Cooktop and Oven

Our new appliances
[A bit premature since we don’t actually have them yet, but Emily wants to know what we got. So here’s the story…]

We’ve been planning to get a new cooktop and oven for a while not, but we didn’t actually mean to buy them last weekend. We went to a birthday lunch in Chatswood on Sunday and thought we’d do some window shopping while we were there. We went into the Harvey Norman in Chatswood Chase and ended up spending a while talking to the guy about
cooktops and ovens. We walked out of there pretty convinced that the Blanco 3-zone induction cooktop was our favorite and the Ariston OpenSpace 99 was our Dream Oven. (You can divide it and cook two things at separate temperatures! The top bit can hit 200C in, like, four minutes! It’s the biggest volume inside you can get without going wider/taller!) We did some googling and Internet research Sunday night. The prices at HN were pretty high, so we weren’t really thinking of buying from them. (They quoted us $1999 RRP for the Blanco, but Appliances Online had it for $1699, for example.)Monday was a public holiday, so we thought we’d go over to Alexandria as Prestige Appliances are meant to have a showroom there. They have some very different brands listed on their site and we wanted to have a look. Turns out their showroom isn’t open yet though. So we decided to check the Harvey Norman there to see if they had the Ariston oven installed. (The Chatswood store didn’t actually have one on display yet.) Turns out they did. While we were playing with it, a salesman came over and we started talking. Half an hour later, he’d done us a deal. The Alexandria store had the Blanco listed at $1697, and he knocked a bit more off since we were getting the combo. He also knocked a fair bit off the oven, and threw in free delivery and an extra bit off for cash. We felt pretty good about it, so we went for it. Put down a deposit with the rest to be paid upon delivery in 5-7 business days.

Lessons learned:

  • The location of a retail shop makes a huge difference to the prices they post. The Harvey Norman in Chatswood Chase is in a big upscale shopping mall, and all the prices they showed were a couple hundred dollars more than what we saw at Alexandria. The salesman in Alexandria told us that his store has to compete with Winnings and the Good Guys, so they have more of an incentive to show lower prices.
  • Know what you should be paying and don’t be afraid to tell the salesman what alternatives you’re considering. (I showed him a Samsung oven on Prestige’s site that was $1000 less, but he was also to prove to us that it’s a discontinued model of lesser quality.)
  • Be prepared to haggle. I even pulled out the “Can you do any better if we pay cash?” line.
  • Don’t assume that online is always cheaper. I was really surprised that HN matched Appliances Online’s price (and that was before he gave us our package discount). I also feel better about having a bricks-and-mortar to ring up if we ever have any problems.

We were both really happy with the service at Harvey Norman Alexandria. Arthur the salesman was great, even advising us against an extended warranty rather than going for the hard sell. They also had a “home economist” in the showroom who offered to let us demo the cooktop. (We told her we’d already tried it out.) All in all, we’re really happy. I can’t wait to get them installed!


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  1. Good to know about Hardly Normal in Alexandria. It’s been over a year since I’ve had a microwave, mainly due to sheer inertia, and the Broadway one is a bit skimpy on selection.

  2. Be quick. I think it’s probably an end of financial year sale.

  3. Kris – thanks for the info! Glad to see you are going to be able to have the induction hob.

    Think we’re going for this one (But JL should match other prices). I think this is the equiv of your oven (Hotpoint here) – on our list!

    No ordering now for us though – need a building first, and to see what dosh we have left.

  4. Yep, that’s the same oven! Rodd said the guy did tell him they were badged as “Hotpoint” in Europe. The feature list is a little weird, because it seems to be halfway between the two models we have here. It’s got the divider thingo, but not the pyrolytic function. Also, Rodd is seriously jealous at the price there. That’s way, way cheaper than we got it in Australia. I guess that’s the advantage of being closer to Europe for this stuff!

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