What’s with supermarkets tagging items as marked down specials when there’s no actual price reduction at all. I’m in the habit now of lifting the sticker to check and frequently see there’s no difference in price at all. Surely that’s dodgy practice?
Could you show us the full content of the tag?
I have seen that when they are actually claiming it’s a price reduction, they will give the date in the past and the then price. In that scenario, I’m pretty sure it’s unlawful to provide false information.
Maybe you should also have taken the opportunity of complaining about the claim of “paraben free”.
That’s the only photo I took, I’m afraid, but I’m pretty sure there’s nothing on there about previous price.
The photo you have taken is of a Coles “down down” item, rather than a weekly special. This refers to items where the current regular shelf price is lower than the previous regular price.
Interesting. Still strikes me as a bit of a deceptive practice.
I think it is Foodworks (or our independent) that promotes “Our Already Low Prices” or “Everyday Low Prices” with a red tag and no change to the shelf price. I’ll look next time I am in town.
It creates the sense of “Special” and customers are more likely to choose that one over a similar item.
So essentially the tag is claim-free, which means it isn’t really deceptive.
There seem to be the following categories of “specials”:
- Specials with a specified discount (percentage and/or dollar)
- Specials without a specified discount
- “Everyday low prices” “Down down” where some item was at least temporarily at a higher price at some point in the past but now they’re marketing the not-as-marked-up price.
The regular trick for Coles, Woolworths, and IGA. In some cases even higher prices as under the “special” tag…
So true, Mildura Fruit Drinks 500ml have been $1.90 at Woolworths since launch. This week they are $2.15 with a price markdown tag. Venture on to Woolworths Metro at Met Centre Sydney and they are $2.40.
Very interesting to read everyone’s input and observations. So it seems that there’s no actual deception or dishonesty per se. As a consumer, I have to say it leaves me feeling a bit confused and manipulated. It’s just one more layer of marketing to add to my ever-growing sensory overload. But maybe that’s just me.
It’s called marketing.
Consumer now associate bigger shelf labels with a special/saving. Supermarkets exploit this to increase their sales even if the label has no real meaning.
Also vendors rely on buyers being time poor. We take decision shortcuts and save time by not making comparisons either between competing lines or prices over time. If you just want to get it done and home big colourful tickets grab attention.
It’s true in a legal sense, but it’s designed to catch the unwary out by visually appearing like a “special” price, when it isn’t and doesn’t say that it is.
A marketing person who did a few psychology units probably designed the concept.
First glance: “it’s on ‘special’!”; closer check: “oh, no it isn’t…” They hope you’re in a hurry.
It doesn’t need to have ever been sold at a higher price to avoid falling foul of the “false advertising” rules with this approach.
“Time poor” is a safe assumption. Most are; or they simply hate wasting time in supermarkets.
Confusion causes people to make more impulse purchases…and that’s why the major chains rearrange their stores so often. Which is why I prefer to buy most regularly used groceries from Aldi…they almost never rearrange the store, and they don’t change the prices randomly. On average, it’s a good deal, but avoid the junk aisle.
Does this mean that when there’s no price tag, it’s free??
Bris, the best one I ran into was in Woolworths.
Before I start - I do accept that they probably made an accidental error, and I know I simply took advantage of it. But their reaction made me “rev up” and it ended up costing them a great deal more.
I know everyone else uses their phones to take photos, but I usually detest doing it. However, on this occasion I did. OK - I admit it - I was startled by the price! - so I photographed it.
Hm 250gm of one of my favourite french cheeses for only $5 - WOW!!!
Went to the checkout. They tried to put the cheese through at the normal price, which I think was about $17.50. I said - excuse me - that’s incorrect - it is only $5. The checkout assistant started to argue. Obviously what was on their computer and what I’d seen on the shelf didn’t match. I told her so. She called one of the “managers” - repeated the “argument” we were having. Manager went off and came back, trying to tell me I had made a mistake, and read the wrong ticket. “No I haven’t”. “Anyway I can PROVE your wrong!”. The Manager looked a bit shaken.
By this time my wife was trying to kick me in the shins, to get to hell out of the place, she was finding it all too embarrassing.
And of course by now, we had a queue of a dozen people watching while they waited to get served.
“Well” says I “we can do this your way, or do it mine!” “What on earth are you talking about?” “Do you want to take me to the shelf, and see what you’ve done to the price tags on this cheese, on that shelf?” “Are you trying to suggest that I’ve changed the price tags?” “No - of course not. I don’t have to. I have a photo of what was on the shelf at the moment I took this cheese off the shelf and put it in my shopping trolley. And under Australia’s consumer protection laws, I’m entitled to insist that you honour the price. I no longer care what you have on the shelf!”
You should have seen the Manager’s face! It was priceless! And in front of all those other customers, too!
Here’s the good bit. I walked out of the store with the 250 gm I’d take off the shelf, another half a kilo that the Manager insisted on simply giving me to shut me up and get rid of me, and I ended up with 5//8ths of a kilo - worth a total of roughly $90 - for nothing!
Don’t just peel back the labels. Read them. Compare them. Analyse them, if it’s appropriate.
Another item was just paying lip service to Australia’s labelling laws. No idea which product or which store, now - but it list all the ingredients you’d find in 100gm of product. And the list totalled 164gm! WOW - an extra 64gm, for nothing! What utter rubbish. They obviously don’t give a stuff about Australia’s consumer protection laws. and they need to be prosecuted tor breaching them. Not everyone is as informed as I am, most peolple just glance at labels and “trust” the vendors - the supplier and the store - to protect them. But they DON’T. At least not always. And some are decidedly worse than others - mainly, some manufacturers. Generally speaking, the stores are OK - most, if not all of the time. But the manufacturers? Some of them couldn’t give a ****** what happens after they ship the goods to the supermarkets.
Wow! That’s one hell of a cheese haul! But a pretty shitty way to have to earn it. Remember the days when you’d walk into a corner store, be greeted by name with a smile and just buy cheese. Nah me neither. But that’s the dream.
3 posts were merged into an existing topic: Online grocery shopping
I work at Coles and when those tickets come off the printer, they’re joined together so when the point of sale team member puts it on the shelf, they tear the perforations, then the smaller part is placed under the plastic stripping beneath the product and the ‘flag’ is adhered to the plastic stripping above the smaller part. I guess they’re designed to be attention-grabbing
But the ticket underneath is not the ‘old’ price.