Six Sneaky Pricing Strategies for Supermarkets



  1. Make it difficult to compare weights/sizes. Similar products will be sold in differing weights making it hard to compare prices. $1.29 per kg for loose carrots may not seem much. How about $4.39 for 300g of crisp baby carrots in a sealed pack? As the weight of one is given in grams and the other in kilograms, it is not easy to compare prices.

  2. Known Value Items such as bread, butter, milk and sugar bring customers into supermarkets and are invariably sold below cost to try to beat the competition (Some supermarkets have as many as 160 items as loss leaders.) Supermarkets raise prices on other items that we can’t remember the cost of.

  3. People who read from left to right also scan shelves from left to right. Therefore the most expensive varieties of a given product will be found on the left, the cheaper on the right.

  4. Irrational Pricing Irrational pricing is putting the price of items at say $4.99 instead of $5. The reason is based on memory processing time and the best way to do so, in memory and attention terms, is by storing the first digits. It works – even if you think you are ‘aware’ of it.

  5. Buy one Get one free ('BOGOF') hcan increase purchases by up to 150%. Unlike 50% off, which actually does save money, 'BOGOF’ deals get us used to consuming more of a product than normal, it is effectively only 25% off and the manufacturer usually pays.

  6. Reward cards are used to get customers to buy products they don’t normally buy – NOT to give a discount on purchases. Preserve margin and increase sales.