How Can We Solve The Supermarket Shortages?

Panic-buying has come to absolute insanity. I can't even buy the most essential everyday items. With limits in place. it seems like it won't stop the panic?

What can be done?


  • +21

    You would think we would be spending less since less stuff is available but we have to go to the store every day just to be able to get enough food for dinner. Therefore, bigger spend on petrol and more money spent on impulse buys.
    I am not a hoarder and am very much over having to visit the supermarket frequently.

    • +31

      more chance of spreading virus

    • +16

      It's ironic that Morrison told us to go out and buy stuff to save the economy.

      • +24

        I'm sure he wasn't referring to a year's supply of toilet paper 🤣

  • +13

    The easiest way is for the store to turn away the bus loads of shoppers arriving from who knows where and sell stock to locals first.

    Asking for ID is not hard.

    Supermarkets around my area have been cleaned out by shoppers over the last few days. They were definitely not locals and they stripped the shelves clean before moving on to the next town.

    • +17

      Or make it so that you can only purchase using the supermarkets respective points card, which also limits how many items you can buy per day.

      • +5

        Oh I really like this idea. Putting that rewards points scam into good use.

      • +1

        No, I don't like this idea, hardly anyone I know have the rewards cards (why feed them all my info!) so none of use would be able to purchase on the off chance that we did find something in stock.

        • lol… I stand by my idea that we are here to fight the virus, not each other. YMMV.

        • +3

          Doesn't have to be a rewards card.

          Most people carry some sort of ID with their name/address/photo on it.

          In the smaller towns the stores know the majority of their regular customer anyway.

          Someone visiting from out of town could still be served if they only purchased 'normal' product quantities.

        • If you believe that not having a rewards card means they can't track your purchases, think again.

          Not saying they do (I haven't put my tin foil hat on that firmly yet), but they certainly could.

    • +24

      I heard this too, but haven't seen any photos etc.
      The newspaper investigated and found no evidence.

      "In a Shepparton news report, local Barbara Bikoff, 69, said two ladies "who I didn't recognise" allegedly approached her in Safeway, asking where the detergent was kept.

      "I asked them where they were from because I hadn't seen them before, and I know most people around here."

      Shepparton is a town of 50,000 people."

      • -13

        There was an article with pictures and videos of the bus load of out of town shoppers. Take a wild guess on the make up of buyers.

        • +4


          • +10

            @mskeggs: Don't hold your breath, there isn't one.

          • -2

            @mskeggs: This is just one of the examples.

            They come in mini-van's, in groups of about 10+ and target-buy essentials.


            They then sell them online for huge price gouging mark-up's.

            • +6

              @infinite: That is pictures of people buying baby formula, and I suspect from a year or so ago.
              The story above was about ‘stripping’ regional shops.
              Surely if there were lots of organised bus tours there would be a picture or video?

              I guess what it was is somebody seeing a tour bus stop at the supermarket, like they have every day in my tourist town for years, and tourists buying macadamia nuts and pawpaw cream.
              But because the observer was worried about toilet paper or whatever, got the wrong idea.

    • They are doing exactly that in our area now - asking for ID and limiting.

    • So we're forced into self isolation with a vulnerable family member. We've moved in with them away from our home, many suburbs away. By your logic we should not be able to shop locally…

  • +13

    hopefully they tunnel deep underground in their toilet paper vaults and let rest of us enjoy 2-ply again.

    Serious note, buying limits. Idiots need to understand these items are made locally and current issue of supply shortage is artificially created by stupid selfish people being stupid selfish people.

  • +5

    People won't have FOMO and panic buy if they see the shelves full so the supermarkets must fill the shelves every day.

    • +6

      Easier said than done!

      All States have pretty tough restrictions on when trucks are allowed to deliver goods, in order to cut down on traffic noise for surrounding households.

      Queensland is lifting these restrictions as of 9pm tonight (I think), and Victoria is doing the same in the next couple of days.

      This will allow 24 hour delivery of stock.

      • +8

        Yep, some local supermarkets (Vic) have been granted a temporary waiver of these delivery curfews. Hopefully it helps.

      • They've put in a waiver in WA too.

    • +1

      This is a really good idea.

      The supermarket should buy 10 packets of solid plastic "display" toilet paper and stick them down to the shelves. That way it never looks empty and people wont panic.

  • +11

    The solution is in the hands of the stockpiling idiots.

    It's completely a demand problem, not a supply problem. Stock is being manufactured, and there is more than enough!

    Get rid of the morons, which will allow the supermarkets to build up / keep up the stock levels, and the problem will soon disappear.

    • You and morons elected a government whose sole purpose is to look after our welfare. They (and supermarkets) knew about inevitable surge buying and could have imposed restrictions from beginning. Shelves wouldn’t have been empty and supermarkets would not have had opportunity to profiteer from panic.

  • +84

    The media needs to stop adding fuel.

    • +8

      nail on the head

      • +8

        As does Ozbargain forum posts 🤦🏽‍♂️

        • -1

          People are just frightened.

          • +2

            @Meho2026: and the media and government are just fuelling that fear. Now they are targetting and blaming hoarders, but they are too late, because you can't hoard any more if there is nothing or only minimal left to buy.

          • +3

            @Meho2026: People are just dumb.

          • @Meho2026: Of what, getting super diarrhoea?

          • +1

            @Meho2026: Clearly they must be really shitting themselves.

    • -1

      Murdoch Media*

  • +15

    They should just price goods to fit the demand.

    People won't buy 10x what they need if the stuff is expensive.

    • +5

      I was thinking this too. I reckon people who horde would be unprepared to pay a premium, but those who actually need it, would. Maybe I'm wrong on that assumption though.

      Evidence is, last time I was at WW, the expensive goods like gluten free pasta and fancy pasta (the big thick egg pasta) was available when plain cheap pasta was all sold out. And chickpea/spelt/etc flours were still in stock but the regular flours were sold out. I thought people were not prepared to pay more for the 'fancy' stuff.

      They'd have to be fully transparent about it and be open on their websites as to what is being taxed. Call it a Horde Tax or Panic Tax. As soon as a product is identified/triggered as being horded, apply a 50% Horde Tax on it for 2 weeks and have it listed on their websites. It's the inverse of product specials. Just a temp thing until this whole thing blows over.

      Limits don't stop people going back into the shop half an hour later and buying more, then repeating the day after.

      • +8

        So poor people can't buy as much?

        • -11

          until they receive the $750 Economic Payment Support . Or has that been paid ( and spent) already?

          • +5

            @DisabledUser102420: I used to be poor until I got $750 from the government. Now that I've spent it on a used iPhone 4, I'm poor and stupid.

    • +18

      Make it one item at the standard price, then 10x for the second, 20x for the third, etc. Seems a pretty simple way to deal with hoarders.

      • -4

        Some news for you the hoard gangs take the limit and move on to next location in their bus .
        Away from the extremes a family can take in 5 members and get whatever limit multiplied by 5 .

        • +9

          Sure, but such a system stops them getting what they want multiplied by ten.
          Better than nothing.

        • So the solution is cancel all buses.

  • +15

    There are no shortages, there is only greedy, stupid and panicked people.
    There is plenty of stuff to go around but the zombie hoards descend on it so quickly the shops can't keep up with supply and restocking.

    Best thing you can do is just buy what you need as you usually would (if you can find it) or make use of alternative shopping. Go to the local organic place for your fruit and veg, buy your flour and other staples from the Source bulkfoods etc.

    • +1

      There absolutely are shortages.

      For example - no masks or sanitiser for weeks now.

      • +14

        See the bit about greed, stupidity and panicked people. You do not need a mask unless you are actually sick. You don’t need great swathes of hand sanitiser, just a few drops. I haven’t panic bought anything, apart from Cat food. I was stocked up on most other things due to “points” buying. I walked into Costco last Monday and the queues were insane so I walked out again. I will make do with what I currently have in my pantry/freezer until I’m really out of food. If people just shopped, as normal, then we wouldn’t have an issue. People need to get a grip. In WWII, they had ration books and you couldn’t buy unless you had coupons, in the fuel crises you could only buy petrol based on if your number plate was odd or even. There are things that can be done but it would require better organisation than we have now. People could be forced to get Coles and/or Woollies loyalty cards and you could only buy a limited number of the product, with the card. That way it could be tracked. There would need to be strict guidelines on the cards to prevent duplicates for a household. The Government is hoping commonsense will prevail, who knows but this isn’t due to a shortage of manufacturing.

        • +1

          I'm not making any judgement on the need for masks and sanitiser, just pointing out that there is in fact a shortage.

          It's not a restocking issue either, there is no stock anywhere for weeks.

        • I always keep a spare in the cupboard and when I finish the item I'm using, start using the spare and replace it. I thought getting "Weird" food that I eat because wheat free and dairy free wouldn't be a problem, but even that has been stripped from our local's shelves. The only thing I have bought in is enough bottled water for two weeks, because my neighbour was potentially infected, and I don't need the water but the keffir I grow does. So like try2bhelpful I am using up what I have and the local farmers markets will still be running this Satdy at North Sydney and on Monday at Millers Point, so I can still access fresh vegetables if I need to. People are scared and panicked and I think the government has handled it badly, but seriously what better could we have expected from them. Given how much many people are panicked and terrified the government hoping commonsense will prevail is rather idiotic.

        • -9

          Are you saying all asians wearing mask are stupid? How dare you try2bhelful.

          You are not being helpful just disrespecting other race.
          We will wear the mask if we deemed or feel safe and please do not think you know everything.

          Sick of people like you.

          • +1

            @luffyex2010: Yours was the first mention of race, and I still don't know who the "we" you refer to are.

            All i saw was reference to facts based on readily accesible medical advice, over hysteria.

            • @nessism: We, as all the asian countries,
              We, as the culture have been wearing mask all this while way before the pandemic.
              We, as we have these mask sourced,ordered from overseas and has nothing to do with the purchasing of local mask.
              Its got nothing to do with greed and stupidity is just a general mocking of people who wears them as it is deem useless in the west but we are not brought up in that culture ( except for our kids ) but Australians at heart and status.

              But yeah, I agree the priority has to be the front line medical fighters. So to the people who are hoarding local mask stop it! You just need to find an alternative to get them or DIY.

              • @luffyex2010: "The culture" of all of Asia?
                You seem confused my friend.

                Speaking as an anglo with a fair amout of experience throughout Asia I'm confident that many Asians, from the many different and diverse cultures and countries therein, would find your broad generalisation offensive, racist even (not that that's unfamiliar in Asia :-P ).

                I do understand that generally strayans don't understand that wearing masks is generally for the consideration of others, not themselves.

                Though that reasoning has doubtless flipped in recent days, and the shortages of masks demonstrates that.

                • @nessism: True not all more on the white Asians.

                  Sorry, If you are an Indian oops you did say you are an anglo.

                  I didn't mean to offend or represent the wrong race.

                  Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, HK, Singapore, . More of these countries I am saying.

                  You mentioned fair amount, are you saying that you have been living/travelling in Asia or you know some asian.

                  Asians will be too stupid to buy masks in Australia to be honest as it's been mark up so high.

                  You will be surprise the ones buying the mask are actually caucasian because of the scare.

                  Anyway I have to stop the mask topic….we have pass way that. Now all we can do is self isolate and ….pray hopefully our critical numbers doesn't pass 2k or we will see alot of body bags.

      • +14

        You can call yourself what you like but if you are purchasing excess stock at the moment you should be honest. The supply chain is in place and if people can’t buy goods this is due to other people being selfish.

        • +11

          See, you should have prepared and stocked up.

  • +2

    Why would they want to stop it? Coles is trading at its highest stock price in 2 years

    • +5

      I can't believe that supermarkets are enjoying this. Over a whole year they are still going to sell the same amount of food/groceries.

      At the moment though they are paying large amounts of overtime to get the stock filled onto the shelf, checkouts manned etc and then when the hoarding stops and sales go right down because people have full pantries/garages they are not going to be making the sales and staff (casual workers) will lose hours.

      Stockrooms will be overflowing because their projected sales will be through the roof and sales will be down.

      I am positive that they would rather a steady stream of sales then massive peaks and troughs.

      • As far as food goes, all this activity just leads to more food waste. People would rather over supply and have excess go to the tip than be caught short. As humans, all we need on a daily basis is water, we could go months without food and as an obese nation, the average person could go many months without food but nope, people gotta have their 3 meals a day and wipe their bum with tripple ply.

        That aside, the product and financial analysts at these supermarkets are not stupid. The hoardig is skewing their numbers, they know this and they will adjust for this when modelling future post hoarding demand and stock warehouses accordingly.

        Any business would prefer sales today rather than sales tomorrow. The accountants manager the cashflows whatever they may be.

  • the removal of curfew should help
    prolly a few days

    with closures and loss of jobs or reductuons, and panic buying for close to 3 weeks, people should be getting their Bill's for credit cards, rent, mortgage payments etc soon

    the money will run out soon for some

    how much full price toilet paper and rice and pasta can one buy?

    • I must admit that when I did see toilet paper on the shelf and the prices blanked out, I hesistated at the thought of buying at an unknown price, but I don't need to buy any and left it there as I always have a spare 12 or 18 pack in the cupboard and only ever bought when I needed to replace that and it was half price. I did buy a full price box of tissues for my elderly neighbour who couldn't find any when he was shopping.

      • buying at an unknown price

        at checkout, learnt Kleenex was 3x normal price. Felt stupid, but succumbed to FoMo and paid. Woolworths shareholders are thankful.

  • +4

    It's not hoarding people are just buying a little bit more.

    Demand just increased

    Remember also no one is eating out any more

    • +6

      Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci says the supermarket giant is effectively serving "50 million Australians, not 24 million" as panic buying of products rips goods from its shelves. 

      • +15

        Well the gov did tell us to have 2 weeks food on hand, and then turns around and complains when the shops have been stripped bare! Who would have thought this would have happened when you tell 24m people to go buy 2 weeks worth the food!?

        • +4

          People are hoarding more than 2 weeks of food. Hoarders will make any excuses

          • +1


            Hoarders will make any excuses

            Say what?

            the supermarket giant is effectively serving "50 million Australians, not 24 million"

            Math not your thing is it?

            24M people buying 2 weeks extra food, plus their normal week of food, is equal to ~ 75m people buying 1 weeks worth of food at once.

            • @JimmyF: Great, now that's another 25m woolies need to catch up on serving over the 50m they already do.
              Someone has to buy the Risoni.

            • @JimmyF: He didn’t say “extra”. You made that up.

            • @JimmyF: The problem is that they don't stop at 2 weeks of extra food. If you buy 3 weeks worth the first week, then you should go back to buying 1 week's worth afterwards. however, people are greedy/scared and keep hoarding indefinitely.

    • +5

      Are they eating 6 months worth of toilet paper?

      • its great with chocolate sauce on it.

        • +1

          Chocolate tissue crepes lol

    • +1

      You have the bottom 50% (IQ wise, the dullards that actually think the world is ending) that are buying 6 months worth or more, and the remainder are buying their usual shop amount of 3 days or 7 days worth ( or even less due to the shortages bought about by dullards ).

      ScoMo said that the plans will be in place for at least 6 months. I bet some retards took that to mean 'buy 6 months supply'.

    • So people are doing more number 2s than usual as well?

  • +22

    I wonder how much food will get wasted in next few weeks

    • No supply problems for fresh produce where I am, but the prices are up.
      It's mostly shelf stuff out of stock.

      • +1

        I expected fresh produce prices would be up anyway because of shortages following the bushfires. The farmers markets are still open, but often the prices there can be more expensive than the supermarkets around here.

        • +1

          Broccoli has gone up to $10/kg today from $8 yesterday at Vic Market. Can only imagine supermarket prices.

          • @frugalftw: It's $10/Kg at woolies.

            • @DisabledUser102420: Shelf is empty at my local woollies. Plenty of easter eggs and dairy products though.

              • @djk: I literally had a dream last night telling people to shop at Vic Market lmao Shelves aren't empty there. Masked populations are on the rise there tho, they make me nervous.

                • @frugalftw: Can they sing?

                  • @capslock: Omg how did you know? That's what I'm most scared off. Every masker would suddenly start to dance in synchrony…

            • +1

              @DisabledUser102420: It made my choice very easy when I went to Aldi. A kg broccoli vs a litre of wine. Alcohol seems like a bargain these days?

    • +9

      This is what infuriates me so much. As someone who has a diet that is predominantly canned vegetables like chickpeas, I've had to change what I eat because I haven't been able to buy anything in the past week. Karen and Susan, who don't even like chickpeas, have gone and bought 18-months worth only for them to leave them sitting on their shelves not being used. In a year or two, when this is all behind us, perfectly good food will end up being thrown out.

      • -7

        As someone who has a diet that is predominantly canned vegetables like chickpeastomatoes

        Here you go! Fixed it for you :p
        Although, just so you know, tomatoes are fruits, not veggies. But then chickpeas are pulses and not veggies either….

      • We need to pay Karen and Susan a visit.

        You bring your bat and I will bring my chainsaw. Dont forget the black cloak and tokyo ghoul facemasks.

      • Same, I'm vegetarian…where my black beans at? And now limitations on them.

        It's not unusual for me to buy 30 cans at a time. Eating 2 a day.

        I've moved to slow cooking lentils, split peas etc now instead. Give it a shot if you haven't already.

        • 2 cans a day? Your whole house must be a Dutch oven.

          • @ssquid: Surprisingly doesn't affect me, but I probably get very little fiber from any source outside that.

            They're a semi decent source of protein as far as vegetarian foods go and aren't overly dense in calories.

  • +7

    It seems the percentage of mental health issues in this country is a lot higher than first thought. I hope they get bulk antidepressants.

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