Pound shop rip offs: 6 sneaky tactics that make you spend more

Posted March 24, 2014 by Student Profit Staff

From Poundland to Poundworld, £1 shops are taking over the high street but are you getting ripped off?

There’s no doubt that Pound shops do offer some bargains, buying products in bulk from the East to sell on quickly and cheap here, but what about branded products? Are you really getting a good deal?

Pound shops will scream from the rooftops about their prices being lower than the supermarkets but are their deals really that good? The fact is quite often they’re not: Corners are cut in order to make any profit selling for £1 and it generally means you’re paying more. Here are just some examples we found…

Smaller bottles

Pepsi’s drinks are typically sold in 600ml bottles… but not in Poundland where your money gets you a 100ml smaller bottle. Other drinks in similar shops are the same, with so-called ‘Shorty’ 250ml cans replacing the usual 330ml sized ones.

pepsi max

‘Clever’ labelling

We say ‘Clever’ as we’re not too sure why people fall for it, but they do. Go into any pound shop and the products are filled with labels such as ‘100% FREE’ which you won’t find in other supermarkets. Why? Because that’s just the standard size. The label makes you think you’re getting a good deal when you’re just getting what you should be!

Shorter rolls

From toilet roll to cling film, if it can be rolled you’re probably getting less of it from a budget shop. For example, Poundland (at time of writing) is selling kitchen foil for £1 for 15 metres, but in Sainsburys £1.08 will buy you twice as much. That works out a 46% cheaper per metre!

Making you buy more

Now most shops have deals for buying more than one item such as ‘Buy 2 for £1’ offers -but what happens if you only want the one product? At the supermarkets, you’ll almost always be charged the price for the individual item. Not so at Poundland: A 2 for £1 means you’ll be charged the full £1 price even if you buy just one item. The result is you’ll either end buying more than you actually need or just getting ripped off by paying the higher price for less.

poundland offer

Fewer chocolates

In pound shops you’ll find a product you won’t in most supermarkets: A pack of 3 Cadbury chocolate bars, each weighing in at 117 grams. The reason you won’t find them elsewhere is simple: Supermarkets actually stock the ‘full’ version: Four bars, each weighing 154 grams.

Sharesize bags of chocolates are also smaller: Cadbury’s caramel nibbles are sold in 100 gram packets compared to the standard sized 160 gram bags you’ll find in the likes of Tesco.

Less soup

Tins of Heinz soup for £1? Bargain! Or not: You’re not getting bigger, those tins are just really quite small, down to 300 grams. In fact, this one is quite a rip off. At the time of writing, Sainsburys are selling the exact same soups in their ‘full size’ 400 gram cans for 89p a tin, or 5 for £4 (80p each).

So next time you’ll in a pound shop take time to look at the packaging to see what – and how much – you’re really getting for your quid.