$24 Tim Tams prove shopping at the airport is a terrible idea
Such a lot of cost for such a little biscuit.
At Sydney's international airport on Saturday, I saw the display pictured above. "Super savings," it proclaimed. "Tim Tams 4 for $24". Even if you're dangerously maths-phobic, you can probably calculate that works out at $6 per packet of Tim Tams. And if you've been in a supermarket recently, you'll know that's overcharging on a massive scale.
At full price, Tim Tams go for around $4. But there are regular specials and sales, so you can pick up a packet for around $2 without too much drama. Paying $6 a packet seems ludicrous. That's not super savings; that's just super-shady. No-one should be paying that much for a packet of biscuits, not even if it's a rare and discontinued Shapes flavour.
Yes, I understand that stores within Sydney Airport pay an absolute fortune for rent, especially since the airport infrastructure was privatised. And yes, I get that there's a premium you pay for convenience, and that you could quite easily pay $5 or more in a 24-hour convenience store.
Despite that, it makes no sense to me that you'll be hanging around the airport and realise "Right, what Aunt Shirley in Wisconsin really needs is a few strangely-flavoured Tim Tams." If you're capable of organising an international airline ticket, you're capable of going to your local supermarket the day before you fly. Not only will that save you money, you'll also be able to pack them in a solid suitcase and reduce the risk of their being smashed to smithereens. That's rather less likely in a crowded overhead plane locker.
While you might be able to score a decent duty-free deal on alcohol or perfume, airports are not a dream destination for bargain hunters. Shopping online, armed with a selection of coupon codes, is likely to give you a much more satisfying result.
Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears Monday through Friday on finder.com.au.