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  08:48:29 am, by Value hunter   , 399 words  
Categories: Tesco

Supermarkets overcharging customers

It's all too often the case, you've hit the supermarket checkout, stashed all your shopping back in the trolley and away to the carpark battle to escape from the supermarket as quick as you can.

Only once you arrive home, put the shopping away and finally start to recover from the shock of the pricing and battle, does your head start to analyze the visit;
- They don't do a certain product anymore
- They didn't have a product you usually buy
- You used to pay so much for a product, but now you are paying the same price but it's for an own brand version

But one of the most infuriating things for me, is being overcharged by a supermarket!

Considering how everything is computerised and prices are set at the checkout till, it happens more often than not.
In our last 5 visits to asda and tesco (combined) we have been overcharged on 3 occasions!
For the latest, we were overcharged by Tesco.
Running late and in need of a cardigan/jumper for her Christmas party, we slid down the icy hill in the car and nipped into Tesco to see if they had anything.
We paid over the odds for a cardigan, but it did the job.
Off we went to the checkout, producing a huge voucher, for "£5 off clothing when you spend £25 or more instore" (False economy as the prices go up before the voucher is launched I know, so you end up paying the normal price anyway)

We gave the till girl the voucher before she had scanned anything. It was sat on her till in bright green letters.
The next day, I checked the receipt, Tesco's had not put the voucher through the till and now owe us £5!

Add together the time shopping there in the first place, the pricing, no voucher put through the till, the phone call to the store, the return visit (tesco's is not our normal supermarket)... not only has our tesco experience been a poor one, it has actually cost us £5 more than it should have!

"You can visit their website and post this to their feedback website..." I hear you say?
I think not!
Tesco use your information to set pricing against you, exactly the same as asda do when you compare prices through their website (to other supermarkets), but this is for another post.

ALWAYS, when supermarket shopping, check your receipt before leaving the store!


  12:41:50 am, by Value hunter   , 562 words  
Categories: Marketing tricks, Did you know?

Supermarket versus local shops - time saving?

Supermarket versus local shops - time saving?
Time is money, why waste it?

Another common misconception, that supermarkets want you to think, is that by shopping in a supermarket, as opposed to local shops, will save you time.

Once again, I can prove this theory to be completely false.

Shopping local (Every week):
* Drive 3 miles to another village for meat, from a local farm butchers, where I pick up my fresh cheese for the week - at prices that are far cheaper than supermarkets, with less waste packaging.
* Back in the car, driving another 2 miles to the next large town, parking on the outskirts (for free) and walking 10 minutes into the centre.
Here I buy my fruit and veg, again for much less than a supermarket price, along with almost no packaging at all, from an outside market.
The benefits of doing this are that most of my produce comes from around the county where I live, their fruit and vegetables are also rarely frozen or chilled and will keep days longer than the supermarket alternative.
* On the inside market I pick up baby milk and jars of baby food (yes, cheaper than the "buy 10 for £5/£6" offers in supermarkets). I pick up shampoo (a country mile cheaper than the supermarkets) deoderants, hair gel, soap, etc.
* On the way out of the inside market, back on to the outside market, is my local fishmongers. Only been in the trade for 30 years, I ignore the larger more established fishmonger next door to him.
Not only do I pick up beautiful tastey fresh fish, my fishmonger is cheaper than supermarket counters and has a wealth of knowledge as regards recipes and cooking fish.
* A 10 minute walk back to the car, add on the drive home, I am out of the house for between 50 minutes and one hour.

Shopping in the supermarket:
Products like bread, tinned goods, cat food, etc, are sourced at supermarkets in my immediate area, normally when my local shops are out of stock. For example, my local garage store sells warmburton's bread 14p per loaf cheaper than both tesco and asda who are close by.
- A 15 minute, 2 mile drive into a relatively small town, to visit the asda there.
- Once armed with a small trolley, I am in and out (helps me avoid marketing tricks) hitting the bread section, through the tinned goods and around the back to the cat food aisle at the top of the store.
From here it is down through the frozen food aisle for some frozen peas or fish fingers and up the baby aisle for some nappies.
Back down to the front of the store for a checkout and away to the car.
- Providing the store is not busy I can get back home (after two 15 minute trips) in about one hour 15 minutes, if I push it.
If the store is busy, this often extends to more than one and a half hours for the round trip.

Do not take my word for it, try it for yourself.
The marketing hype that supermarkets put out in adverts, that they save you, the customer, time, is complete hype.
In my weekly experience, they do not save me time, when compared to shopping in local shops, stores and markets.
In fact, if I compared the shopping I now do locally to buying the same goods in a supermarket, I would wager that not only would my shopping bills be a lot higher, but also the shopping would take me longer!


  10:02:07 pm, by Value hunter   , 289 words  
Categories: Marketing tricks, Asda, Tesco, Price rises

Supermarket "offers" hiding individual price increases

Seen at both asda and tesco, the marketing trick designed to raise prices, whilst also getting you to try a product, making a regular in your basket?
The beauty of this trick (because it is a trick) is how it gives the perception that you are saving money!

The supermarket knows many people grab anything if it is perceived to be "on offer" - in some cases, the "offer" turns out to be more expensive than if you bought more than one of a given product!

The trick here, is when you see advertising stating, "Two for £2" or "Buy one get one free" - the individual price either increases before the "offer" is advertised/promoted by the supermarket, or the individual price is increased along side the "offer".

Asda had an "offer" on Lurpak butter.
Asda's offer was "two for £2" - more observant customers noticed that the individual pack price had INCREASED from £1.37 to £1.54 - a gobsmacking increase of more than 12%

Of course, once the offer finished, customers are left with a 12% increase in price to pay (Inflation is at 3.5% - this price increase is three and a half times the rate of inflation!) It sounds nothing, but if you buy one pack per week, that's a full £8.84 MORE out of your pocket and into asda's profits, every year.
The "offer" will have also picked up some people who tried it as it was on offer, who might start buying it regularly.

To top the cheek off, asda even put a "you saved" figure on the bottom of your till receipt!
Supermarkets could actually save us all money, if they would lower their prices instead of using marketing tricks to take more money from each and everyone who (often) are forced to shop there.

  09:07:47 am, by Value hunter   , 296 words  
Categories: Asda, Price rises

Asda increase price of Heinz tomato sauce

Asda increase price of Heinz tomato sauce

After Heinz soups price increases at both asda and tesco in recent months, including tomato soup, we noticed that Napolina tinned tomatoes were increasing in price as well.
Yesterdays visit to asda, we spotted another hefty percentage price increase, where tomatoes are concerned.

Heinz tomato sauce (in bottles) has gone from 87p per bottle to £1.03 - a staggering 15.5% INCREASE in price.

Glass bottles of Heinz tomato sauce are preferable to "the squeezy bottle" as the squeezy has something added to it, that is not tomato (or a thinner mix of tomato) to stop it clogging. The impression given to the customer is of course, that there is less waste and it is easier to handle... which hides an increase in price no doubt.

The argument for more tomatoes to be grown in the UK is as strong as ever.
A quick search around reveals that most tomato price increases have taken place in exporters Israel, Ghana and the Netherlands.
My initial thoughts were that with these three producers putting up "wholesale" prices, this explains the rise in tomato products - yet when reports in the Grocer magazine appear on the subject of how competitive the UK tomato import market is, a different view appears.

The Grocer reports that we British are already major importers of tomatoes, Spain and Holland being our biggest providers.
However, British tomato growers need to be more competitive on price, as Poland (16,000 tonnes) and Morocco (20,000 tonnes) flood our tomato market.
With the Dutch and Spanish unlikely to give up their market share of imports of tomatoes to the UK, price is the all important factor.

Read the full Grocer article here

Which raises the question - with competition so healthy as four countries do battle to supply us with tomatoes, why are asda increasing the prices of tomato products?


  08:22:51 pm, by Value hunter   , 721 words  
Categories: Did you know?, Tesco

Tesco price checker shows customers are being ripped off

It is common knowledge that when a Tesco (and other any other big supermarket) opens in an area, its prices undercut local shops/stores and then increase, as local businesses close or struggle to survive.
Once the Tesco store has established itself, it begins to increase prices and make more profits, depending on the demographics of the area and on products customers are buying, using its clubcard/credit/debit card data to snoop on you, the customer.

So prices at Tesco in one town, will match the prices of the same goods in a Tesco store in another town right? WRONG!

Of course it is the case that prices are made to fit the area where the store is placed. This does not benefit the customer and smacks of exploiting the lack of competition.
One example of this happening, was when a customer enquired as to why the price of Tesco fuel was 1p a litre more in our town as opposed to the neighbouring town 2 miles down the road.
The store manager revealed that it was because there was less competition in our town, for petrol.
When the customer quite rightly pointed out that the delivery truck delivered the same petrol to both Tesco stores and that the introduction of a Tesco store and its pricing, had closed some of the smaller outlets supplying petrol in our town, the Tesco store manager simply repeated the same "lack of competition" excuse for charging customers in our town, 1p more per litre.

So from this we can surmise that in areas where sales of a branded product are strong, the price will be higher there to increase Tesco profits. In essence, pricing by demographics and not based on actual cost to get the product on the shelf (as local stores/shops must do). Another reason to steer clear of loyalty cards.

So how can you buy the exact same product, from the exact same Tesco store and the exact same shelf, yet pay two different prices?

I have been watching Lurpak butter for two weeks now. Asda did the old "Offer 2 for £2 whilst increasing the individual price" routine (a common way of introducing higher prices with them)
Tesco, on the same day, also increase their Lurpak, but did not put on any offer.
It is now, as it has been for two weeks prior to this posting, been £1.50 per pack.
Yet I can get the very same pack for just £1 - from tesco, from the same store from the same box.
Checking Tesco price checker online, where customers place an order and this is shopped and packed at the store round the corner from us then delivered to our house, reveals that tesco are charging customers who visit the store, 50p MORE for the same product!

I questioned their "customer service staff" today - the answers I got, says it all;

"It is because we want to get people shopping online instead of coming into the store" - This is because cash shoppers cannot be tracked and traced, buying online involves registering with tesco and submitting details of where you live, what you spend, what you buy, what prices you are willing to pay, etc.
You only have to do it once and they can tally your data with data from the store. The staff member continued,
"Yes it is the same product and we do provide online orders from here to the area" - I then pointed out what a complete rip off of their customers this is, to which he replied, "I agree, I am sorry but that's tesco's policy!"

There you have it, straight from the horses mouth.
Check your shopping instore against their online price checker and see how much more you have paid for the same products off the shelf rather than order online.

Within 48 hours, our Tesco branch had caved in and reduced the price of Lurpak 250g to £1 - it remained at this price for a week.
Just over a week later the shelf price increased back to £1.50 a pack, even though the same product from the same shelf, if ordered on line, remains just £1 per pack.
Obviously, with asda's price being £1.50 a pack, the way tesco's do business they are quite happy to have a supermarket monopoly, comparable pricing to the "rival" supermarket nearby, instead of offering the people who use tesco to shop, real value for money.... disgraceful!

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AIM: To eliminate supermarkets completely from the weekly shopping.


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