Queenslanders bizarre Buy Now Pay Later items
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.
Point Vernon topped the list of suburbs where the most money had been splashed, followed by Kawungan, Torquay, Walligan, South Mackay, North Mackay, Beaconsfield, Gladstone, Kearneys Spring and Harristown.
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.
Connor Wallace and her partner used Buy Now, Pay Later, to purchase "big ticket items" like furniture when they relocated from Townsville to Brisbane earlier this year.
Ms Wallace said using it as a payment method meant they could "plan their money a little better".
She said while paying these items off, her monthly payments to BNPL providers was about $700 a month.
Despite the hefty payments, she didn't feel a financial pinch. She said almost always made sure she could manage the payments before making the purchases.
"Whenever we make a big purchase and pay through BNPL, we make sure we have money in savings so we can cover the payment if anything unexpected happens," she said.
She had also used BNPL to pay utility bills after her partner lost his job as a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns.
"It made it a little bit easier during the time, because I knew there was money there if I needed it," she said.
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 make repayments 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 Queenslanders bizarre Buy Now Pay Later items