Bargain Betty

Bargain Betty’s money savvy tips

Online shopping


Bargain Betty has been a bit slack at posting lately.  Sorry!

But I’ve been thinking about online shopping, since I was introduced to by my friends David and Simon.  I’ve just ordered a number of items including a new battery and charger for my Nikon Coolpix camera, and an ultrafire torch as the old technology one I have is hopeless when we’re camping.

Some of my favourite international retailers include Eddie Bauer and I love the La Redoute website for French fashion and for its remarkably reasonable shipping costs. The great thing about buying from northern hemisphere clothes retailers is that our seasons are different and we can take advantage of their end-of-season sales.

But it’s not just clothing you can buy. Virtually anything small and light could be shipped to New Zealand. For example Fusion Beads, an American bead shop, ships here — if you’re into that sort of thing. And just check out the range of doggie clothes at Little Pampered Pets. As well as individual retailers, it’s possible to buy all manner of stuff via eBay.

My latest

Here are some other shops that ship to New Zealand:

Shops that ship to New Zealand

The thing about blogs is that they should be interactive, so please post and list your own favourite overseas retailers who ship to New Zealand.




DVD rental shops seem to be living much longer than the digerati predicted.  You’d think they’d be dead by now thanks to Sky movies, iPods and illegal downloads.

My friend Pip pointed out in another posting that she loves to sit down with a glass of wine and a DVD on the weekends.  I emailed back to check that she does get them out on $1 night.

Tuesday night is “video” night in our house.  We go down to Civic Video to get a $1 DVD out each. We’ve been doing this ever since I cancelled the Sky subscription and bought a Freeview box.  It’s really nice to have a good movie to watch on the weekends.  To get even better value out of my $1 DVDs, I often pass good ones over the road to my neighbour, who watches them before returning them.

Even if you can’t get to Civic Video on Tuesdays (or whatever day the half price day is in your area), there are some pretty useful discount vouchers on  The five weeklies for $5 is a good deal – albeit slightly more than the $3 a week we usually spend on DVDs.

I do love the idea of belonging to a postal DVD hire service such as  But I can’t justify the cost.

New Zealand: 100 per cent pure rip-off


This morning’s NZ Herald has an interesting article about New Zealand being 100 per cent pure rip-off by international journlist Peter Bills.  It reminds me of an article I wrote on my return to New Zealand after 12 years away:

Godzone: where ripoffs rule – Personal Finance – NZ Herald News

Most of the things I said in that article five years ago still stand:

Life is perfect and sweet in good old Godzone. People are friendly and rip-offs are non-existent. Never mind the tourist literature, this is the New Zealand I viewed through rose-tinted glasses during my extended OE.

In the UK, meanwhile, where consumers believe they’re hard done by, the slogan “Rip Off Britain” scream the newspaper headlines. The phrase is so embedded in the UK psyche that when I searched Google I found it mentioned 11,600 times.

But a year back in New Zealand and I’ve come to the conclusion that British consumers aren’t hard done by. Looking at my own spending patterns, it’s easy to collate a “dirty dozen” where Kiwis just don’t get a fair deal……

Last year I updated these thoughts following a huge amount of feedback to my weekly MSN article:

More of New Zealand’s biggest rip-offs

If ever something gets Kiwis foaming at the mouth, it’s rip-offs. Looking back at all the blog posts I have written in the past year, “Rip-offs rule in New Zealand” got more response than any other.

Over the past few months I’ve thought of more rip-offs that bug me personally and 200 comments from MSN NZ Money readers have opened my eyes to others.

Here are some rip-offs that rile me:……..

Musing on the cost of books


Bargain Betty’s attitude is:

  • Never buy new books
  • Get them out of the library in the first instance
  • Buy secondhand if you have to.

Betty accidentally broke her rule this morning and ordered the book You’re Broke Because You Want To Be from Amazon without first checking that it was available in the local library. It turns out it is.  That was silly. Fortunately Amazon has an option for canceling. So I did that and ordered the book through the library.

I’m only buying the book because I need to write an article about the concept of being broke because you want to be.  Apparently it’s a great in-your-face book.

Buying through Amazon got me thinking. I only buy books if I want to write about them and can’t get them from the library. My first port of call is Trade Me.  If this fails I then look at Amazon as it’s usually cheaper than going to Whitcoulls and has the types of obscure overseas books that I would be looking for anyway.

The only other time that I buy a book new is if I’ve had it out from the library and completely fallen in love with it. This only happens extremely rarely. But I am looking out for a copy of Hungry Planet What the World Eats, for exactly this reason.,

This time, before canceling the order, I decided to buy a second-hand copy at US$3.99 (plus heaps of postage). It seemed like a much better deal than buying it new……I do worry that obscure overseas sellers might not want to post to New Zealand and the book would never turn up. I’m probably letting my mind run away with itself on this one. Like Trade Me sellers, Amazon sellers probably don’t want to get a bad reputation.