New Shape - New Size
Did You notice that towards the end of 2010, the size of the All Gold Tomato Sauce was changed from the 750ml bottle to a 700ml bottle?
Comparing Apples with Smaller Apples
When buying a re-fill in a plastic container check that you are buying the same size.
The great value refill for the Sunlight dishwashing liquid is 700 ml which is smaller than the 750 ml bottle.
So when comparing price for price, just remember to take into account the different size.
30% plus increase!!
I notice that Husky dog food (775g tin) seemed to have risen dramatically over the past few months, so I checked with the October 2010 prices. They were as follows:
Checkers: R15.99 Spar: R12.99 Pick 'n Pay R13.99
The May 2011 figures are:
Checkers: R18.99 Spar: R18.99 Pick 'n Pay R19.49
Spar presently have a special where the price is R13.49. It makes one wonder what the 'true' price is and how stores actually price their items.
New Product too Expensive?
Dettol came out with a special 200g bar of soap sometime last year. It was priced in the region of R12. The price must have been a little too high for the consumer as I see the price has come down a little to R11. I must congratulate the stores on bringing the price down!
What's that. The bar weight has come down to 175g ... no, they wouldn't do a thing like that, surely!!!!!!
Update: Dec 2011
Latest Prices from the stores are:
Checkers R7.99; Eurospar R7.99; Pick ' Pay R8.99
Makes you think doesn't it?
Chocolate - New Size
Do you remember in about 2009, the weight of chocolate bars coming down from 100g to 90g?
Cadbury's were the first to do it and it took the main hypermarkets almost 6 months before they re-labelled the chocolates with the correct weight.
Well now, Nestle have gone one better - they have now brought out an 80g bar of chocolate. Yes, you guessed it - at the same price as the other bars.
Dish Washing Tablets - New pack size
We changed to a new dish washing powder last year. It is called Finish. If I remember correctly it came in standard packs of 20 40 and 60 tablets. I have noted that the prices have escalated since last year. I remember the standard 60 tablet pack could be purchased for under R100. Now the 40 tablet pack is almost R100.
Is this high increase due to increases by the large stores or simply the manufacturers making larger profits?
Personally I think the latter as the manufacturers have recently changed the number of tablets per pack; packs are now also available containing 24, 30, 48 and 56 tablets. Talk about confusing when you try and price the items per tablet. But I guess that's all part of the strategy for ensuring that the customer doesn't realise your product price has escalated by 40% or more.
The 5 cent dillema?
Being in close proximity to where I live, I often shop at Checkers Hyper, Vereeniging. Earlier this year, I was told that they were phasing out the 5 cent piece, rounding item costs down to the nearest 10 cents. Great Idea!
Unfortunately, management forgot to tell their till personnel that it should mean that customers should get the benefit of this new innovation, not Checkers. To date, my shopping record at Checkers goes something like this:
correct change given ... 4 times
change rounded up (customers benefit) ... 0 times
change rounded down (Checkers benefit) ... 6 times
March 2012 (to date - 19th March):
correct change given ... 2 times
change rounded up (customers benefit) ... 1 time
change rounded down (Checkers benefit) ... 5 times
After repeated complaints to management that the staff never have small change and always give short change, my last visit (19th March) produced an astounding result. I was given a shiney new 10 cent piece! What will I do with this new found wealth?
Well, LifeLine Vaal is one of my favourite charities so I think I will donate it to them.
Up-date - end of March. another three visits and another three times incorrect change given.
Did prices increase last year?
Are they still increasing this year?
To assess the extent of price increases, I have introduced a colour code for any item which reaches a new high price at any of the major stores which are being monitored by this website. For the February price comparison items, out of the 132 items, 35 increased in price to a new recorded high. See the latest price increases in our price comparison list.
Cobra Shine Just a Little Bit Dull
It seems to be the way to boost company profits. No, not by putting the price up, but making the contents smaller. Recently, Cobra polish have reached a new stage in advertising. There on the side of the tin in bold letters is 50% more. Yes, 50% more!! Can you believe it! And the price is still the same. No, it had even come down a Rand or two.
But wait a minute ... 50% more what? ... 50% more shine?
And then I looked even more closer. The tin size looked the same, but there in much smaller letters I noted the size had been reduced from 400 ml to 350 ml.
Well if I was giving awards for deception, the Cobra shine would sure be at the top of this years list.
At the beginning of this year, I praised Checkers for bringing in the new concept of 'Home Made Goods'.
Unfortunately, seven months down the line nothing has happened. I personally know of two people who sent in items for approval. One was rejected after six months, the other is still waiting for an answer.
Considering the 'Home Made Goods' table has now disappeared, one can only assume the concept has failed.
How Free is Free?
Have you ever bought anything with an 'extra 10% free. Yes, FREE.
But sometimes the extra 10% becomes the norm. Take a 10kg bucket of HTH. Throw in an extra 1kg for free. You have an 11kg bucket. But now that 11kg has now become the norm. Not only that, but the price has increased over the years such that the 'extra 10%' has long been factored into the price.
This month saw Pyotts Kips savoury biscuits with a 10% extra emblazoned across the packet ... yet one of the stores has increased its price from R13.99 to R17.99 for this product. So if you are one of the people who purchased these at the 'new' price, you must really savour that extra 'free' 10%.
What is a Fair Price for Shopping Goods
With the price of goods in the shops varying from month to month, the consumer may wonder what the true price of food and goods really is! Well, I have come to the conclusion that there is no true price as such. What I have noticed is that shops will do their best to part you from your money in the quickest and most profitable way for the stores benefit. No, not for you the consumers benefit, but the stores and ultimately the sharteholders and of course the company executives as profits affect their bonuses.
To do this, the store needs to persuade people that they are getting a bargain. And there are some good price deals out there, particularly at the end of the month when consumers are flush with cash and buying in the bulk of their groceries. But beware, because most stores put profits way above customer satisfaction and even fairness to customers. The stores also know that although the large majority of customers receive and look through advertising literature for specials, very few know the 'normal' price of other products. So although some items may be on 'Special", it pays to check that you are not buying other items where the price has been inexplicably inflated. How do you know what prices should be? Why not print one of our price comparisons and take it with you on your next shop.
Here are a few of my favourite gripes:
1 Products put on Specials - check that the sell by date is not close. Very often, foods with an imminent sell by date will be put on special. As one store put it when queried about this ... 'it's not illegal!' Mmmm, well, I wasn't querying the legality, I was querying why they didn't put a notice on the product saying 'on special - sell by date close'. Then at least the consumer has the option of buying the product and knowing the reason for the special.
2 Large notices on the shelves advertising the product. This does not always denote that the product is on special. Some stores have large notices on a stack of goods to indicate items that are on 'Special', then simply change the price the following week, while still displaying the same large notice.
3 10% more free!!! Really! But are you still paying the same price? I have seen some products with free additions but the price increase is far greater than the additional 'free' amount.
Pringles Leads the way
Well, I must congratulate Pringles on leading the way in reduction of content whilst maintaining very similar packaging. The content of the boxes went down from 165g to 110g (a reduction of 33%). I actually can't remember the size of the old box, but I am cetain that it was very similar to the present size.
Price wise, the price has increased from R18.60 three years ago to R20.90 this month (average price of four stores taken).
So now you calculate who is better off. The consumer or the manufacturer?