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Spill the beans... Trade secrets: supermarket staff, tell us your reduction policies!
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# 1
Former MSE Debs
Old 01-06-2012, 1:03 PM
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Default Spill the beans... Trade secrets: supermarket staff, tell us your reduction policies!

Spill the beans... Trade secrets: supermarket staff, tell us your reduction policies!

We're all for hanging around supermarkets near closing time to bag a bargain, but since different supermarkets mark down their perishables at different times, it's hard to know when to go. So, this week, we'd like to hear from any insiders on the staff at big supermarkets to find out when to go, what to buy and any other tricks of the trade that can help MoneySavers do what they do best.


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# 2
kookai9
Old 06-06-2012, 11:26 PM
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The yellow stickered reduction are only about 10% off now ,on the 1st round of reductions & most items are to go out of date on the day now too .Its not worth it any more
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# 3
worriedfirsttimebuyer
Old 06-06-2012, 11:49 PM
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Last night, DP went to Asda about 6.30pm (due to close at 7, bank hol) and got a whole side of salmon fillet for 1.28 and 2 bags of salad for 10p. Delicious! We live off Whoops deals towards the end of the month...
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# 4
Zajko Zuzulyatovsky
Old 07-06-2012, 10:16 AM
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I send one of my kids to analyse the bread department for reductions, the other one to secure any salamis at the deli while I go to the reduced rack, and oh yes my wife is responsible for the fish counter. We then synchronise our watches and meet at the tills for a briefing. Life is a military operation. Oh and by the way I have trained each member of the family to scan for the red stickers...;-)))

Last edited by Zajko Zuzulyatovsky; 07-06-2012 at 10:20 AM. Reason: Memory loss
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# 5
waterhouse_melons
Old 07-06-2012, 12:22 PM
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When I worked at Sainsbury's we have a policy whereby the system tells us a 'preferred rate' to reduce the item down toward (starting from about 15% off down to about 75% off). As for tricks of the trade, I would say just to be nice to the 'reducer', there have been many times where I have been asked to reduce further but have said no just because of how customers can treat you. The nicer the customer, the more likely the 'reducer' will give in and go below that 75% off margin!
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# 6
emuratty
Old 07-06-2012, 1:35 PM
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Got loads of bread in my local Asda for 5p each (including 2 garlic breads for 5p) about half an hour before closing on a Sunday recently - straight in the freezer when I got home, kept us going for about 2 weeks.

I sometimes hit Sainsbury's on my way home from work 6pm-ish and usually lots of bread items for 40p - 50p.

Reduced counters seem to be a bit more pot luck.

Tesco don't seem to knock as much off as the others.
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# 7
iviv
Old 07-06-2012, 3:44 PM
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From around February to April I was living off 10p reduced bread from the 24 hour Tesco where I work. Finished at half 6 on a saturday, off to the bread aisle and grabbed a loaf of kingsmill (Or more rarely an own brand loaf), down to 10p to clear it out, and then right into the freezer. Same on the Sunday when the store closed.
Not been any the last couple of months, we seem to be running out of bread rather than overstocking it now, so they've not quite got the balance right. But its better than it was, there were so many loaves for 10p they were trying to sell off, its a waste, really.
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# 8
sammyroser
Old 07-06-2012, 3:48 PM
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In my local sainsburys they have an area in each cold isle where they put the reduced items. But if you scan the bottom shelf all the way along you can often find a joint of beef or some luxury ham slices reduced down to 50p or so. Only usually get the good offers on sundays or bank holidays as it shuts at 10pm rest of the week.

Yesterday popped in asda after work, saw lots of salad reduced at 10% off. Had to go back in later that day 8pm ish and all the salad was down to 5p! Bargain
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# 9
Gingerscot
Old 07-06-2012, 4:55 PM
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I love shopping in English supermarkets on a Sunday afternoon as this is the best time to get bargains with them shutting at 4pm. Rather than stand at the fridge where the marked down items are kept, waiting for the final reductions, I have a hunt round the various fridges looking for items they have missed and take them to a staff member to be reduced, usually by 75-90%. However, this weekend I was told that they cannot reduce items brought to them by customers as it is against the law so now I just tell them where they are and wait for them to go round and reduce them.

The best bargain I ever got was in an Asda in Glasgow when they reduced 3 large meat joints, valued about 45 in total, to 3p!
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# 10
Helix
Old 07-06-2012, 5:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gingerscot View Post
I love shopping in English supermarkets on a Sunday afternoon as this is the best time to get bargains with them shutting at 4pm. Rather than stand at the fridge where the marked down items are kept, waiting for the final reductions, I have a hunt round the various fridges looking for items they have missed and take them to a staff member to be reduced, usually by 75-90%. However, this weekend I was told that they cannot reduce items brought to them by customers as it is against the law so now I just tell them where they are and wait for them to go round and reduce them.

The best bargain I ever got was in an Asda in Glasgow when they reduced 3 large meat joints, valued about 45 in total, to 3p!
Its not against the law, it will be against store policy. The reason they have this policy is due to some customers hiding items, then retrieving them when they were close to running out of date and asking for them to be reduced.
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# 11
toadfinder
Old 07-06-2012, 5:41 PM
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If you are lucky enough to live/work near a Waitrose, they have fantastic bargains at the end of the day - fruit, veg, bread and cheese are most consistent spots for bargains, but they occasionally pop up in other depts too. Also fish counters will often give you v good discounts at the end of the day if you ask nicely.

We are on a low income and could never normally afford Wrose prices, but thanks to the red/white tickets we eat like kings
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# 12
dasophster
Old 07-06-2012, 5:46 PM
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I find waitrose best for reductions round here; depends on the staff member doing the reductions but on Sundays most of their fresh in store bakery bread is reduced to either 5, 10 or 15p a loaf/baguette and there is nothing wrong with it nor is it about to go stale. Packaged bread is also reduced to 10p and often it still has 2 or 3 days left before the use by date! They also reduce a lot of other items to 50p or less, what that may be and times when they do it can be quite random xx
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# 13
dasophster
Old 07-06-2012, 5:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toadfinder View Post
If you are lucky enough to live/work near a Waitrose, they have fantastic bargains at the end of the day - fruit, veg, bread and cheese are most consistent spots for bargains, but they occasionally pop up in other depts too. Also fish counters will often give you v good discounts at the end of the day if you ask nicely.

We are on a low income and could never normally afford Wrose prices, but thanks to the red/white tickets we eat like kings
great minds think alike I wrote my post at the same time as yours
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# 14
Middy
Old 07-06-2012, 5:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toadfinder View Post
If you are lucky enough to live/work near a Waitrose, they have fantastic bargains at the end of the day - fruit, veg, bread and cheese are most consistent spots for bargains, but they occasionally pop up in other depts too. Also fish counters will often give you v good discounts at the end of the day if you ask nicely.

We are on a low income and could never normally afford Wrose prices, but thanks to the red/white tickets we eat like kings
Last year on a rare occasion where I had a Sunday off, I visited a friend for lunch and a catch up. Left her home at 3:15pm and drove 10 mins and came across Waitrose. I picked up mixed oriental mushrooms to 10p (were c.2.29), fillet steak 50p - was 10 and 4 boxes of king prawns for 15p each.
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# 15
vixtagirl
Old 07-06-2012, 7:09 PM
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Waitrose is great for reduced fruit and veg, many a time we've bought stuff near the sell-by date only to find it keeps longer than full price, in date produce from other supermarkets. I don't know what Waitrose do to it but we've never had anything go off yet!

A couple of weeks ago hubby got a pack of two fillet steaks from Waitrose, reduced from 8.15 to 1.61 so well pleased!
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# 16
DCFC79
Old 07-06-2012, 7:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helix View Post
Its not against the law, it will be against store policy. The reason they have this policy is due to some customers hiding items, then retrieving them when they were close to running out of date and asking for them to be reduced.
Which is a fair policy,
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# 17
rozmister
Old 08-06-2012, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterhouse_melons View Post
When I worked at Sainsbury's we have a policy whereby the system tells us a 'preferred rate' to reduce the item down toward (starting from about 15% off down to about 75% off). As for tricks of the trade, I would say just to be nice to the 'reducer', there have been many times where I have been asked to reduce further but have said no just because of how customers can treat you. The nicer the customer, the more likely the 'reducer' will give in and go below that 75% off margin!
I'm not being rude watermelon but how long ago did you work for Sainsburys? I only ask because I stopped working for them less than 2 weeks ago and I know we would always avoid going under the 75% margin like the plague because they have a piece of software called 'Eagle Eye' that scans at random through all kinds of financial data such as reductions to check that there are no anomalies. It can't scan EVERY single reduction but every time you go below the guidelines you take the gamble it may pick it up and flag it up to your line manager who in turn will look at your other reductions and run them through Eagle Eye to see if there's a pattern. You need to be able to explain every abnormal reduction you do and the reason so regular ones below 75% all need to be explained and if you can't it can lead to disciplinary action.


At my store the reductions system was as follows:-

For a damaged product on the shopfloor (broken box on a toy, etc) checkout staff, which includes checkout team leaders and customer service desk colleagues, can only do 10% but staff from the department the product comes from and managers can do more. If they say only 10% and you think the damage is worth more of a discount ask if there is anyone available you could discuss a further reduction with. Don't demand they get the manager down now - that's the worst thing to hear as a colleague!

Bakery - Generally reduced by 1/4 - 1/3 early in the afternoon (about 3 or 4) and then down to half in the evening (maybe 7) excluding products there are lots of which go down by more to shift them or something that is hard to get rid of at half price like a birthday cake

Veg & Fresh Food- First reductions of about 1/4 - 1/3 early in the afternoon (about 3) then down to half early evening (about half 5 - 6) and then final reduction to a quarter later (about half 7 - 8)

Sunday afternoons are generally the best day to get reductions; go about 3 - 3.30 and hover but don't hover really close glaring because that's annoying.

Our store policy was we weren't allowed to reduce on customer's request unless they pointed out a problem that wasn't reflected in the price (standard reduction based on date when the product is very squashed). If you ask nicely and catch them in a non pushy way they might do it for you anyway but a few of my friends are code checkers and they complain about the people who hang around and hassle them all the time!

HTH and good luck bargain hunting
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# 18
dasophster
Old 08-06-2012, 3:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vixtagirl View Post
Waitrose is great for reduced fruit and veg, many a time we've bought stuff near the sell-by date only to find it keeps longer than full price, in date produce from other supermarkets. I don't know what Waitrose do to it but we've never had anything go off yet!

A couple of weeks ago hubby got a pack of two fillet steaks from Waitrose, reduced from 8.15 to 1.61 so well pleased!
The other day they had the big punnets of strawberries reduced from 4 (though they were on BOGOF at that price) to 49p, purely because the display until date was that day, the quality of the strawberries was amazing, only one or two individual strawberries out of the 6 punnets I got were squashed. They were beautiful looking and had a lovely flavour. Got loads of stuff from Tesco a month ago due to the special price flop leaflet offers and it was awful, the aubergines and canteloupe melon were nice; but the rest of the stuff, horrid. Looked lovely but lacked flavour and either never got ripe or went mouldy a day or two after buying. Potatoes were frost damaged and looked really really old-will not be making that mistake again. Just hope waitrose continue to do these big whoopsie reductions and it would be nice if they brought back the 1/3 off fruit and veg again xx
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# 19
dasophster
Old 08-06-2012, 3:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rozmister View Post
I'm not being rude watermelon but how long ago did you work for Sainsburys? I only ask because I stopped working for them less than 2 weeks ago and I know we would always avoid going under the 75% margin like the plague because they have a piece of software called 'Eagle Eye' that scans at random through all kinds of financial data such as reductions to check that there are no anomalies. It can't scan EVERY single reduction but every time you go below the guidelines you take the gamble it may pick it up and flag it up to your line manager who in turn will look at your other reductions and run them through Eagle Eye to see if there's a pattern. You need to be able to explain every abnormal reduction you do and the reason so regular ones below 75% all need to be explained and if you can't it can lead to disciplinary action.


At my store the reductions system was as follows:-

For a damaged product on the shopfloor (broken box on a toy, etc) checkout staff, which includes checkout team leaders and customer service desk colleagues, can only do 10% but staff from the department the product comes from and managers can do more. If they say only 10% and you think the damage is worth more of a discount ask if there is anyone available you could discuss a further reduction with. Don't demand they get the manager down now - that's the worst thing to hear as a colleague!

Bakery - Generally reduced by 1/4 - 1/3 early in the afternoon (about 3 or 4) and then down to half in the evening (maybe 7) excluding products there are lots of which go down by more to shift them or something that is hard to get rid of at half price like a birthday cake

Veg & Fresh Food- First reductions of about 1/4 - 1/3 early in the afternoon (about 3) then down to half early evening (about half 5 - 6) and then final reduction to a quarter later (about half 7 - 8)

Sunday afternoons are generally the best day to get reductions; go about 3 - 3.30 and hover but don't hover really close glaring because that's annoying.

Our store policy was we weren't allowed to reduce on customer's request unless they pointed out a problem that wasn't reflected in the price (standard reduction based on date when the product is very squashed). If you ask nicely and catch them in a non pushy way they might do it for you anyway but a few of my friends are code checkers and they complain about the people who hang around and hassle them all the time!

HTH and good luck bargain hunting
I used to know a lady who was one of the managers in a Sainsburys in N.Wales; this was a good 12 years ago now though-back then reductions were entirely down to the staff member's discretion and as such items would often be reduced to 5p even items with a day or so left before the use by date, we are talking anything from bread to a whole side of rainbow trout! I used to live near a large branch of Sainsbury's (different to the one where I knew the manager) and it wasn't yet very popular so there would always be reductions all over the store by 4-5pm, I once got 6 bags heaving with stuff including reduced fresh produce, yoghurts, reduced to clear drinks, cakes, meat etc for...................6. It was all so heavy that I had to stop several times on the way home, to put the bags down and try and regain feeling in my hands, and I only lived 5 minutes walk away. Its a shame things have become so beareaucratic now but its also understandable as staff were probably taking the mick in the past xx
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# 20
twickmag
Old 08-06-2012, 12:05 PM
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Yes, my local Waitrose has massive end of the day reductions, but there is a regular price reducer follower, an unknown ethnicity lady, I think, who snatches everything out of his/her hand before it can be put back on a shelf/in a trolley, and stacks it in her own trolley - I've sen it full to the brim at the checkout. It's far too much for her own consumption, and my guess is she sells it on to friends/family.
Frustrating for regular shoppers.

Last edited by twickmag; 28-06-2012 at 11:48 AM. Reason: Attempting to satisfy the alleged anti racist brigade on this forum
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