Supermarkets manipulate prices and our minds

22 February 2010

We all know that supermarkets are run by wankers, right? They make money from the community vanish out of the country to off-shore accounts and generally run any local businesses out of town with price-wars.

However, that's the trade-off for us mooing dipshits getting our hands on some bargains and not having to piss about going to nine shops, dodging rainclouds and dogshit between each one.

But when is a bargain not a bargain? When a couple of supermarkets fuck with your mind, that's when.

Unless you're some autistic number obsessive with reams of paper filled with prices for everything you've ever bought in your entire life, then you probably don't know the exact price of the things you buy. Most shoppers aimlessly dander around windowless supermarkets thinking "That's too dear" or "Oh, that's got an offer on it!"

Well, according to The Guardian, while Asda and Tesco have a little price-tiff with each other, we've been hoodwinked by the pair of 'em.

A new analysis of supermarket pricing policy shows a "cynical manipulation of the language of value" according to independent expert Professor John Bridgeman, who criticised the use of "price flexing".

Basically, this means taking a penny off the price of something so you can crow about having the lowest prices, despite the fact, a week in advance, you whacked 10p on items.

"They are not in reality cutting prices but flexing prices, making them go up and down and destabilising the price structure," Bridgeman said. "All they are doing is introducing so much volatility no one can tell whether prices are going up or down. It can only be to consumers' detriment and it does their image no good."

The rise and fall in price of a leading brand of cleaner, CiF Antibacterial, provides a "perfect example of price volatility designed to confuse consumers", according to Professor John Bridgeman.

Apparently, if you bought some CiF cleaner in June last year, you'd be paying £2.50 in both Asda and Tesco. In August it went on promotion briefly at Asda at £1 before being sold at £2.60. Tesco dropped the price to £2 in Autumn before returning it to £2.50. Then, after a whole load of twatting about with the prices, they both sold it at £2.80.

In short, it seems that supermarkets are using offers to fox us when they invariably stick the prices up by 12% for no reason at all. Maybe it's time to start being autistic about our shopping (or just consistently buy the cheapest thing having no brand loyalty at all)?

TOPICS:   High Street News   Supermarket

17 comments

  • maxtweenie
    Tesco do this all the time. The latest I noticed was Hovis Crackers. They were selling them at 83p a packet last year before having a 2 for £1.50 offer at Christmas, then putting them back to their 'normal' price of £1.07 each. They think we're too stupid to notice. Fuckwits.
  • WaWaWa
    Mof Gimmers writes yet another unfunny article.
  • James N.
    well i beat the recession by stocking up on stuff for a year when its at a cheap price (i.e the morissons buy 1 get 2 free deals before xmas) so never really worry about fluctuation in the price of cif cleaner.
  • wackojackouk
    Tesco's Value shortbread..... was 9p then £1.09 now 0.29p.... MSE have their own thread on it. Now if 9p to £1.09 isnt taking the pi$$ what is?
  • The B.
    Waitrose and M&S rarely have special offers on so it concerns me not.
  • Rob S.
    The box sizes V's price always makes me laugh until I notice my wife taking no notice and my shopping costs 30% more for less 88p for 40 PG pyramid teabags or £2.45 for 80
  • Gunn
    I happen to notice the prices as I usually buy the same items and a few items have almost doubled in the last year, for me the trend is generally in one direction up.
  • Ted S.
    I buy all my fruit and veg the year before. Inflation proof, me.
  • rob
    Why the use of foul language in this article...please clean it up....i know your trying to make a point but the use of foul language just makes you look an uneducated idiot and thus who believes what an idiot says...
  • jsoap
    Some items like mangoes, I've just stopped buying. Never the same price 2 weeks in a row, and always on some kind of bogof, half-price offer. The most amazing one at the moment are "gaea pitted kalemata olive", which have since November last year have climed from £2.29 to £4.57, just in time for a buy one get one free promotion. Bizarrely Waitrose price match these, and have mirrored the increases, without the buy one get one free offer of course. The real price for pitted kalemata olives can be found in ASDA at £1.60 or there abouts. Even waitrose do their own for £1.84.
  • Nobby
    > Waitrose and M&S rarely have special offers on so it concerns me not. M&S do. They regularly have two packs of sausages / burgers / etc on offer. I ignore "before" prices on any offers. I just think about whether the price they are currently selling at reasonable. If not, I buy something else (in the case of food) instead that is reasonable. Same goes for any product not just food. For example, any DVD / game / toy / electrical item will have some high RRP, then the actual selling price. I couldn't care what the RRP is, it is the selling price that matters. I don't care if it is 90% off the RRP.
  • sayed
    agree with nobby. you dont have to be autistic to know what is a good price and what is bad. this article makes out like as if shopping is more like card counting or something. eg. kenco coffee 200g - most places it goes for £4.50 buts on offer for £3 now. I usually wait till its cheaper, however i got a 750g tub from costco for about £7-£8. that'll last me a good 6 months minimum. Also, I have 0 loyalty to anyone.
  • Ten B.
    [...] price reductions – they’re all a load of bollocks [...]
  • Jennyp19
    Compare the prices by looking at the price per litre/kilo which is on the shelf - most of the so called "value" stuff is dearer than normal, Meat or bakery products of value ranges usually have a lot more fat in them - mince is real good example of this.
  • Jennyp19
    and check the price of the 2 for ones - often cheaper to buy 2 separate - only a penny or two but it all mounts up
  • Andrew R.
    Yeah the Fresh Orange is murder for this - don't know exact prices off top of my head but it's like 2 for £3 or £1.40 each.
  • jamie f.
    Has any one seen them adverts from asda, the other day i was watching TV and the funniest thing happened. First asdas advert come on the telly saying don't you hate it when every one says that they have the cheapest, well now you can find out who does, asda checked and we have 4000 cheaper products than tescos and sainsburys. Then tescos advert came on straight after and said, bla bla bla tesco now have over 66666 products cheaper than asda and saisburys And then to top it off guess who's advert was on after that, yes you are correct sainsburys also mentioned that they have cheaper products that asda and tesco I mean granted that they are all in different sections of te supermarket but seriously they put it in tiny writing so that people still don't have a fucking clue, Cant wait for lidls to do one you can buy bars of chocolate for like 5p :O Well any way i hope the owner of asda is reading this YOU FUCK FACE!!! and you tescos and possibly you sainsburys you over priced orange logo turd munchers sort your advert out and just go back to the simpler days when that old woman was doing your adverts such as "That's asda price" Every little helps" and of course "richard hammond" I may be talking crap but i dont care, any way before i finish i'd like to say view my hukd list of items for sale they are cheaper than any other users on hukd check for yourself at the price comparison website. BYE!!!!!

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