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Kogan First: Is it worth $5.99 per month?
Kogan’s crack at Amazon Prime offers fewer reasons to subscribe.
There’s no shortage of subscription services these days. Whether you’re looking for something to watch, something to listen to, or something to read, we’re increasingly asked to commit a monthly payment to companies for a premium service. These days, everything is a subscription, even online shopping giants Amazon and eBay have found a way to get you to pay them a monthly fee for a few extra benefits. Following in Amazon and eBay’s size 13 footsteps, Australian tech retailer Kogan launched Kogan First, a subscription program that offers exclusive discounts, shopping events and free shipping upgrades.
However, there are other benefits to Amazon Prime that Kogan (or eBay) simply can’t offer. So is Kogan First worth the monthly, or yearly, cost? Let’s take a look.
How much does Kogan First cost?
At the time of writing, Kogan First costs $5.99 per 30 days or $49 annually, though that appears to be limited-time pricing. The usual cost is $11.99 per month or $99 per year but there’s no indication as to when this limited-time price will expire. It’s almost as if the price has been set unreasonably high so to appear like $5.99 is some kind of astronomical discount, when in reality, no one in their right mind would pay $11.99 per month for Kogan First.
Can I try Kogan First for free?
Kogan offers a 14-day free trial on its 30-day membership plan. After 14 days, you’ll be automatically charged $5.99 for another 30 days so if you’re not sure you want to continue, be sure to set that date in your calendar and cancel Kogan First before the 14 days is up.
Kogan First benefits
So what does Kogan First actually get you as a paying subscriber? Firstly, there’s upgraded shipping with no minimum spend. If you happen to order a lot from Kogan, you could make that back after a few purchases. However, a lot of smaller items ordered from Kogan already have free shipping. For example, if I ordered a pair of AirPods Max, shipping would be free to any part of Australia, even if I’m not a Kogan First subscriber.
Bigger items do come with a shipping cost. For example, a 32-inch curved gaming monitor will cost $11.99 to ship to Victoria, and up to $26.99 to Western Australia. But how often do you order items larger than a 32-inch curved gaming monitor?
Exclusive discounts and sales events
The other big reason someone would subscribe to Kogan First is to access exclusive discounts and shopping events, like Kogan First Week. As you’d imagine, there are a lot of Kogan products included. Kogan First members can score big discounts on items like Kogan’s 50-inch 4K HDR Smart TV, which is currently discounted to $449 from $749.99 for First subscribers. There’s also home appliances up for grabs, like Kogan’s Top Load Washing Machine, Cordless Stick Vacuum, and Robot Vacuum Cleaner and Mop. There’s even a huge discount on Kogan’s Smart Bidet Toilet seat, which has been marked down to the fresh price of $219 from $699.
However, the real test is how much you can save on products from popular manufacturers like Apple and Samsung, and to be fair, there are currently some solid discounts on products from those two companies. The Apple AirPods Pro true wireless earbuds, for example, have been marked down to $289 from $399 and the AirPods 2 down to $189 from $249. There’s also a discount on the Dyson V11 Cordless Stick Vacuum, which Kogan First members can pick up for $829 (rather than $1,199).
Most of these products are already on sale, with or without Kogan First, but the membership typically gives you a larger discount.
Kogan First also gives you access to exclusive, timed shopping events like Kogan First week, which is like Kogan’s version of Prime Day.
Some of the deals with Kogan First are genuinely good value but it’s hard to trust what the markdown really is when the company has a history of shady sales practices, like spiking prices right before a sale so it can advertise a larger discount.
Priority customer service
Kogan also claims that First members get “Priority Customer Service” but fail to offer any context or help around actually accessing said customer service. There’s no live chat and no phone number. The only customer service option on Kogan’s website is a support form that you can submit and twiddle your thumbs until you get a response. Apparently, as a Kogan First subscriber, your issue will be moved to a “priority queue” but there’s no estimate on how fast you can expect a response.
Kogan First vs eBay Plus vs Amazon Prime
How does Kogan’s attempt at a premium shopping subscription stack up against the established offers by Amazon and eBay? Well, for starters, neither Kogan nor eBay hold a candle to Amazon’s subscription offer. In addition to all the delivery and shipping perks that come with Prime Shopping, Prime’s monthly subscription also gets you access to a suite of services, including Amazon Prime Video, which is easily one of the best streaming services available in Australia. eBay doesn’t have a video streaming service, but it does offer the kind of deals that make headlines with its ongoing eBay Plus Tuesdays sales, deals like $299 for a Nintendo Switch. eBay Plus also gets you a healthy discount off Hoyts movie tickets if you’re a subscriber.
Is Kogan First worth it?
Kogan First might come in handy on the odd occasion that some big ticket item you’re after is available at an exclusive price but there are few reasons to stay subscribed after that. It doesn’t have a Prime Video equivalent. The thing is, Kogan is in a better position to bundle another service than eBay is. Kogan offers both NBN Internet and mobile plans in Australia, and it feels like there’s a missed opportunity to bundle all three services together.
Kogan First’s promotional pricing already feels a little rich considering you pay $1 more for Amazon Prime, but the regular $11.99 per month is a, frankly, absurd asking price. Kogan’s priority customer service also feels like a bit of a joke considering the only way to get in touch is via a webform with no options for live chat or phone support. There are loads of reports of customer complaints, returns and refunds getting lost in the black hole of Kogan’s customer support system and while Kogan First customers might have slightly better luck, you shouldn’t need to pay a fee for half-decent customer service.
How to cancel Kogan First
Thankfully, cancelling Kogan First isn’t as hard as getting through to customer service.
Here’s how to cancel Kogan First in just a few steps:
- Login at Kogan.com with the email address and password you set when you created your Kogan First account.
- Hover your mouse over the ‘My Account’ dropdown menu in the top right corner of the screen (next to delivery details).
- Click ‘Kogan First’ in the dropdown menu.
- On the next page, click the red ‘Cancel Free Trial’ button under Kogan First Member.
- Confirm cancellation.
Done. If you were still within your 14-day free trial, your subscription will end immediately. However, if you’d paid your first monthly payment, you’ll have until the end of your billing period to take advantage of any and all Kogan First benefits.