Supermarkets Manipulating Multiples To Get You To Buy More

Supermarkets are rolling out the apparent discounts more than ever. Ten for $10! Five for $5! And shoppers, thinking they’re getting a deal, are gobbling it up. Never mind that you can get the same price if you just bought one of the items.

NYT reports that while these type of “deals” have always been around, the downturn has put renewed pressure on stores to squeeze out more value per customer. So supermarkets have been analyzing the behavior from loyalty club card data – aha! Now you know what that was for! – to figure out how people are shopping. They’ve realized that massaging the multiples is where it’s at.

Stores experimented with offering 1 for $1 deals — and saw sales fall off by double-digits.

So the next time you see what looks like a big deal for buying in bulk, ask yourself if you really need ten boxes of couscous first. Then look closer at the price tags and see if you can pay the same unit price just by buying only what you need. Another tried and true strategy, making a shopping list ahead of time and only buying what’s on it, will also help you be less susceptible to in-store upsells.

At Stores, Making 5 for $5 a Bigger Draw Than 1 for $1 [NYT]