Walmart Doesn’t Advertise Their Roll-Forward Pricing

Walmart Doesn’t Advertise Their Roll-Forward Pricing

Walmart is famous for lowering prices and calling them “rollbacks,” but sometimes the opposite happens, too. Reader Ben spotted this example of roll-forward pricing at his local Walmart on a clearance sign. [More]

Walmart Weather Radio Pricing Less Awful Than It Appears

Walmart Weather Radio Pricing Less Awful Than It Appears

Reader N. was shopping in the weather station section at Walmart when he noticed something odd. Hanging on the same rack were two different variations on the same weather radio. You could buy the radio for $29.88, or buy the radio with a little carabiner flashlight included for $49.94. Wait, what? [More]

"Best."

Put A Bird And A Price Tag On It: Fuzzy Math In The Wild

Usually, retailers lower the price of an item per unit when you buy more of it. For example, a gallon of juice costs much less per unit than a single-serving bottle. When this system falls apart, and it frequently does, we call it “fuzzy math.” [More]

Just in time.

Kohl’s Cash Isn’t Much Of A Deal When Nothing Is On Sale

Kohl’s is the land of never-ending sales: nearly everything in the store is on perpetual markdown, and no list price is what it seems to be. But reader Mike was annoyed recently when he earned some Kohl’s Cash from a purchase and brought it back the following week. He couldn’t find anything on sale that he actually wanted to buy, and was especially annoyed to see an item for which the price had increased by exactly the amount of his Kohl’s Cash voucher. [More]

Family Dollar Tries To Compete With Target By Stealing Its Math

Family Dollar Tries To Compete With Target By Stealing Its Math

No retailer will ever come close to Target in the realm of fuzzy math: sale prices that are higher than regular ones, volume discounts that cost you more for buying large quantities of an item, and substitutions that make no sense. Discounter Family Dollar is doing their best, though. [More]

Walmart Eating Cost Increases On Food So You Can, Well… Eat

Walmart Eating Cost Increases On Food So You Can, Well… Eat

Walmart is absorbing some price increases on products like food, rather than passing them along to consumers. The chain plans to continue keeping its prices down across the board to goose sales, executives told investors earlier today. [More]

Starbucks CEO Laughs At The Notion That His Coffee Costs $5

Starbucks CEO Laughs At The Notion That His Coffee Costs $5

Katie Couric recently interviewed Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on CBS Sunday Morning and asked him if he thought the company had a “tin ear” to what people were going through with the recession. Perhaps, she suggested, they couldn’t afford to pay “$5 on their coffee every day.” Schultz’s response was to laugh. You see, Starbucks coffee only costs $1.50. [More]

Hold On To Your Wallets, 3D TVs Are Going To Be Getting Cheaper

Hold On To Your Wallets, 3D TVs Are Going To Be Getting Cheaper

A little bit of pricing news out of CES: LG told Dow Jones Newswires that their 3D TVs will be getting cheaper by 20% this year, as “production costs have been dropping with improved technology.” [More]

JCPenney Switching To Priceless Catalogs

JCPenney Switching To Priceless Catalogs

When JCPenney killed off its traditional Big Book catalog last year, the result was a drop in sales on its website, says the retailer’s chairman. Based on that successful strategy–wait, what?–JCPenney says it’s killing off its remaining 12 specialty catalogs as well. Instead, it will start mailing out thinner “look books,” which will contain a subset of merchandise and no prices. [More]

Why Haven't Broadband Prices Dropped?

Why Haven't Broadband Prices Dropped?

Ten years ago, 5% of the country had access to broadband Internet. Now over 95% of the country has access. In other technology markets, notes the authors of a new study, prices tend to drop significantly once a technology matures–but with broadband, prices since 2004 have dropped by less than 10% in most markets, if at all. So what’s going on? [More]

Buy The Two-Pack And Save -$.53!

Jared spotted this dubious deal at his local Walmart. You can get a bottle of Old Spice high endurance body wash for $2.97, or the two-pack for $6.47. There should be a bulk discount, right? Nope, you’ll actually pay $.53 more if you buy the bundle instead of the two individually. Hey, that plastic wrap is really, um, convenient, and there’s a convenience premium. Yeah, that’s the ticket. [More]

Amazon Needs Math Lessons

Amazon Needs Math Lessons

Brian shopped for a webcam on Amazon and faced this confounding pre-checkout screen. [More]

Sears Settles Lawsuit Alleging Pricing Fraud

Sears Settles Lawsuit Alleging Pricing Fraud

Sears paid out $1 million to settle a civil lawsuit with six California counties that accused the retailer of charging customers more for products than the advertised prices. [More]

Verizon May Introduce Tiered Data Plans As Early As Next Week

Verizon May Introduce Tiered Data Plans As Early As Next Week

One month ago, Verizon Wireless’s CFO hinted in an interview that the company might follow AT&T’s lead and replace unlimited data plans with tiered ones. Now Engadget is reporting that the switch might come on July 29th. Because this is just a rumor so far, there’s no word yet on whether Verizon will offer the same 200 MB / 2 GB split as AT&T or whether it will grandfather in existing unlimited customers. [More]

Mysterious Comcast Internet May Cost $35, $48, $62 or $39.99

Mysterious Comcast Internet May Cost $35, $48, $62 or $39.99

Reader Scoots was paying a promotional rate for Comcast internet. The rate expired and the bill went up to $48. Scoots called Comcast to ask for the old rate back and encountered a “four-square car dealership rip off” of sorts. [More]

CVS Misprices Meds, Offers Refunds If You Say Please

CVS Misprices Meds, Offers Refunds If You Say Please

When CVS discovered that prices listed for brand-name drugs on its SilverScript Medicare site were mistakenly displayed at about 4% less than the drugs were actually being sold for, the company quickly fixed the glitch, according to a report in today’s Wall Street Journal. But what happened to customers who saw the “low” prices and ended up paying more at retail? According to The Journal, CVS cut a deal with the government, allowing the company to offer refunds only to customers who asked for them. CVS then sent letters to the customers that said they could call and discuss “your options,” and made no mention of the possibility of a refund. [More]

Target Just Can’t Stop The Crazy Prices

Target Just Can’t Stop The Crazy Prices

Sure, we’ve explained the apparent insanity of Target’s prices, but the crazy just keeps on coming. Here are a few examples from our stuffed-full Target is Crazy mailbag. [More]

Embassy Suites Wants To Sell You Bedding And Alarm Clocks

Embassy Suites Wants To Sell You Bedding And Alarm Clocks

Embassy Suites plans to launch a site next month that will let people buy sheets, comforters, pillows, coffee pots, and alarm clocks just like the ones in their hotel rooms, reports national hotel paper USA Today. A Hilton executive in charge of the Embassy brand says the company doesn’t plan to make much money off of it and that the items will be priced below retail, but I’m not sure that means you’ll find any bargains. [More]