Off-licenses and overcharging

I bought a can of coke today from an off-license and it cost me £1.10. It was an umarked can which did not have a price. The price-marked cans are 85p.
I bought a 7 up plastic bottle few weeks ago from another off-license and they charged me £1.70! Price-amrked bottles are about £1.30

I would advise everyone to be very careful when buying unmarked items and preferrably not buy them at all.
It seems off-licenses are ripiing off consumers by overcharging.
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Comments

  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783
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    I'm surprised to learn that off-licences are still operational. Now there are so many supermarkets selling booze as well as specialist alcohol sellers, I didn't think there were such things. Of course there are the handy independent shops run by independent owners who struggle to make a living. As elsien says, above, people have to pay extra for the convenience. 

    I've often got to the till and been told that an item was far more expensive than I originally thought. I usually say "oh sorry, I didn't realise it was THAT expensive, I'm sorry but I don't want it." But then again, when people are desperate,they will cough up what the person behind the counter asks for. 

    You are right to say look for price labels. Otherwise, people will just charge what they like and get away with it too. I don't think it's so much that small retailers are ripping people off. They're trying to survive in a cut-throat industry. It's up to us, the consumers, to make sure they don't try it on too often though.
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  • Android07
    Android07 Posts: 139
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    edited 4 October 2022 at 10:13PM
    Where does the shop-owner get these non price marked cans from?
    They do not have the multi-pack warning below.

    I have also seen many off-license sellers sell cans from multi-packs and they have labels saying Not to be sold individually. Who enforces or checks these? Trading standards?
  • jon81uk
    jon81uk Posts: 3,749
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    Android07 said:
    Where does the shop-owner get these non price marked cans from?
    They do not have the multi-pack warning below.

    I have also seen many off-license sellers sell cans from multi-packs and they have labels saying Not to be sold individually. Who enforces or checks these? Trading standards?
    As long as the can has the ingredients and other stuff needed there is nothing legally stopping them from selling the cans from the multipack. The manufactures just add the not for individual sale bit to try and shame retailers into not doing it as the multi packs are a lower price from the manufacturer.

    However some items are marked not *labelled* for individual sale (such as multipacks of the small Hagen Dazs tubs) as they don't have all the ingredient and other regulatory information on the single tubs, only on the outer box.
  • It's worth noting that retailers pay the most for unmarked cans, so it makes sense that they will be the most expensive.
    Multipack and price marked stock will always be sold at a discount to the unmarked stock.

    Price marked and multipack are 'special offer', it's not unreasonable for a retailer to charge full price for unmarked stock, for the reasons described above.
  • Android07 said:
    Where does the shop-owner get these non price marked cans from?
    From the wholesaler. It is the manufacturer who sometimes choose to price mark their products. I believe this is mainly to protect their brand in the situation you describe. Good old Coca Cola only want 80p but greedy shop owner wants £1! Good old Coca Cola. 

    Its an interesting spin and it obviously works to some degree. But its not legally binding.
  • Zinger549
    Zinger549 Posts: 1,284
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    They don't have to sell it at the price marked on the can/bottle. If they want to sell it for more they should put a SEL or a sticker on it showing the price. They can also sell multipack items individually if they want.


    Come on you Irons
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,014
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    The running cost of a small shop is proportionally much higher than that of a larger shop... our local cornershop always has to have two members of staff on so that there is cover for toilet breaks, lunch etc and a lot of the time you go into the shop you'll be the only customer there... do you think Tesco have 2 staff in their shop for every customer? You can spend an age looking for anyone that isnt on the tills in our area.

    If they are independent they will also be paying more for their stock as they dont ahve the buying power of large supermarkets and so not only have a worse negotiating position but have to buy from a wholesaler which adds another company's profit margin to the supply chain.

    Android07 said:
    I bought a 7 up plastic bottle few weeks ago from another off-license and they charged me £1.70! Price-amrked bottles are about £1.30
    You dont say what size it is but out local co-op charge £1.60 for a 500ml 7up and would imagine the cornershop on the other side of the road to the co-op would be very similar in price. Sounds like you just may be out of touch with the current cost of things.

    Android07 said:
    Where does the shop-owner get these non price marked cans from?
    They do not have the multi-pack warning below.

    I have also seen many off-license sellers sell cans from multi-packs and they have labels saying Not to be sold individually. Who enforces or checks these? Trading standards?

    They get them from a wholesaler, same as the ones with a marked price. To be honest its a bit of an odd question, seems much stranger that a manufacturer would stick a price on the item than it not be there. If you ever look at an online wholesaler you get the choice of buying marked or unmarked cans... clearly the unmarked are much more popular as despite the marked ones potentially having a special offer price on the cans the wholesaler sells them for the same price so you simply make less money or have to argue with customers over why you've covered the special offer.

    No one enforces the multipack split because there is nothing wrong with it as long as the cans have all the required information on them. Now if Tesco who probably buys directly from Coke started doing it then Coke may decide to stop selling them to them meaning Tesco would have to buy from a middleman and pay more but no corner shop is going to be buying direct and no wholesaler is going to care. 

  • Android07 said:
    I bought a can of coke today from an off-license and it cost me £1.10. It was an umarked can which did not have a price. The price-marked cans are 85p.
    I bought a 7 up plastic bottle few weeks ago from another off-license and they charged me £1.70! Price-amrked bottles are about £1.30...
    Then errr... why did you buy them?  Presumably the shopkeeper told you how much they were going to charge you before you touched your card in or handed over the cash?

    If you agree to pay £1.10 for something that should be sold for 85p, that's your problem, nobody else's.

    (PS - it may not just be off-licences who are ripping you off... )
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