Bargain Betty

Bargain Betty’s money savvy tips

One day sale websites


I’ve always been a bit cynical about the one-day-sale websites that have started popping up here there and everywhere. My first impression was that they were selling a lot of cheaply priced Tat that people didn’t need to buy. There’s certainly an element of people getting too excited over these sites. has more than 50,000 people who “like” it on Facebook.

I have, however, seen the other side of them. I’ve noticed that some of the sites like services (eg dental work and beauty therapy) and tourism days out at really cheap prices. I went on a Kayak Fishing expedition, which I have written about for the NZ Herald. The other customers had bought their tours from at half the face price.  If you want to do something like this it’s a great bargain.

Off to the dentist


I’m off to the dentist tomorrow morning.  I really see NZ dentists as wallet-gouging. I’m hoping my dentist (who incidentally is the Eastern European mentioned in Deborah Hill-Cone’s article, Now Lie Back and Open Your Wallet) hasn’t read my articles, because she will no doubt double the bill  If I need anything serious done I’m going to book a week in Thailand. No joke.  I’ll report back tomorrow on my experience and the pain caused to my wallet.

Friday 13 August: I didn’t actually have my appointment last week. I turned up for my appointment (I always book the first appointment of the day because I hate waiting) to find the dentist was drilling someone else’s teeth. After 20 minutes I left.  I went back today (and was the first customer), had my teeth checked and cleaned. Amazingly the bill for half an hour’s work was only $95. Not bad considering she had two members of staff working for her (receptionist and dental assistant). The Herald is writing another big rip-offs piece. Will be interesting to see what they have about dentists.

More rip-offs in New Zealand


Yesterday I wrote again about rip-offs in my NZ Herald column.  Unsurprisingly my inbox is full of comments this morning.  Usually people only bother emailing journalists to complain. 🙂 But this time it was people agreeing with me.

Rip-offs in New Zealand are big news, following an opinion piece in this newspaper by UK sports writer Peter Bills.

It’s an issue that anyone who keeps an eye on their personal finances ought to be thinking about. We do get soundly ripped off in a large number of areas.

The full text of the article is here:

This topic of rip-offs in New Zealand is really polarising people.

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:……..



The cost of dentistry in this country is appalling. I blogged a while back for the Australian Women’s Weekly (NZ version) about the possibility of having dentistry work done in Thailand.  A dentist or two responded with the sort of scare stories that you’d expect. It was interesting to see readers had actually gone and done it and saved huge amounts of money.

I’m thinking of giving it a go myself if I have time to book before I next need some dentistry.  There’s a father at my kids school, who has just launched a business sending people to Thailand for medical/dental treatment. He says, as I thought, that there is some very good medical care available in Thailand.

Andrew of Tauranga had this to say about my AWW blog: