Guess Which Price Rang Up At The Register

While shopping at a Florida Target, Nancy spotted two prices for identical two-packs of baby food, one for 87 cents and the other for $1.09.

You get three guesses as to which price Nancy says she was charged when she checked out. (Hint: don’t waste any of your guesses on “87 cents”). Nancy said she didn’t bother asking for the cheaper price because she had to corral her 6-year-old.

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. thisheregirafFe says:

    slw dy, h cnsmrst ?

    • LeChiffre says:

      @thisheregirafFe: There are those that have kids,,,and not much income.

    • pop top says:

      As an aside, if you are reporting comments to Roz, she asks that you include the user’s profile link as well as the link to the comment, since she’s having some issues with the comment links. Not that I’m implying anything…

    • coan_net says:

      @thisheregirafFe: The point being, it’s not really a Consumerist issues – it’s a price mistake – many stores do it. Prices go up… prices go down… prices go back up. Sometimes not all the signage on the shelf is changed. IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME.

      What is next, The Consumerist has a story about how someone is breathing? It happens all the time.

      Since the signage still had both prices, the store should have honored the old price… but of course since they said nothing (other then running to the internet to complain) the problem is still there not getting fixed.

  2. Fabuloso says:

    she was to busy corralling her 6 year old to show the cashier the picture but she wasn’t to busy to take one to prove the mistake? Dumb.

    • Covertghost says:

      @BB_User: I thought I was the only one who wondered about this =P.

    • bjdhtgjvbhdgd says:

      @BB_User: Just because you’re anonymous doesn’t mean you have to be heartless. No doubt the contributor will read these comments. Don’t you think the word dumb is a little harsh? Do you know what its like to have a 6 year old? Maybe the 22 cents is a small price to pay to avoid a meltdown at the register.

      • Fabuloso says:

        @Method of Steepest Descent: actually i do know what its like to have a six year old and believe me the extra ten seconds it would have taken the OP save the some money by speaking up for herself and letting target fix the mistake instead of this,running home to go behind the back of target and post that picture on the consumerist would not have created a melt down of any sort for her kid. She deserves whats she gets for complaining about it afterward when she did nothing but pay the wrong price. which is Dumb.

    • outlulz says:

      @BB_User: I probably wouldn’t argue about 22 cents if I was busy with a kid. Even if I was by myself I probably wouldn’t bother with 22 cents and just assume it was a mistake by a stocker who left a sale price out. 22 cents is not worth hassling a minimum wage cashier and holding up customers behind me, as I’m sure a manager would have to be paged.

    • joshua70448 says:

      @BB_User: What if she went back to the store at a later time to take the picture? Don’t make assumptions.

  3. Colonel Jack O'Neill says:

    Those prices look like they are for 2 different things.
    If you look at the one that says .87, there’s light hitting the beginning of it, so it looks like it says something different then the one that says 1.09.

    • fjordtjie says:

      @Colonel Jack O’Neill: i see in the glare 7oz sweet potato, exactly the same as the left. it appears there may be some other sticker underneath that sticker, but indeed those 2 displayed are for the same item, differing prices.

    • Riff Raff says:

      @Colonel Jack O’Neill:

      If you look very closely, they both say “7oz 2-pack”, so same exact product.

      Oh, and O’Neill rules. I’m re-watching the series right now, and I’m starting to remember how disappointed I was when he was “replaced” and starting doing more Executive Producer stuff.

    • Skaperen says:

      @Colonel Jack O’Neill: Bar codes are the same

      • bwcbwc says:

        @Skaperen: Don’t know where you get that. The resolution on the picture is too low to tell whether they are the same. I don’t see any differences, but there are some doubtful areas where differences could exist.

        My original thought was that Gerber had repackaged with a new barcode (say after a grocery shrink-ray episode), but this looks more like a price change gone awry.

    • ScarletsWalk says:

      @Colonel Jack O’Neill: Having bought plenty of those in the not too distant past, I don’t recall there being anything it could be mistaken for. The organ ones are higher still than $1.09 and are separate and the singles are in glass jars and significantly less than .87

  4. Mulva says:

    Yep, ran into that yesterday at my Target – two shelves (one in an aisle, one was an endcap) of Up and Up and GermX hand sanitizer, one marked $2.29 and one marked $1.99 (the endcap). You win a cookie if you guessed it rang up as $2.29.

  5. cabjf says:

    Those tags should have dates on them. Whichever is the most recent should be what rings up. I would hope Target has a system that’s smart enough to print those price tags directly from the same database the registers use.

  6. kc2gvx says:

    I wish the picture was a higher resolution. Chances are the $0.87 picture has a date that is well before the $1.09 tag. Since the $0.87 is where it should be as per Target’s shelf-label (planogram) standards, someone in the pricing team should have covered the cheap one with the $1.09 tag, but placed it wrong. Either way, mom should have gotten the food for the lesser price, without argument. Target cashiers have override power for most products under $20.00 to take the guests word on pricing errors.

    • ablestmage says:

      @kc2gvx: One of these days, I’ll take my low-res camera to a local retailer, and move product over to an adjacent unfilled space and take a low-res picture of the self-created disturbing injustice before me, and get posted on Consumerist with instant credibility.

  7. princesspineisempowered says:

    The .87 is 7oz, the $1.09 is 10 oz per picture provided. No fail

  8. ScubaSteveKzoo says:

    Target has always been awful with this. Thankfully, a lot of their prices are still cheaper than other places for certain things.

  9. ovalseven says:

    If I needed 3 guesses for a question with 50/50 odds, there might be a job waiting for me at Target.

  10. Hogan1 says:

    Tags are for the same item/size and have the same code so this is more then likely simply a case of an employee missing a label when updating prices. No one is perfect.

  11. MonkeyMonk says:

    I’m guessing that just to the left out of the photo’s range is a special deal to buy two 2-packs for only $2.24.

  12. khfurletti says:

    Eh, it’s cheapest to make your own baby food but if she was too lazy to make a stink about the price difference, she’s probably not up to the making baby food challenge either…

  13. johnfrombrooklyn says:

    These type of posts are so stupid. Do you not think that Target, Wal-Mart, and every other retailer in the world would like to have 100% compliance on pricing, promotion, and sales issues? Of course they would. If any poster here thinks they can find a way to fix these type of issues then go show up at Target headquarters. They’ll give you hundreds of thousands of dollars if you can fix it.

    • DadsterNC says:

      @johnfrombrooklyn: Agreed. Maybe Consumerist should consider a moratorium on stories about shelf price errors unless they are really huge? When I encounter these in the store I point them out to the associate and nearly always get the lower price.

    • webweazel says:

      @johnfrombrooklyn: Years back, stores could get into HEAPS of trouble if their prices on the shelf tags were not correct on a majority of items. Don’t know if that actually is enforced anymore.

      I was actually the pricing person for a Kmart for a while. I went through the entire store, aisle by aisle, checked the shelf plans to see if any tags were missing, because stock would be missing and not ordered if there was no tag. I would also check every shelf item with a scanner, and if the tag wasn’t correct, I’d print a new tag on the spot.

      It was actually a fun job. HEY TARGET! I’m available!

      • fantomesq says:

        @webweazel: Oh yeah. Weights and Measures is still out there and checking prices… Want a viable threat against a store manager on a pricing issue – don’t threaten to report to the BBB, file a lawsuit or even consumerist – threaten to report it to the local Weights and Measures – it may well trigger an inspection and inspections can get stores fined or even shut down… that usually gets the manager’s attention.

  14. UrIt says:

    were the DPCI’s the same on both lables? if they’re not it’s just a case of overstock

    • extremenachos says:

      @UrIt: I worked at target for awhile, every product has a matching DPCI, it should always be on the label as well as the product. Normally anyways.

  15. MaytagRepairman says:

    Did her store not have the randomly placed price-check scanners found in many Target stores?

  16. chocobo says:

    Just bought a box of fruit snacks from Target. The shelf said $3.69, I was charged $3.99.

    There ought to be a serious penalty for doing this. They can just get away with doing it on purpose all the time, because no one’s going to go back to get their 30 cents.

    • ovalseven says:

      @chocobo: In Michigan, if the item scans higher than the listed price, and you’ve already paid, you’re entitled to 10x the price difference up to $5.

      You would’ve made $3 on that deal.

      I don’t know if it applies in other states.

  17. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    Target is just bizarre about their pricing. We live about a 10 minute walk away from one. 2 years ago, another Target opened about 4 miles away. The newer one consistently sells their house brand (“Up & Up” these days) of powdered infant formula for about $1.50 less per can than the store closest to us. Although, I think the price came down recently at the closer store, but still not as low as a the new store.

    These things won’t stop me from shopping there though. Until last month, there were 3 Target stores closer to my house than the nearest Wal-Mart.

  18. dsevil says:

    Surly 20-year-old stockboy not attending college has to do a few hundred price tags and screwed one up? Shocking.

  19. Yurei says:

    And the worst part is, when you mention the mistake the cashier treats you like a criminal, and calls over a manager to walk with you back to the aisle so you can point out the price tag for the lower price.

    At least at my local Target, this happened to me.

  20. brodie7838 says:

    In addition to the date stamp not being verified, it looks like the barcodes are different… Did she check the PLU code on either of the products and match them to either of the PLU codes on the tags? Often times the human readable descriptions are not truly accurate, and the PLU code will roll a digit to reflect a manufacturing change.

  21. NancyNally says:

    Do some of you ever stop to think that there’s an actual real human being who you are talking about before you say some of these nasty things?

    I’m the shopper who sent that photo in. I took it on my iPhone with the intent of using it at the register to argue with the cashier about the price if it rang wrong.

    HOWEVER, by the time I actually got to the cashier, my husband I had been wrangling our autistic six year old daughter around the store for some time. This takes a lot of effort, understandably, and in the chaos at the register of checking out an overflowing cart of groceries and also trying to keep her calm through the checkout process, I was too busy and distracted to remember to check the scan price of the baby food as it went through.

    As for my being lazy because I don’t make my own baby food, I’d have to be a full-time chef to supply my own. Do you have any idea how much of that food a six year old consumes? That’s right…that Gerber makes up the majority of my six year old’s diet because she has severe oral textural aversions as a symptom of her autism and will not chew food that is wet. The food was FOR HER. She can’t tolerate wet textured food, and she uses the portable plastic containers to carry it to school with her in her lunchbox every day.

    So, instead of making assumptions and getting all superior and nasty, maybe next time consider that you don’t know the whole story.

    Thank you to those of you who considered that there was an actual person being discussed here and who gave me the benefit of the doubt.

    For anyone interested in actually discussing the issue that I wrote to Consumerist about, instead of just trolling: I spotted the exact same problem again in another department of the store a few days later. I don’t ever remember seeing something like this in this (or any other) Target before now, and I also don’t remember ever seeing something like this at Publix, our other major grocery chain in town – having multiple shelf labels side-by-side for the same item. We all see occasionally where a label won’t get switched for a sale or price change so the displayed price is wrong, but I’ve now seen two instances in a very short period of time at this Target where they were displaying, right next to each other, two different prices for the same item (not just a single, incorrect, price). It just seems to me to be ridiculous that people aren’t noticing that when they are shelving, and that more consumers aren’t noticing it!

    • jenjen says:

      @NancyNally: what I usually find helpful is to try to track down an employee before getting to the cash to verify the price. It’s not always possible, but it can avoid having to do checks when you’re in the line with people waiting behind you.

  22. Wilsonaire says:

    I work at Target and this could be a couple of different things. Could be a recent price change, sometimes products do increase in price due to manufacturer or retail reasons. The right label may have not been correctly switched out.
    That’s fairly unlikely though. The Price Change team is pretty good at not messing that up.

    I’d like to see the DPCI (Item Number) on the bottom of the labels, to see if each label is actually for the same item. A Team Member may have just incorrectly stocked the shelf?

  23. HFC says:

    @thisheregirafFe: Did the register post two prices for one item?

  24. tonberry says:

    @thisheregirafFe: this is an issue of target’s hilarious pricing, which i find amusing. thanks consumerist!

  25. Caged Wisdom says:

    @katstermonster: Agreed. In my local Target the baby section is at the far back of the store from the registers – and since Target seems to prefer to grab someone up front to check prices over calling someone over an intercom, it would take a good long while to resolve this issue. And all that time you’re dealing with a fidgety six year old and most likely a line of disgruntled fellow shoppers building up behind you. Definitely not worth it.

  26. radiantchains says:

    @katstermonster: If they actually send someone back to check, make sure you complain to someone about it. It’s Target’s policy to take the customer’s (“guest’s”) word if the item is under $20 and the difference is reasonable.

  27. psm321 says:

    @katstermonster: Some stores do just take your word for it. I was very surprised the first time I had that happen.

  28. katstermonster says:

    @BB_User: I’ve never had an employee of any store take my word for a price match, I very much doubt that a picture is going to make a difference.

    P.S. Very clever job there, going from calling someone dumb to throwing a smiley face my way. And arguments go two ways, my friend. :) <– see that? It’s a jolly smiley face.

  29. dp05 says:

    @Skaperen: It will still come down to employees changing the tags properly, and ultimately human error. Sometimes things just get overlooked. I realize it is their jobs to make sure the prices are all right, but can you honestly tell me you’ve never made a mistake ever at your job?

    Things happen, people miss changing a tag. The computers can print out all of the perfect and correct tags in the world, but its human error if a tag doesn’t get changed.

  30. 4hotdog says:

    @katstermonster:”P.S. Very clever job there, going from calling someone dumb to throwing a smiley face my way. And arguments go two ways, my friend. :) <– see that? It’s a jolly smiley face.”

    Hilarious

  31. MostlyHarmless says:

    @katstermonster: Ha! You get a heart for that comment. Friended.

  32. Jbjohn942 says:

    @katstermonster: A Target cashier isn’t going to argue over 22 cents. It’s not worth their time and the inconvenience of the guest’s in the line. So yes, this would have been a 10 second issue.

  33. oloranya says:

    @katstermonster: They probably do have such a system, doesn’t mean the employee bothered to take the old sticker off before putting the new one on.

  34. floraposte says:

    @EdnaLegume: There’s no indication that her six year old was melting down either, though.

  35. idip says:

    @EdnaLegume: Agreed.

  36. VagrantRadio says:

    @Nicole: working in retail having to update these price changes every single day when they go up or down .10 was a pain in the ass to keep up with. It happens.

  37. MostlyHarmless says:

    @squinko: You can count it as Blame the OP and Passing Judgements.

  38. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    What’s funny is that when I saw the now-disemvoweled post, I kind of agreed because today is a slow day for consumer-related news. No big controversies so far, and I usually see at least one by 2 pm! No one’s suing someone else, the Blockbuster death bell hasn’t rung again yet, and we haven’t brought up any women’s issues or gotten into discussions on elitism…there wasn’t even a Mac vs. PC war!

    I usually see at least three things that people probably submitted before me, but this morning I didn’t see anything. Yesterday, I saw about five consumer-related things, but today…nothing.

    I’m eagerly awaiting the controversy.

  39. Laura Northrup says:

    @pecan 3.14159265: He or she did, however, call the OP lazy for not making baby food.

  40. levelone says:

    @floraposte: Both. Some items have a lot of price changes, so you’d have a hard time removing the multiple labels stuck on top of each other and making it look like there was never one there (usually rips the label strip or pulls print up with it, like silly putty). But if it was an item with just one recent or shoddily placed adhesive label it could be removed fairly easily and it wouldn’t be noticeable.

    I doubt most customers do this, but I know this one crazy lady that comes into our store all the time – she’s an obvious hoarder who spends her children’s disability money on clearance and useless crap – who hides clearance (behind items in other departments, under basedecks, behind fixtures), harasses the price change team and changes or moves labels where possible to con our store out of a few dollars. She talks to herself, loudly, about what she is and isn’t willing to pay for items and how they compare to prices at Wal-Mart and K-Mart and has the most shrill voice and awful personality. She would definitely move labels around, and she would complain so she got the lower price.

    As a side note, I always feel, well not sorry for her because she’s made her own hell, but sad that she’s gone out of control to save a dollar at the expense of living a better life and that she’s dragged her family down with her.