JCPenney Learns How To Run Sales Again, Not Sure How Much 50% Off Is

JCPenney Learns How To Run Sales Again, Not Sure How Much 50% Off Is

Regular readers of our site are familiar with Target Math: that’s when a retailer sells an item in bulk, but it somehow ends up costing more to buy a larger quantity than a smaller one. Maybe it’s time to invent a new type of math: JCPenney math, where items on sale are even more on sale than they appear. [More]

How Much Does Soda Cost At Target? Target Has No Idea

How Much Does Soda Cost At Target? Target Has No Idea

How much does a 12-pack of fizzy high-fructose corn water cost at Target? We would like to say that this is not a trick question, except for how it’s a trick question. Rather than “Target math,” where it costs more to buy a larger quantity of the same item, this soda display uses Target’s sale logic. The same item has multiple prices simultaneously. [More]

Markdown At Lands’ End Means You Pay $20 More

Markdown At Lands’ End Means You Pay $20 More

Reader Beth was browsing the markdown rack at Lands’ End, in the space that the retailer now leases from Sears, when she noticed something strange. A sweater she wanted was on markdown, but somehow the price was going up. How did that work? [More]

Adding Decimal Places Does Not Mean These Tastykakes Are On Sale

Adding Decimal Places Does Not Mean These Tastykakes Are On Sale

When you add decimal points to a price, does that make it a different number? That is to say, is $1 different than $1.00? It’s more accurate, sure, but it’s not a discount. Unless you’re shopping at Dollar General with reader John. [More]

Is This Target Add-On Item 50% Off Or Free? Neither

Is This Target Add-On Item 50% Off Or Free? Neither

Do you remember this shelf tag at Target? It showed us that even the most mundane cleaning-product sale can trigger an existential crisis. The sign promises a free cleaning product if you buy a broom, and also 50% off that same cleaning product. Is the Clorox product 50% off? Is it free? Where am I? Is this real life? [More]

This Toys ‘R’ Us Sign Is True: One Cent Is Over $0

This Toys ‘R’ Us Sign Is True: One Cent Is Over $0

Just because something is literally true, retailers, that doesn’t mean you have to put it on a sign. Especially when you’re advertising a sale that is barely a sale at all. [More]

At This Target, 50% Off And Free Are Pretty Much The Same Thing

At This Target, 50% Off And Free Are Pretty Much The Same Thing

Getting a cleaning product for free when you buy a broom or mop is a pretty good deal, and so is getting one for half off. The problem at this Target is that they can’t decide what deal they want to give you. [More]

This Flood Sensor Will Fly Off The Shelf Now That It’s Marked Down 3¢

This Flood Sensor Will Fly Off The Shelf Now That It’s Marked Down 3¢

Jon snapped this photo of what he called an “amazing Lowe’s sale” and sent it along. Indeed, it’s pretty amazing, if by “amazing” he actually meant “pointless” and “stupid.” [More]

Even Target Employees Laugh At Their Nonsensical Shelf Tags

Even Target Employees Laugh At Their Nonsensical Shelf Tags

A Target employee in an undisclosed location who we’ll call “Amy” sent along a photo from the frozen foods section. One of Amy’s colleagues carefully went through and placed “0% off” shelf tags on every variety of Amy’s frozen vegetarian burrito. “They are actually on sale if scanned,” notes Amy, “but you save 5% more than the sign states.” [More]

(Adam)

At OfficeMax, “Clearance” Means “Mark It Up By A Penny”

Maybe OfficeMax is so preoccupied with its planned wedding to Office Depot that it isn’t paying attention to its clearance pricing schemes anymore. That’s the only way we can explain these “clearance” rices that consist of marking items up by a penny. [More]

HyVee Prints Sign To Say, ‘Nope, No Fuel Discount On This Either’

HyVee Prints Sign To Say, ‘Nope, No Fuel Discount On This Either’

“um..this makes 0 cents,” reader Terry wrote when he submitted this photo from a local HyVee store to us. It’s one thing to post a sign with a sale price when there’s no real discount or to advertise a sale when you’ve marked something up, but why advertise a gas promotion when there’s no gas promotion? [More]

Too Bad You Missed This Amazing Members-Only Sale At Safeway

You missed it? Too bad.

“Man oh man, I’m sure glad that we have a Safeway Club Member loyalty card!” writes reader Richard. Even if you have a card, dearest readers, you’re going to miss out: the sale ended on Saturday. [More]

Too Bad You Missed The -51% Off Sale At Harbor Freight

(classmanager)

Flickr user classmanager snapped this picture last week at Harbor Freight, a discount hardware store. It’s a beautiful and confusing example of fuzzy math because it isn’t just a few cents more expensive than the regular price of the item: they went ahead and put it on -51% sale, and brag about it. [More]

(Liz)

Target Still Struggles With Reality, Thinks ‘More Than’ Is A Meaningless Marketing Phrase

It’s kind of confusing when phrases like “more than” and “over” have become nothing more than meaningless marketing buzzwords. Three and a half years ago, we brought you a set of light-blocking curtains that block more than 100% of light. It sounds nice, but is physically impossible. Reader Liz found a similar marketing oddity at Target, where a sign brags about a discount of “more than” $20 when the discount is, in fact, exactly $20. [More]

(Anthony)

Walmart: Prices So Low, We Have To Raise Them To Put Things On Sale

Welcome to Walmart, where our prices are so low, we have to raise prices to put things on clearance! No, wait, that doesn’t really make sense. Hmm. Most likely, some prankster rearranged the numbers in this sign that reader Anthony found this weekend. That’s the story we’ll go with, because we like to retain some faith in the staff of Walmart. [More]

Just Because Sports Authority Says It’s Having A “Sale,” That Doesn’t Make It True

Just Because Sports Authority Says It’s Having A “Sale,” That Doesn’t Make It True

Stephanie saw that there was a sale on Asics sneakers at Sports Authority, and she just happened to be interested in buying some. When she reached the store, she noticed that many of the shoes had “Sale” tags on them, but if you moved those tags aside, this didn’t actually represent a “sale.” [More]

Strictly Speaking, This Party City Sale Sticker Is True, But It’s Still Stupid

Mathemetically, this is true.

Shopping at Party City, Jeff noticed this odd sticker. It advertises discounts of “up to 75% off” and that the item retails at $9.99 and now costs $10. Only that’s not really the confusing part. [More]

Prices.

This Office Depot Sale Isn’t Much Of A Sale

Marie is in the market for a new external hard drive, and last week (before the Presidents’ Day holiday) she heard from an office Depot employee that just the item she wanted goes on sale frequently, and she should wait for one of those sales. Hurray! That’s just what she did. She waited for a sale, when an “instant rebate” brought the price down…to exactly the same price that it had been. [More]