Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Games They Play

This was the last straw:

I buy a lot of groceries at Wal-Mart. One week I decided to buy a 2-liter bottle of Diet Pepsi rather than the cans, because it's cheaper per ounce. I don't normally buy 2-liter sodas and wasn't familiar with what a good or bad price was, but Wal-Mart's price was $1, so I bought a couple bottles.

The next week the price was $1.25. Hmmm. I only bought one.

The week after that I walked into the store and was immediately greeted by a big pallet of Pepsi right at the main door, crowned by a large sign announcing the price as if this was an incredible deal: $1.58.

This reminds me of the Kentucky Fried Chicken tactic to get people to buy the extra crispy chicken. When priced the same as their regular recipe, people didn't buy it. So they raised the price. And people started buying it.

I decided I needed to know all the prices of everything I normally buy. High and low prices from each store I might go to. Then I can refer to my spreadsheet to see if something is a good price or not, because the retailer can fake you out in this regard if you don't actually know what a good price is. Those of you with photographic memories are truly blessed. I will carry a spreadsheet.

My first stop was Stop & Shop. Their Pepsi was on sale for $1.50, regular price $1.79. Doesn't seem like much of a deal. But the next day a Stop & Shop flyer showed a price of $0.99. My head hurts.

The saga will continue. I need to complete my first spreadsheet of prices (see the 'about' page for more on that) before I publish any of it, because I still haven't gone to Shop Rite and I don't want these stores knowing what items I'll be looking at.

But here's a teaser: I have prices from Wal-Mart, Xpect Discounts, and Stop & Shop so far. I did not encounter one single item at Stop & Shop, even sale priced items, that was cheaper that the other two stores. And yet the store was packed with shoppers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I feel that many items are cheaper at xpect, target (when they have a good sale) and then we'll go to stop & shop and BJs for meat. By 2 weeks worth of meat for the price of 1!

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