NB: Reposted from last November

I’ve mentioned a couple of times in the past how great have found Cherrytree. Each time I’ve mentioned them, they have had several people join up. On the basis there may be more people out there who would benefit from Cherrytree, they have signed up as an advertiser on Kiwiblog. You’ll see the advertisement on the right plus below.

thought it would be useful to outline how I got into Cherrytree, and how much we spend and save on it. I was actually sceptical at first, and only went along to a promo evening because the brother of a friend worked for them in Hamilton, and she had told me about it.

Cherrytree has been operating for 21 years, and is owned by a New Zealander. By coincidence knew him as in a previous role he was an auditor in the 1990s for an charity I was the finance person for!

Basically Cherrytree is a club. You pay an annual membership fee and can then buy goods (and some services) off them. They have a whopping 2,200 brands available, and over 500,000 individual products. Everything from batteries, soap powder and toys to lounge suites. You can order all online through their website. They can deliver it to you, or you can pick it up if you live near a store (like we do).

Due to their number of members they can buy everything at wholesale price and sell it to you at the same price plus an 4% to 11% handling fee. So you pay no more than 11% more than wholesale. On average is around 36% less than in retail stores.

So anyway heard about through Anna N, and in 2011 me and my flatmate Chris went along to an introduction evening. We were both pretty skeptical, thinking it might be an Amway type pyramid scheme. After all how could they afford to sell so cheaply? But we learnt the answer is they don’t have all the overheads of a traditional retailer. No huge shops on prime real estate, no TV adverts, no brochures into every home. They just simply have catalogs and you order from them, and they order from the wholesaler.

So we did the sums. I’m not sure exactly how much membership is now, but in 2011 it was around $1,000 for the first year (can be paid in installments) and $200 each year after that. So would we spent enough to cover the $1,000? needed some new furniture for the flat so worked out that the savings on a couch and a table would cover the $1,000 by itself. So I went ahead.

Now I did think originally that it might not be a good deal when you don’t have big items to buy. But far from spending less after the big items, I now spend more and more there – to save money. If you have babies or pets, then everything you need can be ordered from there. We even purchased a garden shed. I get sodastream flavours. We get rubbish bags. Fabric for curtains. They have it large and small.

In the last year we spent around $8,000 through Cherrytree. With an average saving of 36% that is around $2,900 we’ve saved in 12 months, which dwarfs the $200 annual fee.

Also Cherrytree membership can get you discounts at other places. We get 10% off at Placemakers when buying timber and a framing shop also gives us a discount which has saved us a few hundred dollars. There are discounts available for insurance companies, alarm monitoring, petrol etc.

The trick with saving money is to be disciplined. Rather than buy all over the place, we always go and check out the Cherrytree website and buy it there if we can. Sometimes we’ll see stuff advertised elsewhere, and rather than buy it from the advertiser, we order it from Cherrytree. Often we’ll check their website on our mobile to see if they have the item we are after. If so, we order through them. If not, we buy it from a retailer.

So as I said, very pleased to have Cherrytree become an advertiser at Kiwiblog. If others think they can save money through it, then just click on the advertisement.

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