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Oct 18, 2010 03:46 PM

My beef with grocery stores recently

I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but those of you who frequent Loblaws and although I don't go often I assume Provigo also - the new catch of pricing something 2 for the price of..... BUT, you only get the price if you buy 2 of those items. The mention that you have to buy two is written in teeny weeny script on the "sticker advertising the special".

I have done a lot of shopping, and I mean a lot of shopping in the past 10 years and I have never encountered this problem. When things were 2 for the price of...... if you only got one, you didn't pay the regular price, you paid the sale price.

For example - 2 for $4 well, in the old day, if you only got one, you'd pay $2. Now you'll pay the regular price for one - if one is all you buy.

I hate it when stores, or their managers or whoever decides this, try to take advantage of people not noticing the discrepancy at the cash.

PS: Please don't get mad at the cashiers- it's not their fault. If you have an issue with this, speak to the manager.

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  1. Many years ago - like over 20 - I ran across a grocery store that decided to do this.

    I stopped shopping there. Apparently a lot of other people stopped shopping there too, because it no longer exists.

    The other thing that torques me off is this thing Krogers and some other stores do where you have to have their card to get the sale prices. They use that information to track your spending habits. For years I refused to shop at any of these places. Then I discovered that the card is activated as soon as you use it. So I'd just get a card and never send in the name/address info. Replace the card every few months and e voila, no customer tracking.

    6 Replies
    1. re: ZenSojourner

      I assume you paid cash for all your purchases when using the store card?

      1. re: ZenSojourner

        1. You don't have to give them a real name, real address, real phone number or any real information on that piece of paper.
        2. At least one of our stores (Albertsons), at the bottom of the application --the VERY last line-- is 'Check this box if you just want a card and don't want to give us any information'.
        3. Costco has all of my consumer information. As soon as something is recalled, I get a phone call or postcard in the mail telling me to return/stop using it. I like that.

        As far as the OP's question- That has been going on since forever. You have to read the fine print. Nothing new here.

        1. re: ZenSojourner

          I've found in most of the supermarkets here in southeastern PA that if I don't have (or don't want to use) a shopper's card, I can ask the cashier to swipe the generic store card at the checkout, and I get the discounted prices.

          1. re: ZenSojourner

            Why would you care if a store uses info to track spending habits? It gets me coupons for things I already buy, along with the occasional $25 gift card or a coupon for 20% off my entire purchase.
            One of our local (LA) upscale grocery stores asked for my info and last Christmas I received a $100 gift card.

            1. re: BubblyOne

              I prefer to get my coupons WITHOUT having my privacy invaded.

              To each his/her own.

          2. Where I am, I've noticed the opposite. It was always you must buy 2, or 3, or often even 10, you just had to read the fine print. But now I'm noticing a trend, that started with the smaller chains, that you get the sale price either way, and now the big guys don't always demand a certain volume anymore. But you still have to read the fine print. There is often a minimum purchase involved too, which used to be $25 but now is down to $10. I think they trick more people that way. Buyer beware, get out your magnifying glass.

            2 Replies
            1. re: coll

              A&P, Stop & Shop, Pathmark & Foodtown all honor the sale price whether you buy 1 or more, but they will limit how many you can buy at the sale price. I've never seen more than 10 of the same item at the sales price honored with one check-out. Now, I've been known to make a few trips back for a super deal but I notice sale limits towards overbuying than I do not rec'ing the sale price on one item. I also get rain checks for items sold out before I get there, so the sale price is honored when the item returns to the shelf.

              1. re: HillJ

                I've had the problem of having to buy a set amount to get the price at Waldbaums, which is part of A&P/Pathmark. As recently as last week.

            2. At my local market - Publix - when they have items priced at 2 for the price of one, or whatever multiple, you don't have to buy the stated quantity. If it's two for one dollar, you pay 50 cents each regardless of the quantity you buy.

              What really steams me are the BOGO offers. For those you HAVE to get two in order to get the benefit of the BOGO. If the price is $5 and you get two, the unit cost is $2.50. If you only put one in your basket, you pay $5 and the unit cost is $5. I absolutely refuse to participate in BOGO offers.

              6 Replies
              1. re: janniecooks

                I was going to point out this distinction as it's what I experience at Safeway in NoCal. But I don't get steamed about it. #1, it's their store. #2, usually the BOGO items are things that I'm fine having two of.

                1. re: janniecooks

                  I've never experience a bogo that forced you to buy both in order to get the sale price or half price.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    I've had the opposite experience, no matter how stupid it seems from our end. Meanwhile, the price is jacked up for the sale and if you don't partake, you lose.

                      1. re: HillJ

                        Not for me, because I am very aware of prices overall due to being in wholesale food. But the women I speak to at my gym and all, they are clueless. I try to educate them a bit, and alert them to the good sales and all the subsequent rules that accompany the sale. They are always getting raped but don't think twice about it, like it's too much trouble to be proactive or rectify. But maybe they're not as broke as me ;-)

                        1. re: coll

                          Good for you (sad for them) coll. I like my shopping dollar to stretch as far as it can go week to week! Good food costs bucks...why over pay if you don't have to :)

                2. paying less on a greater volume or number of items is common. e.g. 2 a piece & 3 for 5, etc. i see no problem with this

                  1. Actually, the older practice was that volume-based discounting was solely volume-based. It's was only during the boom decades that this was relaxed. Now, with the depression forcing stores to more diligently manage inventory and stock, it makes perfect sense to see the older practice revived.