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Are you tempted by Asda’s 10% cheaper guarantee?

Trolley made from barcode

Asda’s new price-comparison guarantee certainly sounds tantalising. If your shopping basket isn’t at least 10% cheaper than its rivals it will refund the difference in shopping vouchers. Will you be giving it a go?

In the name of work research I headed down to my nearest store to take Asda’s guarantee at its ‘copper-bottomed’ word.

It’s pretty straightforward: buy at least eight grocery items, keep hold of the receipt then input the details into its price matcher tool after 9am the following day.

How does it work?

Powered by supermarket comparison engine MySupermarket, the tool looks across comparable products offered by Tesco et al (but not budget supermarkets like Lidl or Aldi) to tot up how much you would have paid if you’d shopped there instead.

The scores are in on my £45.12 shop. As you can see from the screengrab below (click to enlarge), Asda was the cheapest – but not always by 10%.

Screengrab of Asda's price comparison (click to enlarge)

That means I now have an Asda shopping voucher worth £1.08 at my disposal, calculated against the closest rival – Tesco. A bit of extra money back at the end of what was already a cheaper shop is certainly nothing to be sniffed at. But it’s not always as clear cut as it might seem.

Not all items included

On closer inspection, a notable number of products are excluded from the calculations, because ‘no equivalent item’ can be found for comparison by MySupermarket.

Asda says about 10% of its grocery stock isn’t included in the scheme. And while some discounts such as buy-one-get-one-free offers are counted, others – where the item offered free is different to the standard-price item, for example – aren’t.

Of 24 grocery items in my shopping basket, only half were included in the Morrisons price comparison. Own-brand or not, I was surprised to see commonplace items such as a 500g pack of British steak mince, a pack of three red onions and a bag of Asda ‘Extra Special’ Marilyn potatoes excluded.

Is the price right at Asda?

Quirks of the system aside, this price guarantee extension will go down well with shoppers looking for ways to beat rising food costs. That said, low prices alone weren’t enough to impress Which? Members about Asda in our last supermarket satisfaction survey – look out for new results later this month.

Will the price guarantee lure you to spend at an Asda till in the near future? I’m yet to be completely convinced – but then again, I do need to get back there within 28 days if I want to spend my voucher.

Comments
Guest
Paul, York says:
7 January 2011

Not tempted at all as I cannot stand the shop, or more precisely the customers! Waitrose/Sainbury’s/ Tesco and to some expent Morrisons all provide a far better shopping experience and well worth any additional cost!

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Guest

I actually prefer the quality of Sainsbury’s food over Asda – So I shop at Sainsburys.

Guest
Dave says:
10 January 2011

I totally agree, the quality of food at Asda is no where near the other supermarkets, namely Sainsbury’s but in my opinion Tesco as well. Easily worth the extra spend.

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Guest

But Sainsbury’s is sooo much more expensive! I used to be a real food snob and would only shop at Sainsbury’s, then when I was on maternity leave I was feeling the pinch and started going to Asda. I always knew it was cheaper, but didn’t realise how much! Now I go to both depending on my mood. I must say though, I buy all my fish and meat locally, wouldn’t really want to buy that at Asda. I can’t see much difference in the quality of fresh fruit and veg though.

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Guest

A quick update on this: Tesco is going to make a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority over Asda’s price guarantee claims according to reports – calling the scheme ‘confusing and misleading’ because of the number of products excluded from the price comparison. Tesco has also said it will accept Asda vouchers in its stores too.

Will be interesting to see what the outcome of this is. The supermarket price wars continue…

Guest
Sarah says:
9 February 2011

I normally shop at Sainsbury’s (since they’re the closest), but I did shop at Asda recently to put their price guanrantee to the test. Sure enough, Asda came out cheapest but that was because I usually buy products that are on offer – I wouldn’t have bought the same products in Sainsbury’s so the comparison is meaningless.

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Guest

I also shop at Sainsburys and Tesco, depending what vouchers I have that week. I went to Sainsburys this week and it came to £76, I felt it was expensive so I sat down and entered all the items on to Asda (as if i was having it delivered) and it came to £77!! And at Sainsburys I got nectar points, this is another reason I do not shop at Asda or Morrisons because they dont have the clubcards like tesco and sainsburys, plus your always recieving vouchers through the post. I’m sticking to Sainsburys and Tesco. And I agree the food is horrible from Asda!

Guest
keith says:
11 February 2011

We have the option of Tesco’s/Sainsbury/ASDA/LIDL/ Waitrose and M&S – My personal thoughts are as follows….

If you don’t want to visit them all then ASDA is best and cheapest for me for about 80% of items
Tesco are just too cute for me and requires work to get best value.
Sainsbury lost me as a customer when they moved from a simple money discount voucher to a stupid marketing voucher system (they all do it now unfortunately) ( used to be great at xmas!!)
M&S or Waitrose give me the range of other products and offer best quality for some foods so they get the other 20%

When families spend £5000/£8000 annually on ‘the shop’ 10% equals £500+ even 5% is worthwhile.
No wonder Tesco is complaining, they have been rumbled at last.

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Guest

We usually shop at Asda, and use their Price Guarantee, which we think is great. Recently, our son took us to Tesco, and I compared the prices there. Tesco was only 91p cheaper – but we had to travel much, much further to get there – so no contest. I can walk to Asda (even at 85) so I am keeping fit at the same time.
Asda colleagues are extremely helpful, and their pharmacy is great.