Feeds

UK retailers say gadgets will be cheaper on Monday

Just not by much

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

If you thought retail giants were all just money grabbing b***s, then Monday’s VAT reduction could just prove you wrong. Because Register Hardware’s found that most will – contrary to popular belief - pass the 2.5 per cent saving on to you. But the discounts won’t amount to much.

Think of it like this, when the government cut interest rates earlier this month, did the banks immediately pass the saving onto Joe Homeowner? No, the difference went into their respective coffers.

It would be easy for stores simply to raise product prices by 2.5 per cent, send the correct amount of VAT to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and not change a single price tag.

Come Monday, though, if a store’s gadget prices haven’t dropped slightly then you’ll know something’s up. However, all of the retailers we spoke to shirked off such an outlandish claim.

“We want our customers to fully benefit from this reduction,” an O2 spokeswoman said. “O2 does not benefit from the reduction in VAT rate.”

But there’s only a paltry £8.75 saving to be had on the 8GB pay-as-you-go iPhone 3G, which currently costs £350 ($535/€421) through O2.

Phones 4 U made the same promise as O2. “We will be passing on the savings to our customers, who will be able to take advantage of the full price cut on all our products,” said a spokesman for the company.

However, you’ll only save £1.25 if you wait until Monday to buy a £50 ($76/€60) Jabra BT530 Bluetooth headset from the retailer.

High Street giant DSGi also told us that it’ll pass the cut down to customers, and it’s already done so. But don’t go thinking you’ll save bucket loads on a large screen LCD at Currys, because the saving on £3000 ($4593/€3610) 52in LG TV is actually only £75.

Several online retailers, including Amazon, also introduced cut-rate VAT offers ahead of the government’s official Monday deadline. Web-based PC parts firm Overclockers, for example, will already give you the saving, but on a £235 ($360/€282) Asus P6T Deluxe Intel X58-based motherboard it only amounts to £5.87 – hardly worth it, is it?

So the message seems to be that, yes, you will save a little if you keep your wallet closed until Monday, 1 December. But the real savings only come through spending lots, and if you’re spending lots then you’re probably too rich to care about the cut.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Sporty in all but name: Peugeot 308 e-THP 110
Car of the Year? Arguably. Engine of the Year? Indubitably
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.