I know many of my readers are familiar and use SCOP when shopping, and though I’ve mentioned it in posts and interviews in the past, it didn’t occur to me how many people may not know about it until I was having a conversation on Facebook last week. A family member was sharing her new-found love of flyer-comparison shopping (taking a competitor’s flyer with her to the store and getting them to price-match, doing all her shopping at one place instead of several) I mentioned not to forget SCOP when shopping too. Other friends asked, “What’s that?” and the education session began!
You will see a sticker like the one posted above at check-outs in the stores that participate in SCOP. The sticker states, “If the scanned price of a non-price ticketed item is higher than the shelf price or any other displayed price, the customer is entitled to receive the item free, up to a $10 maximum. When the item has a price tagged, the lowest price applies. When identical items are incorrectly priced, the second one will be sold at the correct price.”
How does this work?
Have you ever been shopping, saw a sign advertising a price of a product, but had that product ring up at a higher price when you arrive at the check-out? This will often happen on a Friday morning, or whatever day a new sale starts in a store. Employees often forget to take down signs but the computer at the check-outs will be accurate. They are re-programmed for the new week’s sale prices. So, the Tide on the shelf advertised at $5 with a big bright sign is now $7.99 when you get to the til. Often times, customers have explained the situation and the cashier either gives you the sale price (so you fork out $5) or she shrugs and says it was a mistake and you have to pay $7.99.
In actuality, if you are in a store that has the SCOP sticker at the til, all you have to do is simply point to it and say, “Wouldn’t that fall under Scanning Code of Practice?” or something equally as witty. That Tide is now FREE, baby!!!
If the item in question is under $10, you get that item free (if you had excitedly grabbed 3 Tide bottles, you’d only get 1 free but the other 2 should be at that advertised sale price).
If the item is over $10, you should get $10 off the corrected (new) price. So, if you have a pair of sunglasses that ring through as $19 but were on a rack advertised for $15 because of a forgotten sign, you would then only pay $9 ($19 – $10). There’s some debate about this part, some feel you should get $10 off the “Sign” price, while the official info states “$10 off the corrected price”.
Is it hard to do?
Not at all! The SCOP sticker is there to remind the consumer of the store’s participation in the program, so all you need to do is point to it and ask the cashier if you get the item for free. You do, it’s just more polite to simply ask than to state, “That’s free.” If the cashier responds with a blank stare (some newer cashiers may not have been trained on this) simply get them to read it, or call over a supervisor who will likely be familiar with the program.
Look for the sticker at the check-out (some stores also post them on the door). Here’s a list of stores I’m aware of that use SCOP in Canada:
Shoppers Drug Mart
Kudos to these stores for volunteering to be a part of SCOP! Why would they do it? Simply put, they don’t want to give away free products, so they will do their best to ensure their prices are accurate and consumers won’t be paying more than they should! I’d rather a store use SCOP than one that doesn’t and makes me watch them like a hawk (we all know some stores that are so bad for wrong prices!) It’s a way of building loyalty and trust with their customers.
Friday mornings are prime SCOP shopping days because of price-changes happening for new sales starting Friday. Depending on the store and staff, some stores are worse than others for being on the ball with taking those sale signs down. Do I feel bad about getting free cereal, bread, and more on Fridays? Absolutely not – because for every person who points out SCOP to the cashier, there are several who don’t even notice and pay more than they should. It’s probably been you! I’m sure I’ve done it in the past too.
If you’re a seasoned SCOP user like myself, how often do you use it? My mom is in her 70’s and is so proud to tell me when she has pointed to the SCOP sign at a store and received her item for free!
If this is all new information to you – go forth young grasshopper and use the power of SCOP!