Grocery prices instore and online

Wondering if anyone has any information about the regular prices of grocery items on a retailer’s website and instore?
Recently, I checked the regular prices of 15 packaged non perishable products on the Coles and Woolworths websites and at the local supermarkets…The instore and online.prices were identical.
I’m wondering if this is the situation with these businesses for all non perishable packaged products and for other products such as perishables and products sold loose from bulk. Also, what the situation is with any other grocery retailers that have stores and online selling sites.
I’d appreciate any information you have about this.


Sorry but after multiple readings of your post I cannot make any sense of it.

Want to try again?

What did you expect?

From some older posts on the site there was some talk about price differences between some online to in store goods. Most of the posts were from around COVID initial outbreak days or earlier.

@ijarratt is asking if anyone is noticing if this practice is happening now or if retailers have the same pricing across all their regular range of goods. So, if anyone has current examples of price differences, @ijarratt is asking them to post here the examples or to confirm no difference exists. As to what is expected, it is probably expected that regardless of whether online or in store that prices would be the same. If not the same, why does a difference exist (a reason might be a manager’s special).


Sorry if it was not clear!
I’m interested to find out if grocery retailers charge the same or different prices for the same product if you buy it instore or on their website. And, I’m only looking at the regular prices not special offers.
For the 15 packaged products I looked at, at both Coles and Woolworths the instore and online prices were the same.
If I get time later I’ll look at more packaged products there, and also at other products especially fruit and vegetables, meats and seafood.
But meantime I’d be very interested in any info other people have about Coles and Woolworths instore and online prices and those of other grocery retailers (for example Costco and some independent grocery retailers.) that have stores and also sell online.


I thought there might not be differences between prices online and instore, partly because they operate throughout the country and advertise their prices so much, but was not sure because I have never bought groceries online.


I shop at Coles regularly but also use their online service . The prices for the goods I buy are the same both instore and online .


We shop online quite often at Woolies (Tamworth). Regularly priced items are the same online as in store, but when it comes to specials, different items are on special online vs in store. If you buy online you get charged the online price, even though it is at a lower price on special on the shelves, and vice versa.

Items showing as out of stock online are quite often found to be in stock in the store.


A lot of price rises seem to be so far over the general inflation rate and I can’t see where such high percentage increases come from (fuel, electricity, wages, raw materials, exchange rates?) and on top of this we see supermarket Duopoly making record profits (despite presumably having to pay more interest on their borrowings) - somethings seems rotten in the state of Denmark!

have you any more info about when and why these occur?. I presume that they do not occur if the price has been nationally or regionally advertised as a special offer?

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I will try to get pics next time I see them in store.

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I have found them to be always the same at Woolworths,no issue there but one difference i have seen you can get the odd product for a special on-line price that is not available in store.Also there is a couple of products i buy on-line that are not even on the store shelves

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Hello @ijarratt. I am hopeful this reply might answer your question. Like most retailers there are prices that are highlighted as specials.

Both Woolworths and Coles for example, have “online specials” ( I commented on a post in this very forum approx 12 months ago - about the misleading practice of not clearly defining this fact!!). I looked at Coles website to see if they stocked a particular item. Whilst checking the price was “buy 2 and get the item cheaper.” I believing that I would get the item and a bargain by buying 2 did so “in-store” and when scanned at the register, did not apply a discount. I asked the store staff…who then explain, even though I can show on my smartphone the discount that it is only available ONLINE! SO there are times when the pricing is different ONLINE - to “instore”! (albeit in the fine print on the bottom of a web page)

Coles for their online only specials puts a decal on the imagery like (top left of the product image):

Woolworths does a similar thing:

These make it clear that the special being show is only available online.

Woolworths and Coles no longer have their same price in store and online policies which can be frustrating at times if one is looking for a particular item. We generally find that store and online prices are the same for most items, but from time to time, we notice the odd difference.

Also in store, occasionally we notice clearance prices or ‘managers specials’ which aren’t shown online as they are store dependent.

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To which I made the reference before COLES changed their policy!

AS for the original THREAD question- Wondering if anyone has any information about the regular prices of grocery items on a retailer’s website and instore?

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Do they state their current policies on this anywhere?
The last i remember about this was that in June 2018 as a result of a newscorp journo doing a story on Coles having higher prices online than in store and Woolworths not, Coles decided to charge the same online or instore.
Personally I like prices to be the same instore and online because when I’m in store and considering buying a product I can look up online the cost and the unit price (the latter is necessary because some pack sizes can vary between supermarket chains) at the other store. So a same price policy greatly increases the transparency and comparability of prices instore.


No. They used to state that they did have same store and online pricing, but it has been removed.

There have been the odd report comparing online and store prices, indicating a price differential. This has included some posts in the community. Examples being with fruit and vege ($/kg in store and price per item in the case of Woollies) or online/store specials only.

Woolworths also has their Woolworths Metro supermarkets which we found in Melbourne in a mid year visit, to have many products at a higher /different price than in a traditional supermarket or online (premium for convenience).

We do to as when we travel to Launceston, we have the ability to shop other than Woolworths (or potentially IGA). We often hop online to look at prices of Coles compared to Woolworths and other retailers. Generally online prices are the same in-store, but with Coles, we have noticed from time to time when it hasn’t been.

It can do, but I suspect now Coles and Woollies are in the online shopping and delivery game, they will argue their costs are different and these are reflected in the different prices.

I know with Woolworths, for local deliveries they pack them using store staff at the local Woollies. This means there is an additional labour cost which could reasonably be added to online/delivery and pickup orders. I am not sure if I would be happy paying the same in-store as an online shopper, as it could be seen the in-store shopper is in part subsidising the online shopper.

The supermarkets could show in-store and online prices for all their products online. I think they won’t do this as it could impact on the success of their online business if the prices are generally higher.

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Thanks for your very thoughtful and important responses.

  1. It would be very helpful the retailers they did state somewhere their pricing policies re items offered for sale online and instore (including in different types of instore shops). Also for different physical locations eg metro vs regional…

  2. If i get time I’ll check a few fruit and veg prices at Coles and WW online and in large and small supermarkets near me in Brisbane.

  3. I’ll check out some Metro vs WW instore and online prices and report back on the results. Would be interested in results obtained by anyone else .Because we know that some special offers are only for online customers, I think I’ll only check regular prices. Any thoughts on products to look a?. Since in the past I found that Metro stores sell most of the WW own brand products I’ll definitely include some of those.

  4. Re cross subsidisation of online by instore shoppers if there is a same price policy: I would favour, as you also seem to, the extra costs of picking and packing the online orders being recouped via an additional charge per order (if necessary order size related) rather than charging higher prices for products bought online. But I recognise that cross subsidisation (eg as occurs with a same price irrespective of store location/size policy and with a same price price irrespective of whether checkout is done by customer of with staff assistance) is a huge issue that consumers have differing views on.


Woolworths does: (Terms and Conditions | Woolworths):

You acknowledge that:

  1. we, and our Everyday Market Partners, are not required or obliged to match any prices for any Products, including matching any prices for a Product that is available through the Site at our supermarket or in other sales channels, or vice versa; and
  2. all pricing displayed on the Site may differ depending on the postcode you have selected (for example, the price for a Product in Sydney may differ to the price for that same Product in Melbourne)

Will see if I can find the same sort of wording for Coles.

Edit, I have looked around the Coles website and were unable to find any similar wording for retail customers. There is some wording for business customers, namely:

Are website prices the same as in store?*

Our online pricing is based on the in-store price that customer orders are picked and delivered from. There may be some variation on supermarket prices between states, remote locations and on certain items including fresh produce, tobacco and some promotional products. In order to view accurate pricing for your collection point or your delivery address, you will need to log in at and enter your address.


Online exclusive promotions are not available in-store. In order to view accurate pricing, you will need to log in at and enter your address.

Coles Online

but this doesn’t directly apply to whether a retail customer sees the same price online as in store.


I have checked the regular selling prices for 23 national brand packaged products available online and instore at a large Woolworths store. The prices were identical.
I also checked the regular selling prices for these products at a Woolworths Metro store near the large supermarket. Only 13 of the the products were sold at the Metro store and all cost more than at the large supermarket. The difference ranged from +10% to +22% and the average was +13%.
I plan to do the same exercise soon for Coles online, a large Coles supermarket and a Coles Local store.