Chemist Warehouse Specials Pricing - Buyer Beware

While it's certainly possible to get a good buy from Chemist Warehouse you do need to check the pricing with competitors as they often do a "Kathmandu" ie. propose a RRP price that while legitimate you'd be silly to pay that price for the few days it's there rather than at a cheaper price from one of their sales (or from a competitors sale).

Here's an example: Cenovis Sugarless C 500mg - Chewable Vitamin C - 300 Tablets
At Chemist Warehouse it's currently on half-price sale $12.99, $13.00 Off RRP ("Don't Pay RRP: $25.99")
At Woolworths it's on special this week for $12.60 Was $15.00
At Coles it's regular price for $15.00

So despite the Chemist Warehouse half price sale it's actually cheaper to get it from Woolworths where you are saving $2.40 (rather than the claimed $13.00 off at CW). Also the current CW sale ends today (26/9) and the next sale starts 30/9 $15.49 40% off EDLP (Everyday Low Price) but that's more than the normal price in the supermarkets. Lol

Similarly they are selling Microgenics Vitamin K2 180mcg 30 Capsules $7.49, $7.50 Off EDLP . Next week $9.74 (40% of EDLP). So for 3 days the EDLP will exist to make it legal.

Thei fine print says: "The RRP against which any savings comparisons we make to the listed sale price for products displayed on this website is: the supplier's recommended retail price for the product, provided that this is a price at or above which at least 5% of Australian Pharmacy Transactions~ have occurred for that product within the previous 2 months; or if at least 5% of Australian Pharmacy Transactions~ for that product in the previous two months did not occur at or above the supplier's recommended retail price, the RRP will be the price at or above which at least 5% of Australian Pharmacy Transactions~ occurred within the last 2 months."

TLDR: Chemist Warehouse is legal but clever with marketing around their prices. Always check with competitor normal pricing and sales even when CW is 50% off otherwise you won't be getting a bargain at all.

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Chemist Warehouse
Chemist Warehouse


  • +5


  • +2


  • +1


  • they've been slow af as of late

    • Yeah, don't order anything from CWH for delivery that you actually need right now. Order sat for a full week before any sign of life. Add the slow postage and you are looking at almost a month.

  • +16

    Isn't this just Do your own research 101? Just because s retailer says their price is good, doesn't mean it is. CWH signage says "is this Australia's Cheapest Chemist" with the "is this" in a very small font. Even they know they can't claim to be the cheapest.

    • +2

      wow i legit have never noticed the 'is this' but knew from the get got the claim as perceived was in no way legit.
      Its like the 3 carvery's within 500m of my office that all claim to have 'brisbane's best burger'

      well mate, you cant' all have the best burger in brisbane

      • you cant' all have the best burger in brisbane

        They can. Being the best, especially with something like food, is very subjective.

    • +1

      Isn't this just Do your own research 101?

      Well there goes the need for anyone to use OzBargain! They can just do their own research.

  • +9

    It's not what you save, it's what you spend that matters

  • You seem annoyed that retailers marketing is implying that you getting a good deal when your not, but not realising the manufacturers marketing is implying that the product will give you a health benefit, when it won’t, unless you have a deficiency. Spend your money on vegetables instead.

    • Who says I I'm not aware of the shonky product claims? Shonky marketing claims for products and how the rules let them get away with it can fill plenty of other online posts.

      Some people do have legitimate medical reasons for needing to buy something from a chemist. Doctors do recommend specific supplements at times to patients. eg. Calcium for osteoporosis. Not everyone is just buying supplements based on marketing claims.

      • Not to mention that if it claims that it treats something, they'd better be able to back it up because they're up for huge lawsuits if there are no studies that show it does. Not sure how exactly this law is enforced in terms on how the studies are conducted but my understanding is they can't really come up with some shonky study to bypass it.

        However, they can come up with some shonky wording to bypass it. Check any homeopathic product and you'll see.

  • +1

    Best price for Cenovis Sugarless C 500g 300 tablets is actually $7. According to Camel it's back in June. I bought some around early July to stock up.

  • +1

    At Coles it's regular price for $15.00

    And Cenovis have probably told them also that the RRP is $25.99 but they choose to sell it at $15 everyday to remain competitive.

    The recommended in RRP is simply that. A recommendation.

    CW, as a business strategy and model, choose to expose the manufacturer RRP in an attempt to look cheap. It's business marketing 101.

    Member Since

    I'm saddened to hear you have only discovered this just now.

    • -3

      But the OP wants the retailer to research all the prices and post something like.

      Save 10% on Woolies prices, 6.76% on Coles prices, 4.8956% on Priceline, and then update this regularly should one of these and others change their price. Obviously within 10 minutes of said change.

      And add factors like what extra is paid for shipping, and what the real cost is if you are a member of each retailers rewards schemes, using which prepaid cards, afterpay options, and factoring in time to arrive costs

    • I'm saddened to hear you have only discovered this just now.

      @MS Paint, I didn't discover this just now but thanks for sarcastic dig. Just because you're aware doesn't mean others are.
      If it the post doesn't help you, ignore it. It might help others otherwise I wouldn't have bothered.

  • +1

    It's a bit like underquoting in real estate. One person does it and everyone else copies it to not lose out. This 50% off RRP sales is across the whole industry now

    • Username checks out with authority

    • The supermarkets don't but many would think Chemist Warehouse is cheaper due to their marketing. If it didn't work they wouldn't have gotten their market dominance.

  • -1

    I guess it is the Gerry H attitude: Being a little boy playing dumb with a smile on its face….

    I used to get all medicine there but now I hate even entering their store.

  • My motto when going to buy any items at any Retail store is: Do your research/price lookup before going to buy any items.
    find it cheaper somewhere else get them to price match and beat it.

    I've had them price match Woolworths, Coles, Amcal and Priceline before…

    "At Chemist Warehouse if you find a cheaper price on the same item at another Australian Registered Pharmacy or Australian Registered Retailer we will match it and give you 10% off the difference.

    The price matching policy is limited to the retail limit applicable or a maximum quantity of three of each product.

    In Store:
    If you would like to price match in store, please bring a catalogue from the other retailer containing valid proof of their price. The discount will take place during the time you purchase the product in store and our staff may choose to contact the competitor to verify their price before granting the price match.

    If you would like to price match online, please send us a direct link of the product on the competitors’ website it is being advertised on and your order number. Please note we require notification of your price match request within 24 hours of placing an order with us.

    You will need to pay for your order in full, however after your price match has been approved you will receive a refund for the matched price.

    Unfortunately, we are unable to process a price match for purchases made through the Click and Collect service.

    Our price matching policy excludes international orders and offers that are exclusively online. This policy cannot be applied to products at the other company if they are:
    - out of stock
    - short dated
    - on clearance or discontinued
    - A part of a promotional offer e.g. buy one get one free
    - Purchases made through Click and Collect
    Chemist Warehouse reserves the right to deny any price matching claims if they do not meet the above criteria."

  • +2

    My last two "Lowest Price Guarantee" emails have been ignored, have followed up with them and they haven't bothered processing the refunds. Not the cheapest chemist by far.

  • Also not that CW have the worst returns policy than most stores.

    We brought the wrong off the shelf medication and we told we couldn't change it after going home from the store. As it was listed as a consumable product. so not only are you not getting the best price, but you're got no aftersale support.

    Goods on which a change of mind return is not available
    Chemist Warehouse will not accept the return of items from the following categories under the change of mind returns policy under any circumstances:

    Medicines (Prescribed or Over The Counter)
    Baby Formula
    Vitamin Supplements
    Consumable Products

    • +4

      To be fair, that seems pretty fair.

  • When I sold tyres the only time we used RRP was when working out a defect claim.

    When I worked at Qantas I goy 90% off RRP for flights. Cheap flights but they were standby tickets and sometimes you didn't fly.

    Mum & Dad got 50% off RRP for standby tickets and it was usually just a few dollars more for them to buy a confirmed seat through a travel agent.

    RRP means almost nothing in terms of discounts.