Saturday, 21 March 2009

Two for Twice the Price

Fine, it's perfectly understandable why this is done, but it is still irritating. And many people wouldn't even realise it was going on!

While at the local supermarket, one comes across deals such as "2 for $2" or "5 for $10". Wow! Sounds like good deals! Must get them!

There's a reason why those prices hold. It's because, respectively, they are $1 each or $2 each. So, yes, get two or five and...

But that's what they don't tell you. No, instead you get two or five or... however many they are trying to offload. Do you need five? Or two? Maybe just one would be enough?

It's fairly basic psychology that makes us go for the deal, although it's clearly more of a deal for the supermarket. Why get rid of one when you can get rid of many? It might be an interesting psychological exercise to see if people will go for "3 for $3" or "4 for $8". Interesting, but still making shoppers spend more than they might otherwise do.

As for spotting it, just look at the price as its swiped, or on the docket. Any discount applied? Nope, then what got swiped was your money.

On the other hand, no-one is forcing you to go for those deals, and you wouldn't if you couldn't afford it... which is the sort of rationalisation process that scammers use.

Caveat Emptor, indeed!



Rich said...

Huh. That's different to the way the UK does it.

As a currently unemployed bloke I have to pay particular attention to money spent on food and the like, I have never seen a deal where the price wasn't reduced somewhat for buying multiple of the same item (or at least same brand).

In fact just yesterday I bought 5 60w energy saving light bulbs for 50p (total); they were being sold at 99p each! No it wasn't a price mistake and while I would like to think that the shop was trying to do its bit to prevent global warming I have to say they wanted to shift it out of their warehouses; it costs money to store unsellable items and we are doing them a service by buying it in bulk.

Jamas Enright said...

Oh, we have proper discounted bulk items too... although nothing like that.

Foo said...

Very interesting post Jamas. I was listening to a Ricky Gervais episode just yesterday where Karl Pilkington laments the same thing.

I have noticed at Sainsburys they always seem to have 'deals' with buy 2 for the price of 1. Of course, they don't discount the price and offer 1 for half the price. This does mean that you seem to be getting a good deal as you get a really great bang for your pound, but do end up buying more than you need.

I have noticed this is far more common over here than in NZ.