Coles Have Exceeded Themselves This Time

During the past fortnight, we received special offer emails from Coles which included their boneless rolled rib roasts and their tomahawk steaks on special for $25/kg, save $5/kg.

Their website also displayed, and still does, the same offers.

During the course of the special, our nearest Coles has not had the products on display but does have the correct shelf price sign.

The sign shows the end date is 03/03.

The Coles at Earlville had dozens of rib roasts the other day, all short dated, and wrongly priced at $30/kg.

Meanwhile, the Coles at Edmonton had the tomahawk steaks for the non-existent price of $31/kg.

The only rib steak that Coles sells for $31/kg is their rib eye steak after they increases it from $30/kg.

I bought 1 of the only 2 remaining roasts at Coles Earlville yesterday at 50% off the wrong price and I will now endeavour to get a refund, as everyone else who bought the incorrectly priced products should be entitled to.

Both Coles Earlville and Coles Edmonton deserve a shonky for this fiasco.

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Short dated prices are based on the FULL price not the SALE price. This is standard practice across all retailers to the best of my knowledge.

$25/Kg is 15% off
$15/Kg is 50% off

Even if we go with your definition, having an incorrect price sign is hardly shonky worthy.


And the full price was/is $25/kg.

It is when the advertised price is $25/kg and a store has a false price on both the product and the sign.

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The signs clearly say $25/Kg is 15% off. The website clearly indicates it’s on a ‘Save $10’ offer. Those are both specials, not the full price. I’m not sure how that can be clearer…

As for the incorrect prices, literally every store gets incorrect prices or advertisements that don’t match the shelf. No, it’s not good, but Shonkies are intended to call out the worst of the worst which have deliberately mislead in significant ways

Which means that the special price up to 03/03 is 15% off the usualo price.

The product and the sign should show $25/kg, not $30/kg.

Hmm that’s a fair argument. However it appears from your photo that all stock is short dated.

Having worked in retail, my experience is having 2 promotions displayed makes it even more confusing for consumers. So I can see why they’d remove the 15% off signs if all stock was a different price to that.

I also doubt that you’d be able to get a refund for your purchase. Ultimately the price you paid was correct, the advertisement that it was 50% off the normal price was correct. The fact that you could have got a different special by going to a different Coles isn’t covered under consumer law

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Quite often one sees clearance stock which has been marked down (or on a clearance stand with a % off sign) and there are two ways retailer tend to discount the price…

  1. the first being that the % discount is off the already discounted price…such as working 'take an additional 40% off already discounted price. Say a item was $100 and discounted to $50, then the additional 40% off would make it $30.
  2. the second being a discount applied to the original price of the item…such as ‘discounted to 30% of original price’. In this case the $100 and discounted to $50, then the 30% off original price would make it $30.

Clothing and cheaper department stores are notorious for having different regime for applying the discounts. Even sometimes will see bot 1 and 2 in the same store depending on the product being cleared.

In @Fred123 case, the corn beef fits into the second dot point…where the original price was $30/kg and discounts were based on the original price.

Last week Woolies had a sale on Scotch Fillets for $31/kg. Previously Woolies (and Coles still do) would price the steaks at $31/kg on a normal pricing sticker and have special sale pricing shown on the displays.

This time each package had a bright and conspicuous ‘marked down’ sticker that initially seemed to reflect short date sale items, but on inspection they were priced at the advertised sale price. The main price sticker was the regular selling price. An interesting way to do, taking a second thought to realise it was ‘just’ the catalogue item at the advertised price. Marketing psychology is moving further into our heads.


As everyone is still missing the point, I have posted some photos of Coles previous promotion of their boneless rib eye roasts last December, which I took at our nearest Coles, the only one capable of getting their pricing right.

Firstly the shelf price sign.

And an image of one roast being discounted by 20% off the special price, not the full price.

And an image of one roast being discounted by 50% of the special price, not the full price.

If a motor brand both advertised and sent you a special offer for a $30,000 vehicle for $25,000 and the dealers tried to charge you $30,000, would that be acceptable?

If anyone still does not understand the Coles problem, then I give up.

PS. That $8.76 roast was absolutely delicious.

I am confused.

The first photo as 20% off the last marked (discounted price) and rhe second photo has 50% off the last marked (discounted) price.

The last marked price was half the original price of $30/kg…in accordance with the shelf labelling. The additional discount (20 or 50%) is because it is a clearance item…possibly getting close to its best before date or at the end od the displayed discounted period.

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The product was obviously delivered to the store fully packaged and labelled as with almost all of Coles meat department items.

The store has re-labelled the roasts from $30/kg to $15/kg in compliance with the advertised special price.

Then as the Best Before date approached, the store marked them down by 20% off the special price, and finally by 50% off the special price.

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I think this is the key take away from all of this. We are all confused by Coles.


Our nearest Coles finally had stocks of the roasts today.

As clearly shown in the photo, new labels have been placed over the old labels to reflect the current special price of $25/kg as should have been done at the other Coles stores.

The product label price, the shelf sign price, the website price and the email price are all in perfect alignment, a feat which merely requires some care and intelligence which is obviously lacking at the other stores.

Does anyone ever pay $30/kg for the product Coles Beef Roast Rolled Rib? Quality eye fillet steaks can be had for the same or less if you know where to go.

So really if I am reading this carefully, the only issue is Coles displaying the original total price of the roasts as well as the discounted special price. I’m not confused as to what price to pay! So long as the product scans for the lower price, or for ‘quick sale’ items the even lower price.

Hypothetically of course as there are at least four Woolies, three Aldis, and three IGA’s, all closer to home than the nearest Coles. The local butcher is even closer and sells great free range eggs too.

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I find items like this at Coles and Woolies regularly. I get emails with the special price and sometimes my app shows the special price, however the shelf displays the original price. The items always scan at the lower price and I actually like it when this happens, especially when products are half price as the shelves aren’t completely empty, which sometimes happens with half price sales.


And today, our nearest Coles had one roast left which was dated Best Before 20.02.2020.

For the benefit of the “Coles Defenders” who don’t believe that Coles has done anything wrong in regard to their failures in this promotion. I have attached a photo of it.

It not only clearly displays the normal price of $30/kg and the special price of $25/kg, but also the fact that the 50% discount is off the special price as it legally should be, not off the normal price.

I rest my case.

PS. I will also rest the roast after I cook it.

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I think I have found the explenation of what caused the rib roast fiasco at Coles.

It was due to managers being underpaid.

As the old saying goes, “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”.