National Festival Of Bargains

Following a tip-off from alert WoSblog viewer "JBR", I popped down to my local branch of Morrisons this morning in a sceptical frame of mind. The word on the street was that from today until March 7th, the supermarket chain was inexplicably offering a £5 discount on £15 (and £25) iTunes cards. But obviously that couldn't be right – nobody just gives away what's effectively free money, do they?

On arriving at the store, there was nothing to advertise this implausible offer, so the first thing I did (after picking up some milk – man, I love milk) was take a card from the impulse-buy rack at one of the tills, and try to put it through the self-checkout scanner to confirm the price. Nothing happened as I swiped the barcode across the sensor, and an assistant swiftly came up to tell me that it wouldn't work for these particular items and had to be done in a special secret way for some reason.

I explained, warily, that I was trying to check the price. And indeed she did look at me in a manner suggesting I was some sort of moron for trying to query the price of something whose price is practically the only thing written on it, in great big lettering. However, she humoured me by walking me up to the normal gift-card display unit further inside the store to see if there was any sort of notice about a discount, which there wasn't.

Already feeling like a bit of a muppet, I put the card back and continued with my ordinary shopping (more on that in a moment). But later, as I passed the gift-card unit again and noticed a checkout whose operator was about to sign off, I picked another one up and asked if she could check the price using whatever the special scanning equipment was.

It turned out that she couldn't either, and advised me to wait until the supervisor (nowhere in sight) was passing, and get her to investigate for me. The operator suggested this in a friendly, sympathetic tone which clearly implied that she, too, thought I was some kind of stroke victim incapable of reading a clearly-printed "£15" on a small card.

I had no wish to add to the growing number of people in the store looking around anxiously for the whereabouts of my carer, so I smiled, said I'd go and see if I could spot the supervisor anywhere, and swiftly dumped the card in amongst the fabric conditioners, quietly cursing stupid and obviously-untrue internet rumours.

Having finished my shopping 10 minutes later, I headed for the checkouts to pay. On a random whim, I glanced up at the gift-card display again as I passed, and spotted a tiny printed sign at the very top of it, higher than the top shelf, maybe seven feet up and well out of the eyeline. The sign did indeed confirm the offer – in small, please-don't-read-me type it said "Save £5 on iTunes gift cards £15 and £25 until March 7"

There was no mention of a limit per customer, so I grabbed three and took them to the checkout, where mysteriously they scanned like any other item, at a price of £10 each. And that was that – 33% off the next £45's worth of stuff I buy on iTunes (assuming you're not daft enough to buy the £25 cards instead, which get you just 20% off), reducing £1.79 games to £1.19, £1.19 games to 79p, and 59p games to a kerrayzee 39p. Hell, I might even buy Canabalt now.

Should you be heading down to your local Morrisons now (and man, why wouldn't you be?), you might want to take advantage of a couple more of their current commercial suicide notes. At the time of writing the store is currently offering Cadbury's Fingers – the world's most addictive biscuit – on a tempting buy-one-get-one-free deal.

HOWEVER, this offer applies not only to the normal 125g box, but also to special promotional Cadbury's packs alongside them on the shelf that already have 100% extra free. Grab some of those and you're in fact getting FOUR boxes of Fingers for the price of one (£1.39). Try not to die.

Still not spoiling yourself enough? For another £1.99 you could dip your Fingers in a tub of my favourite ice cream ever, Mackie's full-cream Scottish dairy. It's a bargain at that price for a litre anyway, but right now Morrisons are selling promotional 100% extra free packs of it too, which for arithmetically challenged viewers is two litres for two quid.

Throw in a couple of six-packs of Lucozade 380ml bottles (all flavours including the tasty new Cherry), normally £3.49 but now two for £4, some six-packs of delicious Seabrooks crisps for 60p, and some half-price Werthers Original chocolates (99p) and you've got yourself one happy artery-clogging, life-shortening afternoon sat in front of iTunes.

Get down to Morrisons, viewers. They're literally giving stuff away.


4 Responses to “National Festival Of Bargains”

  1. Well hooray and, indeed, hoorah. Cheers for testing this out – I've not been able to get to my local one yet but will perhaps avoid similar "I wonder if" moments now.

  2. Gaming. Music. Sweets. Soda. Ice Cream. Crisps. An elite combination for the most discerning of gentlemen.
    That 33% iTunes discount is insane btw.

  3. It's definitely a good deal, but gift cards/certificates are a funny thing – I must look up the stats that he quotes, but Joel Waldfogel (Scroogenomics) talks about the dead percentage that occurs with them, where people just never spend the voucher, or never use the last bit, and there's a relatively predictable percentage that won't. Morrissons are almost certainly seeing it as a loss leader, unless they've got some deal with Apple (and how many do they make?!) but in general companies can afford to slightly discount their own vouchers and still profit due to that wastage.
    Not by 33%, mind. Only £25 cards at the Camden store, but I still picked one up.

  4. caleyjag Says:

    Nonsense. Caramel chocolate digestives are more addictive than Fingers.

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