Shops are using psychologically misleading tactics to trick the public out of billions of pounds, the business watchdog has warned.
In a report today, the Office of Fair Trading found increased use of seven dubious sales techniques, which distorted markets and undermining competition.
Shops using "bait pricing" advertise very limited stocks of a bargain in the hope frustrated shoppers will buy other goods, while exponents of "drip pricing" add taxes, credit card fees and other charges during the transaction. Bogus "time-limited" offers put undue time pressure on consumers.
Lidl and Aldi often have offers that turn out to be limited to a couple of items (or perhaps a few more) per store... and people still queue for them.