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Navigating supermarket "sales"
Old 04-10-2013, 11:36 AM   #1
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Navigating supermarket "sales"

Seems like whenever I go in a supermarket, they have many items that have some sort of sale like "10 for $10" or "4 for $12". But what if I just want to buy one item? I asked an employee at one store and he said I always get the same price no matter how many items I buy (if I buy one item that is 4 for $12, then I pay $3 for each even if I buy only one). But sometimes at the checkout, that is not the case. Is there any way to tell or am I missing something? I know they want to sell more items, but why can't they put on the signs the price for each item and the unit price if you buy more (if it is not the same amount)?
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:47 AM   #2
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Sounds like maybe you're talking about kroger or one of their siblings ? I think sometimes they have two types of sales. The 10 for 10 are 1$/EA no matter what you buy. The other is to buy 10 of the special items ( mix/match ) to get say 5$ off the 10 items, In this one you don't get the discount without 10 items. They also mark a lot of things 10/10 when it's not really a sale price, And it's hard to beat WallyWorld since they price match and are almost lower anyways.

Also sometimes it's in the fine print. Like canned soup 10/10 select varieties ( usually the ones not selling ),pick up the wrong one and it regular price.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:59 AM   #3
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In Supermarkets around here, they usually indicate on the sale sign (albeit in fine print) something to the effect of "Must buy # (or more) of items". Same goes for limits ("Limit x cans per sale", etc.)

The unit shelf price is also indicative. If it's higher than the implied single price, then the sale only pertains to the # of items stated. If it's the same, then the sale price applies to any number of items.

It's just good business, IMO to make things as clear as possible. There's no point in alienating customers over a few cents.

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Old 04-10-2013, 12:14 PM   #4
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Usually they will say on the sign with the price. If it says for example, 3 for $12 then if you buy 1 it is still $4. On the other hand, the other day I bought something that said 4 for $12 and underneath in small print it said "Must buy 4." In that instance you had to buy 4 to get the discount.

The other thing to do is watch out for a limit which sometimes exists for a really good sale. So it might say, 3 for $9, limit 6. So you couldn't get the discount for more than 6.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:15 PM   #5
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IMO it is how the sign is posted...

If it is posted as 3 for $12... then it should be $4 for each one...


If it is buy 2 get the third for free... and the price is $6 per... well, it is $6 for one.. or two... if you do not bring that third one up you do not get any savings...

As mentioned, some put a price in small print for selling one... can not remember who does this...
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:18 PM   #6
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You might find that some of the sale prices are dependent on the buyer presenting a "club card" to get the lower price. I really dislike having to carry and present those cards when shopping. Sometimes, when I'm asked for the card in a store that I don't "belong" to, I ask why I'm being over charged for not having one and a manager usually grants the discount.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:20 PM   #7
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Usually you don't have to buy multiple items unless it specifically says you must buy that many to get the price break.

If it just says "2 for $5" with no individual price listed separately, you can usually buy only one for $2.50 -- unless the advertised price specifies that buying one will cost the regular price.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:37 PM   #8
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These days you really have to keep an eye on the register. Safeway stores have had some legal challenges on what they advertise and what the register rings up.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:04 PM   #9
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Many stores have scanners customers can use to scan their items prior to going to the checkout area. Any time I have some doubt I take the item(s) in question to one of those scanners to see the price it gives me.
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:57 PM   #10
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Many stores have scanners customers can use to scan their items prior to going to the checkout area. Any time I have some doubt I take the item(s) in question to one of those scanners to see the price it gives me.

Never saw one at a grocery store.... other, yes....
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:59 PM   #11
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You might find that some of the sale prices are dependent on the buyer presenting a "club card" to get the lower price. I really dislike having to carry and present those cards when shopping. Sometimes, when I'm asked for the card in a store that I don't "belong" to, I ask why I'm being over charged for not having one and a manager usually grants the discount.
I hate these cards also.... but found out my DW gave them all our info (I never gave the anything, but had a card)... so now all we have to do is give them our phone number...


Another way I have gotten the discount is to ask the person in line if they had one... most people are happy to get the purchase on their card (don't know why as you don't get anything) and I just swipe theirs...
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:16 PM   #12
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You might find that some of the sale prices are dependent on the buyer presenting a "club card" to get the lower price.
These cards are used to build a profile of your buying habits, which is valuable information and is sold to lots of folks. I'm not big on participating in that stuff, I'm not sure everyone in the universe needs to know what I buy at the store ("hey, that stuff is medicine!"). So, I gave a slightly misspelled name and totally fictitious phone number, address, and email address when I filled out the application. The card works just fine.
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:54 PM   #13
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The store cards are a pretty good way to get you to buy more than you planned. Last Thanksgiving, frozen turkeys were .59/lb with $50 purchase. I got an email offer thru my Dominick's/Safeway card (for Chicago area) for only .39/lb w/no purchase required. It was confusing since these 2 offers overlapped on my card. We each had a card, so we ended up buying 2 smaller turkeys for later use. If you check your card specials online (they don't advertise it), they sometimes offer you a freebie item, this month it's Hellman's mayo, 9 oz tube, other times, a free canned drink, 2 ltr soda, breakfast sandwich, dozen eggs, etc. They even offered a "get a free donut" card for kids from years ago that can be redeemed each time they come in w/a parent. They stopped offering this free donut card, but you can still use it as long as you have this card. Can't complain when they toss you a free item now and then.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:03 PM   #14
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:22 PM   #15
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:01 AM   #16
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Another way I have gotten the discount is to ask the person in line if they had one... most people are happy to get the purchase on their card (don't know why as you don't get anything) and I just swipe theirs...
I'd be happy to let you use my card just to get you moving along (and out of my way).
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:08 AM   #17
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. I really dislike having to carry and present those cards when shopping. Sometimes, when I'm asked for the card in a store that I don't "belong" to, I ask why I'm being over charged for not having one and a manager usually grants the discount.
Ah, if you are ever in front of me in the supermarket, please don't call the manager over to save $.48. I'll be glad to let you swipe my club card.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:12 AM   #18
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You might find that some of the sale prices are dependent on the buyer presenting a "club card" to get the lower price. I really dislike having to carry and present those cards when shopping. Sometimes, when I'm asked for the card in a store that I don't "belong" to, I ask why I'm being over charged for not having one and a manager usually grants the discount.
I just tell 'em I forgot my card or DW has it, and the cashier punches in an override code and I get the discount. I can only recall one time that this didn't work, when the store mgr was right there.... YMMV.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:16 AM   #19
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Another way I have gotten the discount is to ask the person in line if they had [a club card]... most people are happy to get the purchase on their card (don't know why as you don't get anything) and I just swipe theirs...
Coupons. In many stores, coupons are now printed on the backs of receipts -- some for products actually purchased, and some for products competing with those actually purchased.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:18 AM   #20
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