When we first received news of a possible sitewide discount promo happening at Chain Reaction Cycles (CRC), we were generally excited at the prospect. Their ultra competitive pricing has left many local and international cycling retailers struggling to keep up in recent years. As soon as the official announcement was made that a 10% off vouchervalid on all purchases was now live, we eagerly headed to CRC's site to fish out the best bargains. However, it didn't take very long for the excitement to fade once we realised it carried certain disadvantages for Australian consumers.
We immediately picked up on the fact that the minimum spend before you could use the voucher was $225. Compare that to the same 10% off sitewide voucher in the UK, who's minimum spend was a mere £90 (or approximately AUD$155) and the unfairness began to reveal itself. So on this side of the pond we're effectively being asked to pay $75 more upfront before being allowed to get the 10% off.
Even when we tried browsing to CRC's UK site, as soon as we entered an Australian shipping address it automatically upped the minimum spend limit back to $225. So it doesn't look like there's any way around this. This isn't particularly great for Australian consumers, especially when you consider that we also have to bare the brunt of higher shipping costs for larger items which UK shoppers get for free. For example, a fixed bike carries a hefty delivery charge of $199 to Oz.
There's a high degree of competition going on between Wiggle and CRC, but to our knowledge Wiggle have yet to issue an offer with this kind of disparity between territories. It's also worth mentioning that their shipping costs on fixed bikes is lower than CRC's by roughly $45 as well. But going back to the point of disparity, if CRC continue with these sorts of promos with different conditions based on where you live, then it probably makes more sense to switch to the fairer distributor.
All that said though, there may still be plenty of value in this 10% off promo. At the end of the day, there are going to be many products listed up on CRC's online store that can't be price-beaten anywhere else. So being able to deduct a further 10% means there's a high probability of you finding a bargain without having to struggle too much to reach the $225 threshold on order sizes.
I've already posted a deal yesterday, straight after the announcement of the voucher code, where you can get yourself a Colnago CLX 3.0 Ultegra 2013 road bike (48cm, grey-white, 700c) for $3463.38 - including shipping. The saving you get with the code is 362.60. The exact same bike at Wiggle will set you back $3,875.40 to have it delivered to your front door, despite their lower shipping charges. The 10% off voucher is valid until Wednesday 20 November, 2pm.