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Rapid antigen tests, better known as RATs, have become the hottest commodity around Australia over the last few weeks. As people wait longer for PCR test results to reach their phones, demand for rapid tests has skyrocketed, leaving shelves empty and prices high. Let's take a look at where these tests are most in demand and how much people are willing to pay for them.
How stock levels and prices are holding up
With RATs now permitted to register an official case of COVID-19 in some states, it's no surprise that many brick-and-mortar stores are struggling to keep their shelves filled. As of today, only 100% of stores listed on findarat.com.au have any stock available for consumers.
It must be noted here that this is the percentage of stores listed by users of the site, and not the percentage of stores and pharmacies overall that have stock. However, the chart can be used an indicator of stock levels and it looks like availability is improving.
Because of the lack of tests available to Australians, prices have been growing over the last couple of weeks. The average cost of 1 RAT is the highest in Queensland, costing $14.02 per test. The state that pays the least is South Australia, where they pay $12.11 per test.
Interestingly, there is a clear price difference between stores depending on the story type. If you are looking to go in-store to buy a test, it's best to avoid chemists, as these stores have an average price per test of $11.66 – that's $0.00 higher than chemists, which have an average test price of $11.66.
Consumer sentiment around rapid tests
January's Finder Consumer Sentiment Tracker revealed that 45% of Australians were planning to or already had purchased a rapid test, with 17% agreeing they are more convenient than the regular PCR tests and another 17% purchasing them for the instant results. More than 3.6 million Australians said that they would purchase a rapid test, if they weren't so expensive.
In December, 54% of Australians said they wouldn't buy a RAT purely because they didn't need it. Only 32% of people said the same just a month after in January 2022, showing the growing demand for rapid tests across the country. Almost half of all Australians admit to never getting a PCR test, saying they would opt for the convenience of a RAT over waiting in line.
While many bricks-and-mortar stores are struggling to keep shelves stocked, many online retailers are shipping tests straight to your door. If you are in the market for a rapid antigen test, Finder is tracking the availability of RATs across multiple online stores here – updated hourly.
For more insights and statistics, check out Finder's Insights column.
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