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]

(Northwest dad)

4 Things That Make You Spend Too Much Money At The Grocery Store

Roaming the aisle of the grocery store can sometimes feel like walking around in a big money pit. Sure, everyone needs food to survive, but does it have to end up costing an arm and a leg every time you make a trip to stock up on your weekly necessities? If you’re walking out shaking your head and wondering how it all piles up, you can probably chalk it up to a few reasons. [More]

No hair iron for you!

Ulta Has Secret Limits On Clearance Items, Won’t Sell Me 27 Hair Straighteners

Courtney was on a mission. It’s her job to find things for people at low prices, and then buy them in large quantities. For example, one day she learned that beauty chain Ulta had Big Chi Digital Hair Irons, which usually cost $169.99, on clearance for $49.99. Score! One of her clients wanted these, and there were twenty-seven of them in stock. Now, “Clearance” should mean that the store is trying to clear out stock, and should be happy if someone comes along and scoops up everything on the shelf. Right? Not at Ulta. They’d rather not sell items at all than sell them to Courtney by the cartful. [More]


Michaels Clearance Price Doesn’t Apply To Clearance Items…Wait, What?

What happens when you divide by zero on a cash register? You can’t. Kim found something about as confusing while shopping at Michaels recently: a clearance sale that doesn’t apply to clearance items, including the item that she wanted to buy. [More]

Shop Marlboro offers township residents the chance to earn property tax credits by patronizing local businesses.

NJ Township Offers Property Tax Credits For Shopping Locally

Last fall, Marlboro Township, NJ, announced what it believes is the first program in the country that encourages residents to shop at local businesses by offering deductions on annual property tax bills. [More]


How Online Price-Matching Would Work In The Best Of All Possible Worlds

When readers write to us to complain about their experiences with in-store pickup, they’re measuring what actually happened against a sort of retail Platonic ideal. “This item has a different price on your website, retailer!” they expect to say at the register. “You are correct, good sir; let me give you that better price,” the cashier should say, pressing a magical “savvy Internet reader” button on the cash register that unlocks those prices. Alas, this doesn’t happen. Or does it? [More]

(Northwest dad)

How To Get Good Service At A Chronically Understaffed Walmart

What should you know when you place an online order that you plan to pick up at your local Walmart store? An insider––an ordinary store employee in an ordinary Walmart––reached out to us to explain to customers what you should know before you click “Site-to-Store,” and other pitfalls. Walmart may employ millions of Americans, but it still tries to run stores with the smallest crew that it get by with.

Let’s hand the floor over to the employee, who we’ll call “Samantha”: [More]


As Offline Retail Dies, Commercial Real Estate Apocalypse Looms

As we do more and more of our shopping while sitting on our couches in our pajamas with an Ultrabook, we’re destroying a glorious American institution: the mall. Realspace retailers large and small alike have gone bankrupt and shut down or scaled back: a process that the recession only sped up. The best case scenario? Those former malls might become community colleges or gain some condos. What’s more likely? Rotting husks of shopping centers dotting our cityscapes, dragging down property values and making everyone sad. [More]

(The Telegraph)

Nothing Quite Ruins A Shopping Experience Like A Tank Full Of Sharks Suddenly Shattering

Sometimes the mall can feel like a shark tank, with shoppers circling each other and sniffing out deals that retailers throw out like so much chum. But visitors at a Shanghai shopping center had a bit of a more unfortunate and very real experience with sea life when an aquarium full of sharks, turtles and fish shattered suddenly. [More]

No Yonana.

I Want To Buy A Sorbet Maker, Sears Keeps Hanging Up On Me

We have a hypothesis here at Consumerist. The Sears Holdings Corporation is no longer a retailer, but is only an anti-capitalist prank on a global scale. How else can you explain a company that has a global retail presence, yet seems determined not to sell anything? The latest chapter in this saga comes from Kelly, who wanted to buy a small kitchen appliance that turns frozen fruit into delicious sorbets. Sears, perhaps with a hangover and in desperate need of some personal space after spending the holidays with its more crass cousin Kmart, keeps hanging up on Kelly every time she calls to see whether the item is in stock. She’s taking the hint now. [More]

(Atwater Village Newbie)

How Not Price-Matching Your Own Website Is Kind Of Inefficient

We understand why very few retailers will price-match their own websites. Online and meatspace retail are different markets, and the current system rewards people who are smart enough to order items online for in-store pickup. We guess. You have to admit, though, that the current system is kind of inefficient. That was Brian’s experience at Finish Line, anyway. He wanted a specific jacket, which was $69 online, but a higher sale price, $100, in the store. Only the store couldn’t give him the online price, because That’s Just Not Done. What did he do? He went home and ordered the jacket online. With free shipping. How efficient. [More]

(Chriss Pagani)

Retail Managers: You’ll Get More Product Info From A Smartphone Than A Sales Associate

Times used to be, you had a question about a product and needed information about it, and you asked the sales associate at the store. But now it’s not just consumers who stay home to online shop who are finding the best information and prices about items they’re shopping for, even retail managers say customers in a store are better off turning to their smartphones to get info, rather than asking a sales associate for help. [More]

Land’s End Can’t Redeem Shop Your Way Rewards, Doesn’t Care

Land’s End Can’t Redeem Shop Your Way Rewards, Doesn’t Care

Shop Your Way Rewards are one of the delightful selling points for continuing to shop at companies that are part of Sears Holdings Corporation, such as Sears, Kmart, and Land’s End. Hayden has accumulated a modest balance of these points, and wanted to spend them at Land’s end. The website won’t let him. He reported this problem to Land’s End, and no one at the company seems to care. At all. [More]

Sears Loses A Nexus 7 Sale, Misses The Point

Sears Loses A Nexus 7 Sale, Misses The Point

Bill has been a loyal Sears customer for most of his life. They happen to sell the Nexus 7 tablet, which he wanted to get for his wife for Christmas (hope she doesn’t read Consumerist) for a competitive price, and he could get Shop Your Way rewards points. Score! He ordered up the tablet online, then headed over to the store to pick it up. Then things started to go terribly wrong. [More]


H&M Will Take Your Old Clothes So You Can Buy New Stuff For A Discount

Many Americans just have too many clothes — our collective closets are stuffed with mid-range to cheapie clothing brands that we can tire of quickly and replace without breaking the proverbial bank. Like that sweater? Buy it in two colors! Need new jeans? There’s a sale so you can get three pairs! H&M has hatched a crazy-like-a-fox plan to help rid customers of their old duds while giving them incentive to shop for new stuff with a recently announced clothing recycling plan. [More]

(^ Missi ^)

Item Is Right On The Walmart Shelf, But Site-To-Store Will Take A Few Days

Retailers generally don’t price-match their own websites. Walmart, Sears, Best Buy, Gap, Home Depot… they’re separate operations. Lee didn’t know that, though, and tried to get Walmart to match its online price for the router he wanted. They refused. That’s not worthy of publication on Consumerist, but what happened next is. He whipped out a smartphone and ordered the router sitting on the shelf in front of him for in-store pickup. Hurray! He beat the system! Until an e-mail from Walmart arrived telling him that he could expect to pick up his new router sometime next week. [More]

({Guerrilla Futures | Jason Tester})

Retailers Squeezed $25 More Out Of The Average Shopper With Extra Thanksgiving Sales

The Black Friday creep seems to have paid off for retailers (even as it casts a dubious shadow over Thanksgiving), as shoppers shelled out about $25 more per person during this year’s Thanksgiving-centered sales last week. Of course in many cases, Black Friday wasn’t even limited to just Friday, with plenty of retailers hosting sales and opening their doors on Thanksgiving. Overall, shoppers spent about 13% more than we did last year. [More]