Saturday, January 22, 2011
Buyer Beware - An Example of Stores Being Deceptive
See this innocent little 3 lb bag of clementine oranges? This little bag of happiness? Well, let me tell you, it didn't make me too happy this morning.
Actually, it wasn't the bag of oranges that got me ranting but rather the store where I bought it at. I had seen in this week's Lucky's ad that they had 3 lb bags of clementine oranges on sale for $2.59. Since this is well under my "$1 / pound" limit on fruit, I ran over there this morning to pick up a few bags - 4 bags, to be exact - my daughter LOVES these things and they last a long time.
As I walked into the store, I saw a display of bagged clementines in the entrance of the produce section with no price tag. I thought, "Oh, there's the oranges I wanted." and then I stopped and thought "That's a really big bag for 3 lbs." I picked one up and turned it over to discover it was a 5 lb bag. After a little investigating, I found the price tag discretely placed on the side: $6.99. Guess where the "on sale" 3 lb bags were - in the far back of the produce section, hidden among a display of $1.65/lb oranges.
*insert nasty names here*
Now, I know that not all consumers are as careful as I am at reading labels and price tags, so I'm sure Lucky's going to make a killing on these oranges. People walk in without their ads or maybe they're just in a hurry to get their shopping done, so they see the big display of oranges and just assume those are the ones on sale.
I had a similar experience right before Christmas, once again having to do with clementine oranges. I walked into my local Sprouts to do my weekly produce shopping when I saw the 5 lb bags on sale for $6.99. I knew they could be found at a lower price elsewhere, so I skipped them. Imagine my surprise when I walked around the central aisle display to find a pile of loose clementines for 99 cents a lb. I actually stood there for a moment, verifying what I was seeing - I save money AND got better produce if I bagged my own oranges?
That makes no freaking sense....
So while I stood there and picked out my own oranges, I watched multiple people stop right next to me and the price tag and grab the bags of oranges, totally missing the loose oranges.
I know you're probably sitting there, reading this, and thinking, "But Anne! It's only $2!" Now stop for a moment and answer this - what could you buy for $2? I know I could pick up a pound of raisins from the bulk bin, making my son a very happy kid (he's addicted to them). I could buy 2 heads of celery or 4+ lbs of carrots.
Every dollar counts these days, people! So stop, look, and think when you're shopping! Don't think that the grocery stores are your friends - they are NOT! They are out to separate you from as much of your money as they can, as quickly as they can. If you want to save money, you have to be proactive, you have to be logical, and most importantly, you have to be skeptical.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to crawl off my soapbox and go roast some chicken leg quarters (59 cents / lb - couldn't resist it!). Have a great weekend!
Posted by Anita at 12:45 PM