the outside of a property.

“The priciest waterblaster we tested, made by Makita and costing over $1,400, was one of the worst. We found it pretty heavy and awkward to move around,” said Smith.


One of the priciest appliances we've ever tested is a Miele fridge that cost over $20,000.

“While this ultra-pricey appliance looks flash, it didn't perform spectacularly well in our test.”

Our top-rated fridge costs less than $1,250.

Espresso machines

One of the more expensive espresso machines tested by our experts performed so badly it earned the “Don't Buy” badge.

“The Saeco Royal OTC SUP060 costs over $2,600 and produces a poor tasting brew.

“Even cheap options from The Warehouse and Kmart outperformed the Saeco model we tested.”


We tested 55 televisions, including 19 Samsung models.

“One of the highest rated Samsung TVs we tested was also the cheapest Samsung we tested. A 32-inch model costing under $500 got a special recommendation for being the best performer under 40 inches.

“On the other hand, a Samsung TV that cost over $4,600 was one of the worst performing TVs over 60 inches.”

Our advice

“At this time of year there is a lot of promotional pricing and persuasive marketing flying around which can make people feel pressured to make a purchase. With that in mind we want people to learn from our product test findings – top price doesn’t always mean top quality,” said Smith.

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