Supermarkets are price matching, bombarding us with offers and claiming to drop thousands of prices. But, I’m sure you’ve noticed, the cost of your shop is going up. Do you trust supermarkets to charge a fair price?
We’re not helped by the fact that there are a whole range of ways in which supermarkets make it hard to work out what’s good value and what isn’t.
That’s my biggest bugbear – it’s often difficult to see what’s a genuine special offer and what might be smoke and mirrors. Cue standing in the aisles trying to work out whether that wine really is worth £10. Commenter Champmanfan agrees, telling us on a previous special offers Conversation that:
‘Unless you’ve got a smartphone to compare products – phone signal permitting – there isn’t a fair way to find out how special those offers actually are.’
That’s by no means the only thing that makes getting round a supermarket an obstacle course.
Confusing supermarket prices
When we recently asked what bothers Which? members the most about supermarket pricing, the proliferation of multi-buys, compared with actual discounts on products, came out as their top gripe. Which? Convo commenter Allan agrees:
‘Why are we offered “buy one get one free!” Why not cut the price in half or to a third, and let everyone enjoy a cheaper shop? Those on a fixed income such as our old folk on a pension could then benefit from a few extra bargains.’
Labelling that leads you to think items are on offer when they’re not is hot on its heels, followed by difficulty comparing the cost of items due to confusing unit prices.
We’ve also uncovered other problems over the past year. Like bigger pack items labelled as better value, but actually happen to be worse value than the smaller ones. Or items that are advertised as on offer but are out of stock when you get to the shop.
Do you trust supermarkets?
Perhaps it’s not surprising that only 22% of you trust supermarkets to charge a fair price for food. Commenter ‘Victor Meldrew fan’ doesn’t trust supermarket pricing either:
‘Supermarket pricing policy is now designed to increase margins primarily through confusing their “loyal” customers into buying bargains that are not bargains. It’s a shame that the supermarkets can get away with being so blatantly deceitful. It doesn’t take a marketing guru to know that all customers really want is decent, honest pricing.’
So, when you’re doing your weekly shop, what bugs you the most about supermarket pricing?