Aldi Special Buys called out as illegal bait advertising

Aldi is in trouble after its latest special was reportedly mostly unavailable in stores. The Checkout will be examining Aldi’s Special Buys tonight at 8pm on 20 February 2018.

How do you feel when an advertised offer is unavailable in store?


Answer: pretty narked!!

Aldi recently had musical instruments on sale as their special. We wanted to buy a clarinet for our young man. Went to three separate (not too close to each other) Aldi stores starting at 8:30am, only to find they had none.

Spoke to the Assistant Manager at a fourth store later in the day, and he said that they don’t/can’t order for the specials. They just receive an allocation of boxes containing the special items which will be for sale.

In that allocation, they didn’t get seperate boxes of each instrument that was advertised. Inside a box, there are mixed contents, and any items in any number can be enclosed. Apparently, in their allocation there were only one or two clarinets unpacked. Yet, there was a plethora of some other instruments. He felt that there did not appear to be any logic to the stock levels they received.

He said there were many enquiries about the clarinets, and he had rung other stores to see if they had stock. All reported the same experience as he had.

Definitely bait advertising in this instance!


A few years ago I responded to the ad for LED lights. The store had one big bin with stock literally thrown into it helterskelter and customers had to sift through looking for the lumens and base they needed. I found one and asked the staff if they might have a second in stock, and they explained they got boxes of random lumens and bases, and that many of their specials are like that. The store gets a box full of something, put its on display, end of special. Your store might get lots or none of any particular item.


… about time Aldi got done for this - their bait advertising seems like the most well known secret of the supermarket industry. That, and their censorship of nude Gummi Bears …

A while back they advertised mountain bikes - cheap ‘kid ride to school’ bikes but ok for the money. You’d be lucky to get one - the stores that had them sold out a few seconds after the doors opened. Interestingly you could buy the same or slightly upgraded model from an Australian online seller for very similar money - including shipping anywhere in the country. Specials aren’t always specials …


Many years ago, Myers and other stores were “chastised” for advertising ridiculous Boxing Day specials where customers lined up at the doors and were almost squished in the race to obtain massively marked down items. They were in trouble because there were only ever one or two of those massive markdowns and thousands of people wanting to purchase. Isn’t what Aldi is doing the same?? Big markdowns for extremely limited quantities and no store being able to order what stock they actually thought would sell in their area? At least the large department stores had other stock with less discount - Aldi doesn’t have any alternative product.


As Yannie said many retailers have done this over the years, but Aldo have turned it into an art form. There are some things I really like about Aldi but this tactic is definitely not one of them. Also being able to duck the “rain check” due to fine print in the catalogues stating limited quantities and not all products available in all stores reeks too. Admittedly the duopoly are getting bad with their supplies of the really big specials but a lot of the time it’s because they are now operating like wholesalers to corner stores and the like, and at least with them you can argue with the service supervisor to get a rain check of the item.


People line up for upto an hour and then get as many items as they can. Aldi don’t have a limit per customer.

I’ve seen people get 3 TV’s, 4 Printers and the list goes on.

Was funny when they were killing each other over Dyson Vacuum cleaners. None bothered to check that it was an old model and was almost full price.

Only get odds and ends there.

Weck jars sold out too fast and I couldn’t get as many as I needed & I did line up for 30 min. (that was a really good buy).

Need to go and look for T shirts. There is probably nothing left now.


The latest surprise, this time for Father’s Day or self indulgence.

We all want a $39.99 smart watch don’t we?
Not sure it will be worth the que assuming there is more than one per store.

Can Aldi be compelled to advise just how many units will be available nation wide? It’s a fair guess every second kid with a smart phone who can’t afford a Samsung or Apple device will want one. Then there are all those out to impress dad with a special gift you know he always wanted.

Fortunately we gave up the pointless gift exchange ritual for more meaningful outcomes, like family time or a chat on the phone from behind the Covid Wall.


A visit to Aldi’s Special Buys Product Delays web page, particularly for SA is almost as long as the Special Buys in the Catalog.
I particularly wanted to purchase Aldi’s Battery Lawn Mower kit on sale Saturday 30th October but found NONE available in SA or WA for that matter, but available in most stores in QLD, NSW, ACT and Vic, obviously the trucks ran out of Fuel before SA.
This is constantly happening as you can see from the Product Delays pages.
This is a blatant lure to get people into the store.
There is no Customer Contact, good luck trying to find an in-store person to ask a question and you have to pack your own bags.
Would love Choice to do an in-depth investigation of how trust worthy their advertising and promises are and a survey of Customer satisfaction compared to other Supermarkets


Welcome to the Community @Dicky-Knee

From May 2021


It appears due to past issues with the way they advertise and make stock available, they now have the following ‘disclaimer’ on their website:

We are unfortunately experiencing shipping delays which means some Special Buys™ may not be in store on the advertised on sale date. We are trying our best to limit these delays.

Whether or not this is true, only Aldi will know (strange that they would advertise products statewide knowing that they can’t be shipped/delivered). It will also possibly be pointed to should a regulator decide to probe, and would be interesting to see if it would stack up.

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On their Online catalogue they only make mention of Qld NSW Vic and the ACT for delivery of any items available in their Online only items, alas no mention of SA. Perhaps a transport issue of getting stock across the SA border to their stores there? They could be asked why to see what response they provide.

A link to the online only catalogue and a snip of the advice regarding delivery areas

ALDI Australia - Shop Online

They do have a page listing Special Buys showing both items delayed and items that are now available after a delay. This list however doesn’t show items for 30 October, it is only current for the week prior, the current week and the following week specials.

Special Buys™ Product Delays (

Their store feedback form may be accessed at the following

Your In-Store Experience (

You can also leave feedback on their Twitter account, and or Facebook Page ((20+) ALDI Australia | Facebook)