Walmart Rolls Back Price By $1.11

Back in November, Walmart slashed the price on this sewing machine by 13 cents. Now they’ve pulverized it by another $1.11! OH MY GOD WE LOVE YOUR EVERYDAY LOW PRICES SO HOT! — BEN POPKEN

(Thanks to Moshe!)

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  1. mantari says:

    Here is the odd thing… you know Wal-Mart’s “Everyday Low Prices”? It doesn’t apply to pop. Go in one week, it is 89 cents. Go in the next week, it is $1.19. They can’t seem to offer an everyday low price on any major softdrink in their pop aisle.

    I’d be curious to know why.

  2. VA_White says:

    The degree to which Wal-Mart will squeeze a supplier in order to shave ten cents off an item is something to behold.

    And if the supplier balks, Wal-Mart will boot them out of the store completely. Exhibit A: Rubbermaid Storage

    The buyer and the Brother rep probably spent a couple of months negotiating that $1.11.

  3. lakawak says:

    How is this a bad thing? The ORIGINAL Walmart price was already $50-100 cheaper than other stores. They are just making it even better.

    Going and finding high end items than have small additonal discounts and trying to make it look like Walmart is bad for doing it is pretty lame.

  4. afrasso says:

    I wonder if the reason Wal-Mart bothers to lower a price by such a small amount is to come out ahead on Web comparisons. I’ll admit that when I am buying a big-ticket item, I usually use Froogle. Whichever online store is selling the item at the lowest total price is where I’ll go first (assuming I trust the merchant), even if the difference between it and its next competitor is cents. I’d think that having the lowest price on the web could mean a significant increase in sales.

  5. Paladin225 says:

    They probably were paid that $1.14 by Disney for slapping their logo on there. (Why would anyone want to buy a sewing machine with Walt Disney’s logo on it?)

    Do I detect a new feature in the works? I see “0 Views” at the end of the title…

  6. Meg Marco says:

    @mantari: pop! pop > soda.

  7. Squeezer99 says:

    in my checkbook, every penny counts.

  8. mattshu says:

    I forgot to note on my calendar that today is “I HATE WAL-MART DAY.” Of course, what day isn’t at Consumerist.

    The anti Wal-Mart posts are getting a bit redundant, and it seems you’re digging pretty deep. Every Lerge retailer has the same issue with sale pricing and price tags.

  9. tcabeen says:

    RE: VA_White

    I used to work for the company that handled EDI for Wal-Mart. I was telephone support for the unfortunate souls who had to adopt Wally’s _ways_ or risk losing their biggest buyer. The strong-arming and price-squeezing sped many along the path to high blood pressure and ulcers.

  10. shdwsclan says:

    Walmart is probably not loosing a dime over this.
    I worked for a store as a sales associate in high school, and before I left, I did some prodding and actual cost is about half of what you pay retail. The gouging comes from two places.
    The manufacturer, which wants to make a nice profit.
    The retailer, which also wants a nice profit.

    Also, some items may be super dirt cheap, as in, less than half of retail cost.

    If an item goes on clearance, its usually sold at-cost, if its a new-in-box item.
    If its a display, then you can get it below cost if you smooze the manager.

  11. catnapped says:

    @afrasso: It’s also a tactic against other local retailers, not just ones on the internet. You’ll find that many items are often just a penny or two lower than other places so they can say “See-we’re cheaper!”

  12. Rajio says:

    what? you’re complaining that a retailer has updated it’s prices to lower them?

    ?!

    i really don’t understand the problem here.

  13. pestie says:

    @mantari: Check the soda aisle instead.

  14. VA_White says:

    @tcabeen:

    That’s funny. I was the E-commerce manager for a Wal-Mart supplier. We did our own EDI in-house with a third-party product. I would take ten Home Depots over one Wal-Mart any day of the week. We sold them less than five SKUs but they took up a good 40% of my time. The best day I had on that job was when our nat’l sales manager came back from Bentonville all dejected because the hardlines buyer decided not to re-order. I couldn’t even manage to pretend to be upset. Heck yeah!

  15. asherchang says:

    @lakawak: high end? are you kidding?

  16. mantari says:

    @pestie: Insert famous pop vs soda map.
    Either way… no everyday low price.

    BLUE=Pop YELLOW=Soda RED=Coke

  17. Phil says:

    Look at it from Wal*Mart’s perspective. When you plan on selling a million units, giving up 1,110,000 dollars is a big roll back…

  18. Scuba Steve says:

    @mantari: Begun, the cola wars have.

    – About the price:

    It’s because of the addicting caffeine. It lets stores have a free reign on charging whatever they want for a 2 liter or 12 pack. Thankfully it’s so cheap to make that they use it occasionally as a loss leader to get you to visit, especially if you’re the primary shopper for your household.

  19. mopar_man says:

    I’ll take my $1.11 and go somewhere else. Chances are the employees elsewhere will benefit from that $1.11.

  20. mantari says:

    @Scuba Steve: The oddity I’m pointing out is that Wal-Mart’s policy is _everyday low prices_ and not running specials (going on sale) then returning to a normal retail price. But, yet, that’s exactly what they do. So the mixed message is kind of confusing.

  21. informer says:

    Walmart’s got nothing on my local super market. They took the time to post a sign to announce they had rolled back the price of a certain beer by 1 cent:

  22. mopar_man says:

    @informer:

    My local supermarket did the same on licorice.

  23. yg17 says:

    The Wal-Mart here rolled back a bag of pretzels from $2.00 each to 2 for $4.00 (yes, that’s what the pricetag said). I guess because 98% of the people in this town are a bunch of dumb hicks who never graduated the 4th grade, they see the “2 for XX” and think that it’s buy-one-get-one-free and they’re getting a good deal.

  24. 0x12is18 says:

    @Phil:

    You are correct. It doesn’t seem like a huge price change for one unit, but take into account all the units they plan to sell, and it’s quite a chunk of change.

    @shdwsclan:

    Having worked for Wal-Mart for 4 years, and managing an electronics department that did well over #1 million is sales the first 11 months it was open, I know a lot about the pricing and markups. Take a little coax cable for example. 80+ cents of every dollar you paid for that was “profit” for Wal-Mart. There are other items that are actually sold at a loss. The thing people fail to consider is that a business has expenses as well as revenue.

    In the market where I worked, starting wages were well above minimum wage (people started at $7/hour with no experience. I had about 6 associates working 40 hours per week. I worked 40 hours per week at $10/hour. My department’s payroll expense was over $2,000 per week. That means that about 10% of my sales went directly to payroll. When you consider all other expenses of running a business, of course Wal-Mart isn’t going to sell everything at cost.

  25. LAGirl says:

    did a little looking around teh internets. found the same sewing machine on overstock + amazon for $349.99. the original list price on both sites? $999.00. WalMart? i’ll see your $1.11 and raise you $649.01!

  26. hop says:

    i saw something last year at wally’s world that was on closeout and the closeout price was a dollar more than the regular price…..

  27. mmcnary says:

    Penn & Teller have a new episode of BullS**t on Shotime that looks at Wal-Mart and its critics. A pretty interesting documentary, spiced up with Penn’s wit and lots of topless women…

  28. @lakawak, @mattshu, @Rajio:

    Not everything posted on Consumerist is a complaint. This was funny, you know, as in humor.

  29. danieldavis says:

    Q. Why do we pick on Walmart so much?
    A. Because they make it so damn easy. Quit your whining.

  30. thrillhouse says:

    @Paladin:
    “(Why would anyone want to buy a sewing machine with Walt Disney’s logo on it?)”

    in their defense, it also does embroidery (the Disney partnership comes in here – they have licensed Disney embroidery patterns pre-loaded). ~$400 isn’t bad for a machine that does both.

  31. mopar_man says:

    @danieldavis:

    Don’t forget that they deserve it too.

  32. danieldavis says:

    @mopar_man:

    Oh no doubt about it.

  33. johnsonjackson says:

    Couldnt they roll it back all at once? I am sick of buying something at “Wally World” then going back in and seeing it cheaper a day later. I think they should give the blue light special a try!!!

  34. shdwsclan says:

    @nwogoldberg99
    Well obviously getting your employees paid is one thing, taking money into your pocket as a CEO, working employees and threatening them to the bone, and not even improving customer service is another.

    What I may proposing is probably impossible, but it all happened in the 80s when outsourcing and japanese car became a household word. Its just the cycle of capitalism.

    You outsource my job to people that dont even speak english so I have to work at walmart to live, cause i cant find another job and in the process, taking a job that should belong to a highschooler anyways, and you drive that honda, so dont be surprised if that highschool is gonna buy a product for half price online[shipping included] from someone that has nearly no overhead, and better customer service than you.

    This uncontrollable cycle is basically destroying america from the inside out. Euros > Dollars, everybody in the world hates us, grown men working as sales associates and stockboys in retail chains, foreign countries cashing in dollar for assets. That swiss bank account in a foreign currency doesnt sound too bad right about now, does it?

  35. tcabeen says:

    @VA_White: BISYNCH MODEMS WTH