Teacher educator and author of many teacher reference books. Amused by random ideas and loves random acts of kindness. Enjoys writing humour...seriously!Please see my Instagram: wilsonjeni
Published November 21st 2013
I might just have a sceptical nature but when I look at the advertised discounts from Chemist Warehouse and their glossy brochures (that have to be paid for by profits), and I wonder if the savings they profess are really true.
I do tend to go to this chemist, especially if I have a few things to get, but I'm often frustrated because of the time I wait in queues and the time it takes to fill prescriptions. They do you have a quicker wait in store time with a monitor system but I figure I'd probably spend more money when I was looking around while waiting. So, invariably I have to go away and come back.
Walk this way for discounts
I recently saw a sign at a nearby chemist that said 'We do prescriptions for the same price so what are you really saving?' It made me wonder.
The introduction of Chemist Warehouse Discount Chemists has obviously annoyed some of the other more long-standing chemists. When I realised how much inoculations were going to cost for the whole family I decided to get a couple of quotes. When I went to the original chemist down the road they told me that no matter what price the Chemist Warehouse offered that they would beat it.
But it's not just about price. When I go to the chemist I often have questions I need answered. I have to say that I find the service at Chemist Warehouse is unpredictable. There often seems to be a number of staff members milling around behind the counter but they doesn't seem too worried if there is a long queue waiting to be served. Acceptable wait time clearly varies.
Once when I asked about a particular moisturiser the staff member just pointed down one aisle. We obviously had different views about the satisfaction of that response. Then I asked another question about the location and she said she would come with me to have a look. Unfortunately we couldn't find the item but then I asked another staff member if she would mind looking on the computer system because I had bought this product in the store before. She found that they were meant to have one of the products, which we couldn't find. She then offered to ring other stores to locate this product and have it transferred. I hadn't asked to her to do it and I was very impressed that you tried for so long that my prescription was filled.
There's also a lady named Fiona at the Greensborough store who seems to know the ins and outs of every single vitamin in the store, the price, their ingredients, the benefits and she is incredibly helpful. I always seek her out when I have a question.
When I am paying, I often hear the checkout attendant telling people about the savings they have made. The other day I heard someone being told that they had saved $83, which seems a lot. I don't know what she bought but when it was my turn she said nothing so I asked what I saved. 'Nothing today, but maybe next time' was the reply. It made me wonder what you are really saving by shopping at Chemist Warehouse.
I know some of the scripts are the same price elsewhere so I decided to do a bit of research to check the validity of their claims.
Definately a bargain
On the front of one of their brochures they were advertising Kate Moss perfume for $16.99 saying that this was a saving of $22. A saving of over half the price of the product seemed highly unlikely to me so I had a quick look online at some discounted perfume sites and indeed the Kate Moss perfume was advertised at a discount price of $38. I thought that this might be just lucky or that this was a loss leader so I checked a couple of their other prices. Chemist Warehouse had the Justin Bieber perfume for $18.99 claiming a saving of $30. On the discounted perfume site it was $41.50. Another very good perfume saving.
I have found other products that are very inexpensive. They sell Panamax, which you can get for between .99c and $1.99 for a large box.You can also shop on-line.
You won't find it much cheaper than that
Chemist Warehouse's slogan is Stop Paying Too Much. So what are you saving by going to Chemist Warehouse? Usually not time, sometimes a few dollars, frustration? Is it worth it? Lots of people must think so because Greensborough now has two Chemist Warehouses is and they are everywhere.
I guess it depends where you go. The one in Balwyn is fantastic and they give lots of helpful advice. I can't beat Chemist Warehouse for price particularly on their twice yearly half price vitamin sale which is a good chance to buy up for the year. Also some of there prices on aftershave and perfumes are available. I also use some of their household products such as fabric softener and Finish powerballs. Again much cheaper than the local supermarket. Thanks for you in depth article Jeni. Cheers Nadine.