Newly-launched shopping site SupermarketDeals.com.au wants to undercut supermarket chains on grocery items, but how do its prices actually compare?
The site (operated by the same team which runs existing deal site DealsDirect.com.au) has a simple premise: an ever-changing range of grocery and personal care items at discounted prices. Regardless of the size of your order, you pay a flat $11 delivery fee.
With that kind of model, it's tempting to order a lot of items to justify the shipping charge; there's a restriction of 10 of any one item. However, as with any bargain outlet, it pays to double-check what you're getting and whether it's actually any cheaper.
The first thing to point out is that while the site does deal only in name brands, it does often stock "parallel import" versions, sourced from overseas distributors, rather than the local versions. For instance, the Nescafe coffee being sold on the site comes in a size I couldn't find in other supermarkets.
This isn't an issue for some people (stores like The Reject Shop do this all the time as well). However, some consumers don't fancy the concept on "support local business" grounds, and others find that imported versions of foodstuffs don't always taste the same as the more familiar Australian versions.
The second question is: are the savings really that large? And the answer turns out to be: it depends.
I compared the prices for foods sold on SupermarketDeals with what was being charged for the same item at Woolworths. (Coles and Woolworths tend to have remarkably close pricing on same-brand items, so I didn't check both. Given that SupermarketDeals is only selling branded items, comparisons with Aldi can't be made directly for most things on the list. I have no doubt that every supermarket chain sells house brand items much cheaper than what's on offer here, but that's a different issue.)
In some cases, there was a large evident saving with the SupermarketDeals options: there's good deals going with Tim Tams, chips and single cans of Red Bull. But in others, the price difference was fairly minimal (most of the other Arnott's biscuits are within a few cents). The full list features below.
If you're willing to put the energy into comparisons, then you could certainly save some money using SupermarketDeals. But you'd have to be very strategic about it to ensure that the $11 cost was offset by the savings on the overall items. (The site promoted a 15% off deal prior to its launch, which would help offset that cost).
Given that supermarkets also run regular specials (for instance, the Up & Go drinks were on sale for a lower cost than the SupermarketDeals price, though ordinarily they'd be more), you could potentially achieve similar results with any local supermarket chain. It depends in large part on how much planning you put into your shopping in the first place.
Tempted by online grocery shopping in this format? Prefer sticking to your local store? Spotted a good bargain in one of SupermarketDeals' other categories? Tell us in the comments.