Greengates Builders Merchants

Special Offers That Cost You More!

The Not So Special Offers That Cost More!

Supermarkets are being accused of manipulating prices to give the illusion of saving.

Supermarkets are tempting shoppers with bogus special offers including some where prices are put up rather than down, researchers say.

Researchers identified a series of cases suggesting stores were manipulating prices to give the illusion of savings rather than offering genuine reductions.

Consumer champion Which? surveyed more than 700,000 products and found products sold as a multi-buy were more expensive than when bought indi­vidu­ally.

For example, Asda doubled the price of a single Müller yoghurt from 30p to 61p as it put them on multi-buy at ten for £4. The price went back to 30p when the offer ended. This meant the yoghurt cost more per item when you bought ten during the special offer than when you bought a single pot before or after it.

Which? also found examples of products on offer for weeks on end after being sold at the 'original' higher benchmark price for only a short period.

Tesco sold Beck's beer for 190 days on discount and only 70 days at the supposedly original higher price.

Often, stores will put up prices for a short period before an offer. Online grocer Ocado raised the price of strawberries from £3.89 to £4.38 for 13 days. They were then sold as 'Was £4.38 now £­2.­19/­£­2.­29/­£­2.­25' for 112 days.

Stores may also use a high price applied long ago as the benchmark for claims of a reduction.

Asda was selling Aquafresh Milk Teeth Toothpaste with a label boasting 'was £1.74, now £1.15'. Which? never found it being sold at £1.74.

Which? says rules which should stop stores pulling the wool over customers' eyes do not work and need toughening.

“It looks lke the old saying goes if it looks to good to be true then it is” says Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire.

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