Woolworths Reminds Us That Specials Can Be Deceptive

Woolworths Reminds Us That Specials Can Be Deceptive

Supermarket 101: just because there’s a big sign suggesting a bargain doesn’t mean there’s actually a meaningful discount. Yes, little savings add up, but the difference between $10 and $9.88 hardly seems worth printing this particular poster. For more practical supermarket shopping tips, check out our top 10 ways to save on supermarket shopping. Thanks Wendy for the pic!


  • I actually asked at my local safeway if the sign was a joke, the women at the counter didn’t seem very clear on the status of the special but she indicated the price was previously 11.99 or so, which would point to the sign being a misprint.

  • Unfortunately this sort of shit actually works on a lot of people, hence this ridiculous attempt at subterfuge. There are a lot of stupid people out there.

    • Makes sense – but unfortunately, for people who don’t know what Coles are charging for their chickens, it just seems stupid. Obviously the flier would have been better if it read: “Why pay $10 at Coles for a BBQ Chicken” (and why Chicken is capitalised is beyond me) – but I take it Woolworths aren’t allowed to directly address Coles in their advertising…?

  • I work at coles and they have recently been marketing alot on bbq chickens and other deli meats you know for like summer picnics and stuff. Coles lowered the chickes from approx. 12 to 10 so this add is like saying ‘why go to coles and pay 10 when you could come here and pay 9.88’

  • I visit supermarkets very infrequently, so upon seeing this I would have thought “yeah… 22 cents big deal”. But if the sign had said “BBQ Chicken was $12 now $9.88” I would think “huh, almost 20% discount. Cool”

  • Is it sad that i saw this on fail blog first?

    I remember shopping at coles once and getting a hot bbq chicken for $5 because the checkout chick put it through as a frozen chicken and not a BBQ chicken.

    • Even better was turning up at a 24 hours at around 11pm after some stuff for a late dinner, and go offered a chicken for $2, the guy i was with said make it $1 and you got a deal, so he crossed out the 2 and wrote a 1 on it, and it was a nice late dinner.

      • I used to regularly visit my 24 hour Coles on the way home after late night beverages, pick up a $2 chicken on the way for dinner. Good snack for the walk home (not so good for your stomach, but you don’t think about those things at the time).

  • the #1 best way to save is to not shop @ supermarkets in the first place. the coles/woolies duopoly is what is keeping prices high.. shop @ your local market & save big $$$.

  • Weird..

    But regardless of the minor price differences – how is it even possible to sell a uncooked chicken for as low as $12?? What sort of cost cutting hormone drugs must be in place to get a fully cooked chicken for this price?

    Anyone who has ever grown chickens on a farm knows this price is impossible. I wouldn’t put one of these drug ridden chickens in my mouth if you paid me.

    Also, check out the Beast Files on these monsters and how they manage all this destruction on regular commerce http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1et_HBmLYw

  • You have to remember that almost all of these signs are done from head office or by a computer and are printed every morning ready to place where they need to be.
    They can only question it if the new price is more expensive than the old price for anything deemed ‘sale/reduced/advertised’.

    One time I had a sign for a dvd player that read
    Was: $99.99
    Now Reduced to: $99.98
    the old man was fuming at me saying this has to be a joke, and i had to explain to him that we have to get confirmation from head office before we take down signs.

  • Chickens used to be $10.90 so it’s a substantial discount seeing as how Woolies sell way over 100 of these a day. Coles have been making a huge deal about having $10 chickens so that’s what this sign is referring to.

    Remember when they were both advertising $1 milk?

  • Coles are just as guilty. I saw a sign with the word special $1.98 for a bag of beans (375g). Next to it were loose beans for $2.98 per kilo. Thank God for unit pricing ti show which was the better deal. Oh, and which ones were most customers grabbing?

  • I saw this first at my local a couple weeks ago and had to stop, take a picture, and then show everyone that would listen just to make sure I wasn’t missing some point… I wasn’t… I don’t shop at Coles. I don’t watch TV, and I rarely read newpapers… so whatever inside-baseball “clever” marketing trick to stab at the opposition was LOST on me… and everyone of the dozen or so I showed the photo to the next day…

    I only ever buy Woolies BBQ chooks when they are going out for $5 at the end of the night… great for sandwiches, or chicken salad. If I want to eat hot chook, I prefer to pay $13 across the street at the organic chicken shop where the taste comparison is…. no comparison. Totally worth the extra $3….. and 12 cents… 😉

  • they made it look like it was save $9.88 or something like that as we are used to one number being the amount we save and the other number being how much it is.

    One tip though, and only cos you guys are special… if you look carefully we managed to score a full chicken from the same rack going at only $4.98!

  • I remember a while back they had the Coles “dollar dazzlers”. Where a product was say $2.50 they would have a shiny red sign “Coles Dollar Dazzlers – Buy 2 for $5!”… um.. what?
    I’m sure people fell for that too, I mean why buy one when you can get two for twice the price? bargain!

    • LOL reminds me of a “great cracking offer” my dad used to always joke about when we had those chocolate drives at school. Back in the day when chocolates were 50cents he used to say “Hey Kid – buy 1 Chocolate for $1 and get a 2nd one free!” …..

      Tom – do you remember which item was $2.50 each and then $2 for $5 in big red signs?

      Anyway this ad is hilarious! That paper & ink used to print this probably cost more than the saving customers are actually making! We know they’re trying to take on Coles, but even so, 12cents isn’t exactly a massive saving…..

  • You also forgot to include that a few weeks ago, Woolworths even took out radio ads only promoting this one discount. I heard it and thought – why advertising something with a saving of 12 cents? How is that going to entice companies? TO me, it sounds like Woolworths is tight with their discounts, and only promoting something saving 12 cents, which to me, that’s the cheapest discount they offer.

    But at Liquor Land, some person was going off her head saying. I’m not paying $99 for this bottle of wine when I can go to a Woolworths outlet and get it for $98. I thought lady, it would cost you more in fuel to drive there – just buy it here.

  • Unlike most people here who thought this was stupid/misleading I think it’s clever when looked at in context.

    Coles has been heavily advertising BBQ chickens for $10 and Woolies is having a go at them by saying “why pay $10 when ours is $9.88”

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