I was tricked by the sly psychology behind supermarket pricing


8w ago

I'm writing this while drinking Despar orange juice, which I just bought, and the 1-mile walk home from the supermarket gave me time to think about how I just got tricked into buying a product that is actually more expensive than the marginally better product I'd originally planned to buy.

I'll make this quick and use something I'd normally stay away from because I'm not good at it: math.

I wanted to buy a can of San Pellegrino orange juice, which costs €0.54 but then I noticed that I could buy a 3-carton package of Despar orange juice for €0.99. I immediately thought, "well, it's twice as expensive but I get three items instead of one".

I paid €0.99 for Despar orange juice and each tetra pak carton contains 200 ml of juice. So that's 99 cents for 600 ml of juice, or €1.65 x litre (around 34 oz).

Each individual can of Aranciata San Pellegrino, which is what I had the other day and what I wanted to buy today, costs €0.54 for 33 cl of orange juice, that's €1.63 x litre.

So the price difference is negligible but it's still technically more expensive and, more to the point, I bought something else instead of what I actually wanted, the equivalent San Pellegrino product, which is probably better in terms of quality, and it tastes better.

The bad news is this made me feel dumb. The good news is at least I got a decent FT post out of it.

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Comments (6)

  • One time I bought a protein powder that apparently was cheaper but I didn't read the instructions. The cheap one needed 3 scoops to get the protein content of 1 scoop of the "expensive" one 🤦‍♀️

      1 month ago
  • It’s so easy to get tricked by the “offers” 🤦🏻‍♀️

      1 month ago
  • Sounds simple, but if I really want a particular product and the price difference between the next best is negligible, I'll pay the extra for the one I want, within reason 😎

      1 month ago
    • Exactly! That's what I set out to do, but then I didn't. And I got out of the supermarket and thought "oh s**t. How did this happen?" :/

        1 month ago