Don't Be Duped By "Per Cent Off" Discounts When You Go Shopping

Don't Be Duped By

"40% off" and "70% off" sales make it seem like you're getting a great deal, but these per cent off sales are just another sales trick. At many retailers, the "regular price" is a lie fabricated by the store.

Photo by Random Retail.

When you buy something at a discounted price, you expect that discount to be real. However, because retailers can choose anything for the regular price, consumers can be deceived into buying something that isn't quite that bargain.

That's what BuzzFeed found out when investigating lawsuits about these discounts against 29 retailers, including J.C. Penney and Nordstrom. Perhaps the most egregious pricing policy is at Kohl's:

Kohl's, facing two suits tied to discounts, said that when it shows a "regular" or "original" price, it's referring to the former or "future" price on any given item. And it might mean that item or it might mean a "comparable" one. And it could be at Kohl's, but could also be at another retailer. And after all that, sales may not have ever been made at the regular price, it notes.

The regular price on a tag could represent the future price of an item? That's just nuts.

Perhaps you've already known or suspected these discounts to be a sham, but it's another reminder that if you wouldn't buy it at full price, you probably don't need the item. (I.e., don't be tricked into buying stuff because they're "on sale.")

[Why 40% Off Doesn't Mean What You Think It Does via BuzzFeed]


    Good thing this is illegal in Australia -

      Just because it's illegal doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't happen.

      It's also illegal to have "all sale final, no refunds" but I see them everywhere. And not just at little thrift or $2 type stores.

        Is it actually illegal, or just unenforceable ?

          It's illegal. Change of mind is at the discretion of the seller, but if I buy a box of what I think is medium blue shirts but when I get them home I find that they are large yellow ones I am entitled to a refund or exchange.

          'No refund' and other signs
          Signs that state 'no refunds' are unlawful, because they imply it is not possible to get a refund under any circumstance - even when there is a problem with the goods or service, like a defect or lack of due care and skill.

          For the same reason, the following signs are also unlawful:

          'No refund on sale items'
          'Exchange or credit note only for return of sale items'.
          Signs that state 'No refunds will be given if you have simply changed your mind' are acceptable.

        And do you report them? No, just like no one else does and that's why they get away with it.

          You honestly expect me to note down every business I see doing the wrong thing, call the relevant authorities and dob them in?

          But now you're aware of its illegality I am sure you're going to make a point to report them when you see it, aren't you?

          Yeah, didn't think so.

    Wow! That is seriously shonky.

    @Thomas I'm sure I read some time back about how Australian businesses get away with this kind of thing. It goes something like:

    The full price has to have been in place in at least one store (somewhere in Australia) in the week(s) prior to the sale price being advertised.

    So this means that a widget that normally sells for $20 is marked up at $30 in a store in Woop Woop last week, so that the whole country can sell it for 50% off at $15 dollars next week.

    A certain store I worked at did similar things to this. One item I remember was a Stereo which arrived in store and was sold for the first week at $200.
    A week later it was in the catalog at $100 with a saving of 50%
    The next week it was back up to $200.
    The week after that it was on clearance at $99.88 which was marked down from $200.
    Obviously it was only at $200 to be marked down and to make an extra $100 off poor suckers who bought it at the "Full price"

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