Great 'When's best to supermarket shop for discounts?' Hunt

Former_MSE_Lee Posts: 343 Forumite
edited 19 April 2011 at 8:54PM in Shop but don't drop
Great 'When's best to supermarket shop for discounts?' Hunt

[FONT=&quot]The very best supermarket reductions are on fresh goods that are going out of date, but what’s the best time to grab these bargains?[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]I’d like any MoneySavers who work or have worked at any of the big supermarkets to dish the dirt on stores’ official reduction policies. This way we’ll be able to spot patterns and figure out the best times to get down to the reduced aisle.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Please let us know:[/FONT]
  • [FONT=&quot]Which supermarket do you work for/did you work for?[/FONT]
  • [FONT=&quot]What times of day do you reduce prices?[/FONT]
  • [FONT=&quot]How big are the discounts? (If the computer does it automatically, do a rough estimate)[/FONT]
  • [FONT=&quot]What time is the final, final reduction (to 10p-ish)?[/FONT]
  • [FONT=&quot]Who has the authority to reduce prices?[/FONT]
  • [FONT=&quot]If a customer asked you to reduce something because it’s on it’s sell-by date are you allowed to?[/FONT]
  • [FONT=&quot]Does it vary if it’s a 24-hour store?[/FONT]
  • [FONT=&quot]And any other useful tips …[/FONT]

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  • PricelessGemini
    PricelessGemini Posts: 1 Newbie
    edited 21 April 2011 at 11:35AM
    I currently work for M&S and as a general rule, reductions on fresh food which is going out of date are started around four hours before the store closes. The discount is usually around half the full retail price as we have a set reduced guide to stick to, however, other factors are taken into account at the store's discrepancy. If customers ask to reduce an item as it is on its sell by date, our policy is usually only if there are three or more of the same product going out that night.

    Variations may occur between certain stores as some are trialling different reduction procedures where items are reduced to 10p an hour before the store closes so it is worth checking with your local M&S... Any questions, I'll try my best to answer.
  • galbak0
    galbak0 Posts: 2
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 20 April 2011 at 11:43AM
    Which supermarket do you work for/did you work for?

    What times of day do you reduce prices?
    Most branches do the reductions first thing in the morning to half price, then a second reduction if needed in time for the afternoon rush, then a final one in the last few hours to get rid of stuff that has to be binned.

    How big are the discounts? (If the computer does it automatically, do a rough estimate)
    Roughly half price, depending on quality and odds of selling by the time we close. if its not going to sell by end of day, than less than half price.

    What time is the final, final reduction (to 10p-ish)?
    Hour before closing in most branches.

    Who has the authority to reduce prices?
    Store manager, Duty manager, often delegated to a Store Assistant told to reduce that day.

    If a customer asked you to reduce something because it’s on its sell-by date are you allowed to? Yes.

    Does it vary if it’s a 24-hour store? N/A

    And any other useful tips
    Be polite, don’t crowd the poor person doing reductions, and don’t shove things in their face. Or breathe down their necks, and please, don’t ask for a better reduction, if we could reduce it further, we would have done it already. Be understanding if the person doing reductions has both hands full, or has to go off to do something more urgent than put a reduced sticker on your Sunday lunch, were usually understaffed..

    When asda take over, no idea whats going to happen.
  • Big tip- don’t annoy the customer assistant. I had complete authority on when and how much to reduce prices. Only occasionally would my manager or supervisor give me directions or guidelines, and since I worked evenings, often neither would be working. The same people would come in every week and I would get bugged by them when I had better things to do (i.e. putting stock out, which I could get told off by the nightshift for not doing enough of, or helping customers with proper queries). Sometimes people would get on my nerves so I’d be ‘mean’- waiting until late to do the final reductions, putting them all at 20p rather than 10p, and tell them that the manager informed me to do it that way. At the end of the day, I couldn’t care less if Sainsbury’s had to throw out a 25ml tub of cream they wouldn’t have wanted in the first place and would probably get disused at their home just because they didn’t want to pay 10p more.
    My manager told me not to reduce things people handed to me, and I wouldn’t have anyway becasue it would’ve irritated me. That said, if someone who wasn’t a regular came in and asked me to reduce a sandwich or something at 8 or 9pm, I probably would’ve just because I knew they weren’t that type of person.I saw loads of people bicker with eachother as I’d do the reductions, one lady almost hit a man for taking something she had her eye on. I vaguely built a relationship with these people, some of them were nice, but at the end of the day I didn’t hold a lot of respect because they would buy pointless things just because they were 10p...
    On an unrelated note, another big tip is to go the day before its closed- obviously on Christmas eve there is a mountain of goods which expire on Christmas day and Boxing day which will all be reduced. You’ll find stuff that never usually makes it into the reductions section at dirt cheap prices- I remember getting myself some tasty bbq wraps and chocolate profiteroles.
  • babzblue
    babzblue Posts: 11 Forumite
    edited 21 April 2011 at 11:33AM
    I worked at Morrisons in Scotland while I was at school. Here are some tips.
    1. Build rapport with the assistant. They will hate being pestered but I really enjoyed "banter" with the customer - it was the highlight of an otherwise boring night. I had this one old man who would come up to my counter and be shouting abuse at me asking me to stop cleaning and get reducing! (in a funny old man way) and I loved to reduce stuff for him! I wouldnt reccomend going this far of course because most of the staff hated him, but being friendly and patient with the staff will go a long way!
    2. If you want the nice stuff, dont go too late.
    Our rules were typically 25% - 40% off 3/4 hrs before, 50-75% off about 1hour and a half before closing and then the really cheap reductions in the last hour but by that time all that was usually left was the burnt rolls!
    3. Pick your days. Go on days where the shop is likely to have been quiet ie big football matches, early in the week. Nights when the shop shut earlier sometimes mean the staff are under more pressure to get rid of the stock. Christmas eve and New years eve are great if you go quite early (lunchtime ish) as all fresh stock is reduced.
    4. dont annoy the staff! as mentioned in previous posts the staff are busy, it is a low paid job with high expectations. If you arent happy with a 25% reduction you'll just need to wait. Departments are quite seperate and will do their reductions at different times so chances are theres someone else in the store you could be hawking over while you wait!

    Hope this helps cheap skates :P x
  • I totally agree with the previous posts about not annoying the staff. I used to work in the bakery section of Sainsbury's before heading to Uni, and some customers were so aggravating. I would always have the last laugh though as I had complete say over how much I reduced items by and when I did it. Generally, if people demanded a reduction I'd only reduce it by a tiny amount or not at all; some great satisfaction from an otherwise demoralising job! As previously said, at times when staff are reducing it's usually on the evening shift, when there are fewer staff who still have plenty of work to do. I used to get people complaining that they'd got the bus all the way down to the shop to get the reductions, but I hadn't had time to do them, and it really irritated me them asking.
    As a general rule, go a couple of hours before the store is closing, check down the front of the shop as well as we used to take the stuff down to the entrance to entice more people.
    Reductions aren't the only way of saving money though. If you are buying goods with a short shelf-life, always check the back of the shelf, as if the staff are rotating the stock correctly the longer dates will be at the back. You'll certainly save money by not throwing stuff away that you haven't had a chance to eat because it's gone out of date!
  • Also if you've had a few down the pub and you want some post-lash munch then check out 24 hour stores, sometimes they'll let you have stuff for free that's just gone out of date!
  • charlie-chan
    charlie-chan Posts: 666
    First Anniversary
    edited 21 April 2011 at 11:37AM
    • [FONT=&quot]Which supermarket do you work for/did you work for
    • [FONT=&quot]What times of day do you reduce prices?
      We reduce cheese/meat portions early morning then savouries/salads after 5pm.
    • [FONT=&quot]How big are the discounts? (If the computer does it automatically, do a rough estimate)
      25-35% during the day, 50% after 5pm. Some items are reduced at 50% regardless of time if there are a lot to get rid of on that day.
    • [FONT=&quot]What time is the final, final reduction (to 10p-ish)?
      8pm (when I have gone home! lol)
    • [FONT=&quot]Who has the authority to reduce prices?
      On the deli counter, it is me or my colleagues. For the Hot Deli, it is either me or the Reductions person.
    • [FONT=&quot]If a customer asked you to reduce something because it’s on it’s sell-by date are you allowed to?
      If it's on the deli counter and I haven't spotted it then I will reduce it for them. I would tell them that it is a one off and not to ask in future :).
      As for when I'm on the hot deli and it is a customer who often comes in for reduced chickens, I tend to say no because the chickens/pieces/pie still have time before being reduced at 8pm and then they start to expect it every week.
    • [FONT=&quot]Does it vary if it’s a 24-hour store?
      Yes but my store is a Metro and we close at 10pm (except Sunday).
    • [FONT=&quot]And any other useful tips …
      - Do not harass the assistants! They have their own job to do and asking them if an item with a later date that was left in the reduction cab is to be reduced is a waste of time lol.
      - Don't snatch or get close to the assistants. They like their own personal space and they don't really want to smell your body odour/what you have had for dinner.
      - Don't follow me or the other assistants to see what they have reduced. When I have to do pie temperatures, I tend to get customers gathering behind me believing that I am reducing them. If I could use the probe to reduce them, I would but usually when I tell them that I am not reducing them, they get mad.
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  • Sessy
    Sessy Posts: 156 Forumite
    edited 20 April 2011 at 1:57PM
    I work on the bakery department of an ASDA store so I get to reduce all the goodies - CAKES :D

    The 1st reduction is done in the morning some time (the machine takes off a third at this time i believe).

    The 2nd reduction is mostly done at some point between 4:30 - 6:30. There is no set time as often other things take priority but the later the reduction the better as from 6:00pm the machine automatically takes off 50% of the current price.

    The "final" reduction is done at around 7:00pm (7:30-8:00 on days we trade until 10:00pm). I say final reduction as my store generally has a 3 sticker rule (3 whoops stickers max) and then the reductions get announced on the tannoy.

    However final does not necessarily mean final!! If there is still reductions left within the last half an hour trading (or an hour on quiet days or days with masses of reductions) we generally go to "silly" prices as the managers would say. Typically prices between 5p-20p. These prices are entered at the sales assistants discretion so I can put whatever price I feel appropriate :D

    So hear are my tips:
    • DO NOT ANNOY/PESTER/FOLLOW US - we have other things to do - reductions are not our main priority, we do not have access to the same bargains you do (often jealousy pays a part in all of this)
    • DO mention if it is a product you are unsure about/would like to try - i am more likely to knock it down more so you will buy it if its something you are indecisive about as you have not had it before - and also if you like it you may buy it again at full price
    • DO NOT come and hunt me down and NEVER call me by my first name - you are a pest. we are not friends. I am not likely to be co-operative and will most likely take my sweet time and not reduce to the 10p you were hoping for. People come in every day and do this. WE HATE IT. We know you, we see you coming, we disappear on our break or out the back. Hmmm I wonder why :think:
    • DO NOT get grabby or shove stuff under my nose COMMANDING me to "REDUCE". WE ARE NOT YOUR DOGS - Don't command us - I'll walk away, by stingy with the reductions, reduce off the shop floor, "accidently" not see the item you're after and go deaf when you point this out to me and oops all of a sudden I need a wee (I think you can see where I'm going with this one). Also I just don't want to be that close to you.
    • DO NOT ask me to reduce something whilst I am doing it because you are in a rush - I couldn't care less, in fact I'm more likely to take longer. If I am going top to bottom or vice versa, don't bump up your items, I can see you and I will just overlook the item and do a repeat of the routine above)
    • DO point out if we have missed something that should be reduced - you are actually saving us money and waste, most of the time we will take the time to reduce the item for you and if you are friendly and polite about it I will give you an exclusive "silly" price
    • DO go shopping the day before we are closed (in my store only Xmas day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Easter Sunday) not only will you get reductions with stuff going out of date before the store reopens but also on anything that has "holiday" packaging

    OK so that went on a bit but as I work the evenings, The gun is in my hands :D I can stick whatever price I like on the bread and cakes :D, it pays (or should I say saves) to get inside my head :dance:

    I realise I look like a complete jerk after reading what I wrote but generally all goes well, I have a smile on my face, you get your reductions. Manners, politeness and genuine appreciation will get you BARGAINS. Rudeness however, gets you the above treatment, I'll be rude back to you - report me to my manager if you like, they know how the customers get, you will get a pretend apology but they will ALWAYS be on my side

    There are more tips, can't think right now, I have work later on though so I may have an update
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  • BostonMan
    BostonMan Posts: 12 Forumite
    There seems to be an awful lot of folks telling us not to pester them; maybe they haven't considered what life is like when you try to live on a state pension of less then 100 quid a week.
    keep happy!
  • Seakay
    Seakay Posts: 4,265
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I always try not to pester and to stand back, give space and wait before selecting. This usually means that someone else pushes forward and grabs what I wanted. Yesterday a member of staff did it in my local Tesco! So yes, politeness is good but it is not necessarily rewarded with bargains!
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