Walmart "Rolls Back" Prices Negative Ten Dollars And Two Cents

This sign, snapped by reader Logan, shows how a Oklahoma City Walmart Supercenter “rolled back” prices on an unknown item negative ten dollars and two cents for a certain period of time on August, 19th, 2007. Wonder if some people just see the rollback sign and don’t do the math between the old price and the new. Someone pick up the Batphone and speedial the OK Weights and Measures department.

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  1. ChrisC1234 says:

    I think this is just a testimony to the quality of the employees that Walmart hires. When you pay your employees cheaply, this is the type of dedication to the job you get.

  2. Murph1908 says:

    Tells me that you can’t trust the signs and their supposed savings. If employees are just changing the price and not reconciling the ‘savings’ tag, whose to say that any of them are correct, even those where the new price is lower?

    That being said, it doesn’t affect me, since I have stepped into a WalMart maybe twice this year.

  3. dbeahn says:

    I noticed a long time ago that ANYTIME you see an “always low price” sign on the shelf, it means they just raised the price.

    8 O’clock coffee was always something like $2.88. Then, one day, I notice an “ALWAYS LOW PRICES!” sign on the shelf next to the coffee I always buy. Price? $3.12.

  4. enm4r says:

    Not quite as bad, the Walgreens I sometimes go to constantly has ON SALE! tags for the cheap $1 items that are always $1. It’s amusing when the box/bag of the item even has “Always $1!” printed right on it, but then they try to cover that up, and definitely cover up the usual price code on the shelf.

    They’re just trying to draw attention to it, understandable. But raising? Walmart’s in a class alone.

  5. warf0x0r says:

    @ChrisC1234: I think its just a funny picture. Plus after working retail I bet the employee putting it up said something to his/her boss only to be told well that’s the way the plan-o-gram has this sign so that’s how we do it.

  6. mantari says:

    In a chain that big, I expect stuff like that to happen now and then. It is amusing.

    What I won’t put up with are problems in their grocery department. I won’t give away details as to out myself, but in the past month, I’ve reported TWO local stores. One for an ‘ewwww gross’ violation, and the other for a food safety problem that affected hundreds of items.

    My confidence in them is eroding rapidly. This week, it isn’t an “I intend” thing. I *am* taking my grocery shopping elsewhere.

  7. Aladdyn says:

    I thought that it was illegal to advertise somehing as on sale if in fact it is always priced at the same amount

  8. mattbrown says:

    llama Os

  9. magic8ball says:

    This is worse than when my grocery store puts a big tag, which looks like a sale tag, over the shelf price … and the prices are exactly the same.

  10. 82300sd says:

    “Wonder if some people just see the rollback sign and don’t do the math between the old price and the new.”

    Doing basic math is expecting a lot from Wal-Mart customers

  11. RhymePhile says:

    Maybe that 29.96 is in Chinese yuan.

  12. wring says:

    at least they spelled it right!

  13. JayXJ says:

    @enm4r:

    I worked in a small grocery store years ago. One of the tricks there was to occasionally have multiple items sales. Regular price might be 0.47 but you could every so often get them for “2 for $1″. Yes, they’d mark up stuff and it would fly off the shelves.

  14. asphaltdase says:

    Not only is the customer alerted to the fact the price has been rolled back, but is also told to “Smile, you’re saving even more(!)”
    I wonder if anyone leaves the store with that feel-good attitude of someone who has just made a bargain purchase… I could believe it happens.

  15. wooster11 says:

    Here’s an interesting question… you mention in your post to get a hold of the OK Department of Weights and Measures… But can they really do anything? They’re supposed to check for incorrect pricing? What if the sign is perfectly correct? If the item is priced at $29.96, can the department of Weights and Measures really do anything?

    And this does go back to the lack of attention to detail. The employee who put this up probably didn’t care and/or double check their work. They probably left the $19.94 price from the product that was previously at that spot and didn’t change it out. It’s just a matter of the employee not caring about their work.

  16. B says:

    At least Walmart is honest about it. They state the previous, lower price clearly on the sign.

  17. JMH says:

    @82300sd: Does realizing “Hey, that’s not less, it’s MORE!” even require basic math?

  18. fredmertz says:

    God help any of you if you make a mistake at work.

  19. YokoOno says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Logan changed the sign himself and snapped the picture. Each number is spiral bound, and they just slide in and out. Anyone could do this and take a picture.

    Seriously, Wal-Mart doesn’t do a lot of things right, but The Consumerist just seems to post mistake and says, “Wal-Mart does it AGAIN!”

    I used to work at the corporate office, and they are far from perfect. However, they aren’t nearly as bad as so many of you seem to think. Target has nearly identical practices, but they are a smaller chain, so everyone ignores it. Bah. Pet peeve.

  20. lhempheaven says:

    On one hand I believe that this could be a mistake, but on the other I truly believe that by just having the “rollbank” sign above a price can make something seem like a deal. Just the other day I was in Target attempting to buy batteries and I noticed and “As advertised” sign for $5.54 snapped over the normal price sign. Out of curiousity I looked to see what the normal price was and found it to be $5.19. I doubled checked and then checked again to make sure it was the right brand and type of battery and sure enough it was. I found out that “As advertised” does not mean sale, so I gues it is safe to assume that “RollBack” doesn’t” mean the price will be lower. I guess it pays to be a smart shopper and pay attention!

  21. erica.blog says:

    @JMH: adding negative numbers is surprisingly advanced math :-) Seems like Walmart is exploring some Zen thing, “less is more” or “save by not saving”… ommmmmmmmmmmm…

  22. gc3160thtuk says you got your humor in my sarcasm and you say you got your sarcasm in my humor says:

    Why does every post about Walmart turn into a bash their employees thread. If I said it once, I will say it again: we are not all idiots who hate our job or do poor work. Mistakes happen. I’m sure all you cube dwellers eff up quite a few times a year at your jobs. You’re not perfect nor does anyone expect you to be so why the fuck do you expect us to be perfect?

  23. calacak says:

    @magic8ball: When I worked at Meijer long ago, we use to do this all the time to the stock we had tons of, usually prior weeks left over ad.

    The reason grocery stores do it? It works. Putting a simple sign out usually increased the sale rate 2x or 3x times it’s regular rate.

  24. mcevil says:

    gotta love the attention to detail. i was just at a Subway. Big sign, ‘Special – Now double meat for $1 more!’. Just to the side of the sign, on the regular menu, ‘Double meat – .99′.

  25. ekdikeo says:

    Has anyone considered that maybe the sign was actually printed backwards, ie someone filled in the Sale Price field with the Actual Price, and the Actual Price field with the Sale Price?

    Happens all the time, in all the other retail places I’ve looked. Usually the tag above it in the tag packs will have a $0 price in one field or the other, so they like got offset when they were doing the data entry.

    Then the rest of the tags in the pack are usually screwed.

    It might not be actually something that someone was trying to do to screw people.

    Calacak: My favorite Meijer thing when I worked there about 12 years ago: Electrical Outlets, regular $0.25 on sale 4/$1.

    Sales went up over 50X that week over when they weren’t advertised at all.