Harvey Norman fends off Microsoft price gouging accusations

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Harvey Norman fends off Microsoft price gouging accusations
Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse

Harvey Norman has denied price-gouging, after its price of a Microsoft mouse caused a stir on social media.

A Reddit post showed that up until Friday, Harvey Norman was selling the Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse for $68, compared to $20 at Officeworks.

Rival electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi also sells the same mouse for $49. Seventeen hours after the thread was posted and received over 1000 up-votes, Harvey Norman changed the price to $48, just $1 less than JB Hi-Fi.

"Their prices are obscene when you compare to JB Hi Fi, Good Guys, AppliancesOnline or pretty much any other electronics retailer I can think of. That's local mobs too, not international GST-exempt businesses," complained Reddit commenter Carn_The_Pies. 

Harvey Norman's price at 11:30am 19 February

Harvey Norman's price at 11:34am 19 February

Microsoft advertises the product with a recommended retail price of $59.95.

After the price change, a Harvey Norman spokesperson told CRN: “We have now [received an] updated price from suppliers. Others may be clearing at reduced price but we will continue to range this product.”

The spokesperson added that Harvey Norman had not received the “the price drop". 

"As soon as we were made aware we immediately contacted the supplier and got the updated info. Pricing changed immediately.”

Harvey Norman's Microsoft distributor was contacted but had not responded at the time of writing.

One Reddit user said Officeworks may have been loss-leading to offer the mouse at such a low price, while another commenter essentialvitaminc said: "I guess not everyone is 'net savvy' and knows to shop around for the best prices. Don't want to generalise, but I think a lot of older people would be in this category and would shop at places like HN when they need something. I think that would contribute to a huge part of their business."

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