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Thread: Prices

  1. #1
    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Prices

    First let me say that in our house men are men and women are women.........but this last weekend an unfortunate series of events meant that wifey wasn't available on Sunday to do the monthly shop at the local Pick & Pay and culminating in me having to break with tradition and do it myself

    In the supermarket for the first time in years and armed with nothing but a list and a debit card (I had to check my sidearm in at the customer service counter) I was feeling very vulnerable and way out of my comfort zone so I was determined to be in and out as quickly as possible.

    Most of the list was what I would class as staples, bread, milk, oats, veggies, meat, dog food, toilet paper etc. I wasn't concerned about checking prices to start with but immediately the first item was milk and I noticed that the three different brands of milk ranged between R13.00 and R16.80 for a 2 litre bottle. I thought that's a 20% plus variance for the same item but it turns out that was only a warm up, it got worse. Bread ranged between R5.50 and R12.90 for a premium brown loaf. I'm not talking about that crushed wheat stuff or any specialty ingredients, just a plain brown sliced loaf....200 and odd% price variance.

    At this point I nearly soiled a perfectly serviceable set of underpants. I even confirmed with a shop assistant that I wasn't seeing things but she couldn't shed any light on what might be the underlying root cause of the massive price differences on basic food items. The thing that puzzled me even more was the complete indifference of the other shoppers, they just went about their shopping like there was nothing unusual.

    Things got no better at the chicken fridge. Whole chickens...not the ones that get special food or daily fitness training, I'm talking about your common or garden steroid-fed battery variety, there were four brand names and the price ranged between R18.00 and R29.00 per kilo.

    I could go on and on with further examples but I'm sure you get the gist. I've approached several people ranging from expert shoppers (wifey) to the Pick & Pay manager but nobody can give me a reason for the astronomical price differences for what is essentially the same item.
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  3. #2
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Come on, prices of items vary, suppliers have different cost and profit stuctures. You should be worried if all the prices were the same - remember the whole bread price collusion issue.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    Come on, prices of items vary, suppliers have different cost and profit stuctures. You should be worried if all the prices were the same - remember the whole bread price collusion issue.
    Agreed but I don't see that would account for one loaf of brown bread being more than double the price of another. They're both locally produced from the same or similar ingredients, same labour pool, same transport system etc so I could see a 10 or even 20% price difference creeping in. The fact that the prices are so far apart means to me that they're not trying to compete with each other or the pricing isn't being driven by normal market forces such as supply and demand which is also a bit worrying.
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  5. #4
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    P&P also play the customer - they have a pricing strategy to coax the customer into making certain choices at certain times. We tend to go for the middle price so they would set the top price very high, middle price to be nice and profitable and the low price to be just profitable. They don't want to be stuck with lots of expensive stuff but they also don't want to be stuck with cheap junk. They move the product prices around to shift stock. I think that P&P has this game down to a fine art. The guys that don't know how to play are the ones left with lots of expired stock!
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  6. #5
    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    You may be right and it's the most feasible suggestion I've heard to date but I suspected P&P would get it's perishable stock from its suppliers on a sale or return basis .
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  7. #6
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Sure, but they play games with all their stock. Humans are strange when it comes to prices and perception of value - Woolworths charges a premium on everything and all the yuppies think that they are cool because they are seen to buy there! We spend lots of money on a particular car brand though we know at the back of our minds that the perceived value is purely a function of marketing. The thing is that big companies know how to play it.

    Be this all as it may, the wife will still drive 5km to save R2.50 on a 2L coke....
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
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  8. #7
    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    Be this all as it may, the wife will still drive 5km to save R2.50 on a 2L coke....
    Lol, I wasn't a shrewd shopper till this last weekend but I see where she's coming from now.
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  9. #8
    Gold Member Dave S's Avatar
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    My Wife would also drive 5Km just to get back 50c that was overcharged and she is not scared of making a scene when she feels she is being ripped-off. Just last month she bought a tin of Ricoffy @R49.99, this week that same can of coffee, on special mind you, is @R54.99, she was very quick to get the Manager involved (argument ensued) and she ended up paying R44.99 for it. Boy she is tough...
    Today Defines Tomorrow
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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    And don't forget 'eye level is buy level' look at the items above and below for better prices.
    "Nobody who has succeeded has not failed along the way"
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