Bizarre items NSW residents have purchased
Exclusive: The suburbs with the state's biggest Buy Now, Pay Later addiction can be revealed, along with their quirky COVID-19 lockdown spending habits.
Exclusive data from online store Payday Deals shows shoppers in the state spent an average almost $326 per order from April to August - on everything from artificial Christmas trees to female mannequin displays.
Macquarie Fields residents forked out the most, followed by those in Campbelltown, Blacktown, Saint Helens Park, Oran Park, Spring Farm, Dubbo, Wallsen, Elermore Vale, and Maryland.
More than half of consumers on the site paid for their orders using Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL).
The payment deferral figures have raised questions as to whether households are breaking their budgets, and sparked a warning to avoid BNPL as much as possible.
Over the five months, popular purchases included living room furniture, such as chairs and coffee tables, mattresses, outdoor furniture sets, aroma diffusers and humidifiers, office furniture, camping equipment, gardening tools, home decor, petware, and baby and children's items.
Australians were buying up oddball items, too. The e-store said trending products included artificial Christmas trees, female mannequin displays, metal detectors, portable toilets for camping, a solar electric fence, and even portable pet stairs and chicken coops.
Ebby Carson said it was the convenience of Buy Now, Pay Later that kept her coming back for more.
The Sydneysider said she used the providers to buy stock for her business and "special items" for her family, and would often make about $600 in repayments each month.
"It's like lay-buy like we used to do in the '80s and '90s, but you get to have the item immediately," Ms Carson said.
Ms Carson said she had spent more time browsing stores online as there was less to do during tightened coronavirus restriction, and boredom was "definitely part of the reason" she had purchased more.
Ms Carson said she didn't use BNPL for "everyday purchases", but would turn to it when spending a few hundred dollars.
She said it was important to monitor your BNPL use as you could find yourself having to make multiple repayments at the same time in the weeks after your purchase.
Payday Deals founder Rojie Tadros said the large number of orders processed through BNPL providers indicated shoppers were breaking their budgets.
"Over 58 per cent of orders during this time were paid for through buy now pay later methods which could suggest this spike in orders is actually shoppers spending beyond their budgets," Mr Tadros said.
"In comparison to the same time last year, we're seeing more and more customers opt to use buy now pay later methods at checkout and we don't expect this trend to slow down anytime soon."
He said there had been many sales of "unexpected items" including artificial Christmas trees, metal detectors, and portable camping bathroom setups.
"Whether this was a result of boredom or some serious new hobbies, only shoppers will know exactly why they clicked add to cart," he said.
National Debt Helpline spokeswoman Maura Angle said she it was "worrying" that so many orders had been made using BNPL providers.
"These methods seem convenient but the problem is, if you don't pay on time, you'll incur late fees and these can soon add up; it can be hard to keep track of payments - particularly if you have more than one - and it's easy to buy more than you can afford."
"Our advice is to be very careful when using BNPL. Ask yourself before you buy if you can really afford it. Don't use a credit card to make your repayments and keep track of what you owe, especially if you have more than one account."
The data comes after the Worldpay from FIS 2020 Global Payments Report found nearly one in ten Australians used a buy now, pay later product such as Afterpay.
BNPL products are expected to double market share with more than four million Australians tipped to use the service by 2023.
Worldpay from FIS's General Manager of Global eCommerce, APAC Phil Pomford told News Corp COVID has transformed the way consumers shop.
"With many Australians still working from home, consumers have taken to online and digital shopping experiences in their droves," he said.
"This in turn is turbo charging e-commerce, projected to be worth $US47bn ($A64 billion) by 2023."
Originally published as Sydneysiders' bizarre Buy Now Pay Later items