In the framework of the project “Lower price” Ukrainian society economic freedoms regularly conducts public campaigns aimed at reducing the price of goods for which the Ukrainians for various reasons, are overpaid.
Earlier, the UTES have already demonstrated that the goods in Poland is much cheaper than in Ukraine. First of all, clothing. Given that in the Verkhovna Rada was registered a bill even on cheaper clothes.
However, the prices of the same goods can vary significantly within the country. And not only within the country but within the same city or even in the same trading network. Example prices for food products in Kiev supermarkets.
What supermarket has the lowest prices? To answer this question proved difficult, because in the process of price monitoring, the authors were faced with an incredible number of difficulties and ethical nuances related to the pricing in stores.
Why it is difficult to compare prices in supermarkets
Firstly, prices in supermarkets same network may be different.
Second, stores a different set of products different brands and different capacity of packing.
Thirdly, prices for goods change quickly and unpredictably, even for one day.
To illustrate how different prices even for the same products offered to see how much popular product as Coca-Cola in different networks.
It turns out that the price of the same bottle of Coca-Cola in the same store on the same day may be half as higher prices in another market.
No less difficult was to define a set of products for price comparison. Optimal, according to the authors, the option of obtaining high – quality results of the monitoring study prices on the product list, which is set by the government for calculating the subsistence minimum.
The subsistence minimum consists of dozens of kinds of products. This list is, in fact, insufficient for survival, but for pricing it doesn’t matter.
In the selection of products the study authors took into account the cheapest product of pre-packaged, because in some supermarkets missing product category “weight”.
By the way, to determine which of the Packed products the cheapest, is also difficult, because products are often sold in packages 700, 800 and 900 grams. The purpose of these manipulations is to mislead about the real value of goods.
This is not the only example of unfair pricing, there is also the practice of “promotional” prices. In the course of monitoring of the prices of salt during the “salt fever”, the authors found that in supermarkets the product is the same, but in two the same price was quoted marked “promotional”.
Significant price gaps relative to the reference product, which is mined in one place on one state enterprise, still persist.
What supermarket is the cheapest
In February, during the week the authors have recorded prices up to 40 kinds of products in two or three shops each of the 13 largest retail chains of Ukraine. This allowed not only to compare the cost of 520 units of food, but also to calculate the amount of expenses in every supermarket to the satisfaction of the nutritional needs of Ukrainians during the month.
Taking pictures in shops are often prohibited. The award for public friendliness campaign gives supermarkets “ATB”, “Billa”, “Velyka Kyshenya” and “handicap”. “Ekomarket”, the authors received comments and “Varus” them twice expelled. In vain, because according to the study most affordable supermarket was exactly “varus”.
The cost of monthly rations, 55.5 kg food ranged from 1461 UAH in “varus” up to 1833 UAH in “Megamarket”, and the difference in cost of a set of products of the “consumer basket” in the most expensive and the cheapest retail chains in Ukraine reached 25%.
This monitoring is not intended nor advertising or anti-advertising sales networks or brands. Initiating the event, the authors sought to confirm or refute the claim of trade networks in relation to the savings they assure customers. The resulting output will be checked – the authors intend to repeat the monitoring.
Unpleasant conclusions: what the study showed
The main result of the study – understanding that the prices in supermarkets vary, to attract buyers of “cheap” goods and encourage them to pay more for other products. Because there is no real reason to pack coffee single manufacturer cost in different supermarkets so different – the difference, in some cases, reached 50-100%.
To eliminate such price gaps can only free competition. However, its principles are triggered only when the consumer is aware of where and how the product cheaper.
That is the key question of the legislative regulation of transparency of pricing for consumer goods thanks to which buyers would be able to make the best choice.
The network must specify the price is not per unit but per 100 grams of product.
Buyers should realize that pellets are Packed in a package weighing 850 grams, is on a par with products of other manufacturers having a standard weight, maybe even more.
In addition, you must prohibit use of the mark “action” for items that are not promotional, and therefore consumer buying them, not benefits.
Moreover, we should not speculate on the irrational fear during martial law.
It would not hurt to indicate in the price schedule markup percentage that makes the network, or at least to indicate yesterday’s price. This would allow consumers to make more informed choices.