7 ways supermarkets rip you off and how to avoid them

Posted April 21, 2015 by Student Profit Staff

Here’s your guide to avoid getting ripped off by the big supermarkets and their supposed bargain deals and offers.

With the news that consumer watchdog Which? is to launch a probe over so-called supermarket bargains, we highlight some of the dirty tactics shops use to get us to spend more… and how to avoid getting caught out.

Supermarket offer

Non-existent offers

Sometimes a supermarket offer just simply doesn’t exist so make sure you actually read what that bright red or yellow label is saying.

‘Fake’ offers

Other times offers may be genuine reductions in price, but you may discover that the price was only that high for a week or two sometime months ago. Use a price tracker like MySupermarket to check if price reductions are genuine bargains or rather just the typical price.

‘Hiding’ cheap products

Supermarkets exploit a lot of inconvenient human tendencies to get us to spend more and one of these is placing more expensive brands within eye level. Flashy displays and and prominent packing also helps to distract. Cheaper brands end up situated out of the way, usually on the lower or high shelves so look out for them.

Buying loose v packaged

It’s usually cheaper to buy loose when it comes to fruit and veg… but not always. To get the best deal, simply use the scales nearby in the fruit and veg isles and weigh the packaged, fixed-price product. If the price given is cheaper than its being sold for then ditch it and buy loose, else stick with the pre-packed items.

supermarket fresh food

Dubious bulk prices

For reasons unknown, economies of scale and the usual reduction in price when buying in bulk doesn’t always tend to happen in supermarkets. Get your brain into gear and do some maths when whizzing down the isles to see what’s the cheapest deal, sometimes three smaller packs of something works out better than one bigger one.


Deals designed to shift stock

When it comes to offers such as ‘Buy 2, Get 1 free’ ask yourself whether you actually NEED more than one, let alone the three.

Wrong price at the checkout

Finally, you may find that despite all your hard work in hunting out the best deal, the price given at the checkout doesn’t match up. Check your receipts and be sure to talk to Customer Services about any discrepancies.