Have you ever spied a special so good you needed to dash to the store, only to find it was sold out?
A little-known hack called a raincheck can help shoppers score discounts on grocery items that are sold out. Coles is currently the only supermarket that offers a raincheck program, which allows shoppers to buy items on sale at a later date even after they’ve reverted back to full price.
How does a raincheck work?
If you see something that’s on sale but completely sold out, or unavailable on shelves ─ you can ask the supermarket staff for a raincheck to purchase those grocery items at the advertised sale price when back in stock. Staff will note down the details of the item, including the discounted price, and issue you a raincheck on a slip of paper with the date. When the item is back in stock, you can bring in the slip and claim the item at the reduced price. Coles’ raincheck is guaranteed and valid for 30 days after its date of issue, giving shoppers a month to pick up their discounted items.
The supermarket’s raincheck policy has a few caveats though, including a limit on how many items shoppers can raincheck ─ some product categories are capped at three items, while others are capped at six. Additionally, if a product is marked ‘while stocks last’ or ‘no rainchecks’, Coles doesn’t offer a raincheck.
Raincheck vouchers also can’t be redeemed on tobacco, smoking products, gift cards, mobile phones and accessories, and pre-paid mobile services. Raincheck vouchers are only available in-stores, not online.
Woolworths did previously have a raincheck program but paused it at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic due to supply issues. Meanwhile, ALDI has never offered rainchecks on groceries or Special Buys because its proposition to shoppers is that it offers consistently lower prices rather than one-off sales.
Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Try using our mobile phone plan comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.
Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data each month, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. If you want to compare a larger range of offers from other providers, use our phone plan comparison tool. This table includes products with links to referral partners.
Consumer expert Megan Birot said rainchecks can alleviate consumers’ fear of missing out (the dreaded FOMO) on better deals.
“Supermarket stock availability can be hit or miss, but customers shouldn’t have to miss out on advertised specials or sales due to factors outside of their control, whether that’s supply chain issues, staff shortages, or else,” she said.
“We know every dollar counts, so shoppers should take advantage of rainchecks offered by their local stores, especially with inflation hitting hip pockets hard. While Coles is the only supermarket to offer rainchecks, it’s worth checking out which other retailers offer the service, as it’s more common than you think.”
Which retailers offer rainchecks on sold-out sale items?
Coles isn’t the only retailer with a raincheck program. Some bottle shops, furniture stores, and electronics retailers also have raincheck policies that allow shoppers to lock in the sale price on items that are sold out, or temporarily out of stock. Some raincheck programs alternatively let shoppers access a sale price on an alternative product with similar features of equivalent or higher value if the original item is no longer available. Some raincheck offers are available online only, while others are in-store only, so make sure to visit each retailer’s website for full details before locking in a raincheck.
Here are some retailers which offer raincheck programs:
- Harvey Norman
- Joyce Mayne
- Dan Murphy’s
- Target (selected items)