Close up of kitchen blender components.
Research report
18 March 2021

Kmart blender: built to fail?

The most likely next stop for this cheap Kmart blender: landfill. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

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Heather R.
10 May 2021
e waste is a real issue

We run a small internet company, (Netspeed), servicing rural communities. We issue return courier labels with every replacement piece of equipment to get the broken one back. Often they can be refurbished and reused. We sell them at reduced cost to help those who cannot afford the latest technology

When we can't refurb, we take delivery to the e waste centre locally and pay to have them recycled. This is not a cheap exercise, we pay to courier them to us, we invest time in refurbishment, and we pay to dispose. If a small company can do this, surely larger ones can to.

Timi U.
27 Mar 2021
It's impossible for a consumer to know how long a product will last.

Even if you pay more for a product there is no guarantee it will last a long time or that the company will continue to stock spare parts for it. Most companies will overhaul their models yearly or every couple of years. A blender that was reviewed highly by consumer may no longer be available and we have no way of knowing if the newer model is as good.

So even if a model is solid and will last you five years before a breakdown what happens if after five years the model isn't made anymore, there are no parts for it, and is no longer supported by anybody?

Monty A.
27 Mar 2021
Straight to the the Tip with my Anko blender

I bought the Anko $60 dollar blender thinking what an incredible bargain, for a digital blender, with lots of accessories! After only several uses it crapped out. More than being annoyed that it was not working I was thinking how it was a massive waste on the planet and that all this plastic and metal was going to be dumped straight into a big hole in our earth. "Built to last" is a very good slogan that should be a consumer catch phrase that we all should know and stand by.

Sarah W.
27 Mar 2021
Unreasonable cost of spares

I was interested to read about the performance of your Anko blender. Over the years I have had kitchen appliances from most of the major, Consumer NZ Trusted brands but now almost all have been replaced with a Kmart/Anko equivalent (espresso machine, toaster, kettle, slow cooker and food processor). None has failed and all get daily use. Many were purchased following Consumer NZ reports and recommendations. The reason for the change is that ALL the other companies (Breville, Kenwood, Russell Hobbs and Sunbeam) could supply replacement parts or spares but the cost was prohibitive and well above the value of the appliance.
Yes, ideally we would like to repair and recycle but not everyone can afford, for example, nearly $200 for a new plastic lid for a ($300) Kenwood food processor, for example. The lid for the food processor, incidentally, cracked after 13 months and although we asked for it to be replaced under guarantee or at least on the basis not having lasted as long as a machine of this value could have been expected to last, but were refused.
I think the tenor of your review is unworthy of you and devalues the faith we have in your work. You haven't given full consideration to the situation regarding spares at the current time. As Kmart have said, they are working towards the circular economy and your criticisms would be better directed at the 'Big Boys' who virtue-signal by offering spares and repairs but keep very quiet about the extortionate cost, putting them either out of reach altogether or an unwise investment in what is, by definition, a machine on its last legs.

Shayne M.
27 Mar 2021
Legal requirement to carry spares

I thought there was a legal requirement for companies to cover spares for a reasonable period. So if your blender failed after 18 months it would be reasonable to insist that K-mark provide the spare parts. if they then elect to replace the whole unit then all well-and-good. Also I am not sure they can contract out of this requirement. Consumer - please advise on both points.

Frank - Consumer staff
31 Mar 2021
Re: Legal requirement to carry spares

Hi Shayne,

If the blender from Kmart had a 12 month warranty, and you took it back with your receipt at 19 months, then Kmart might say that as the warranty has expired, Kmart won’t help. You would have to raise the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) with Kmart and ask for it to be assessed. Kmart cannot contract out of the CGA. Kmart could choose to repair, replace or refund the blender, assuming you haven’t caused the fault. The issue here is that it would probably be replaced, rather than repaired, adding to the landfill problem.

Kind regards,
Maggie - Consumer NZ adviser

Simonne M.
27 Mar 2021
Yes to Product Stewardship Schemes

Manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of cheap junk products need to be faced with the full costs of disposal of their products and waste products from their manufacture. This will deter them from providing cheap non-sustainable junk.
Currently they are not paying what it truly costs, with the end user and tax/rate payers picking up the tab.

Roger Cole.
27 Mar 2021
This is why we subscribe to Consumer

The article is exactly what Consumer should be doing - pointing out the down side of low priced product. To ask Consumer to "actually do some work to justify the subscriptions we are paying you" is unfair and arrogant - and suggests that the writer does not bother to read the multitude of articles ranking product and providing very useful information for members seeking to purchase such items. We have been members for over 40 years and have no complaints. If Dwayne B feels the subscription is not justified there is a very simple solution - but perhaps he cannot see it for the red mist in his eyes.

Dwayne B.
24 Mar 2021
Condescending.

Attacking Kmart for offering low-priced items to people who can't afford anything better is a cheap-shot and shows again how out-of-touch and arrogant you people really are.

Instead of going for the low-hanging fruit, why don't you actually do some work to justify the subscriptions we are paying you?

Go after large, evil, and powerful corporations like Apple, who charge an arm and a leg and still try to avoid reasonable warranty repairs.

J S.
25 Mar 2021
Great Article And Very Thought Provoking

I completely agree that Kmart and other manufacturers should take more responsibility to have their products more repairable. As for the other commenter taking exception about this article - you entirely miss the point. This isn't about being elitist, it's about sustainability and how affordable it would be for Kmart to be more sustainable with improving the repairability of their products.

Kate W.
27 Mar 2021
Makes sense

With setting up a house recently quite a few ANKO items have been purchased- only if Consumer has recommended them- and there are many ANKO items that DO make the grade. Good to know when one is not performing so thank you for pointing that out. I definitely prefer one that will last longer. It's not just the price of the item over time- it's the time and energy to take items in for repair, replace new ones. And Dwayne B- isn't this precisely what we're paying our subscription for? Pointing out the duds and figuring out the best options. I didn't understand your stance at all. And by the way- Kmart is not low hanging fruit- they may not be the size of Apple but they are definitely a large corporation that should be taken to task if providing a substandard product.