Awesome Target Battery Sale: Regular Price $8.69 On Sale For $8.99?

Reader Adam writes:

Not that this is a big deal, but I thought it was funny.

Actual price listed on the tag for the batteries: $8.69
Sale Price: $8.99
Regular price listed on sale price tag: $9.59

There’s a Steven Wright joke in here somewhere, we just know it…—MEGHANN MARCO

(Photo: Adam Melancon)


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  1. Thassodar says:

    I work at Target and I’ve had people complain about the same thing. Truth is that the tag under is probably a old one. If I find another I’ll send in a pic.

  2. wyrdabi says:

    The sale tag is for a 19 pack of batteries. Notice “19-pk” right below “Reg. 9.59”. The 8.69 is for a 16 pack.

  3. 44 in a Row says:

    The CVS in my building normally sells Red Bull for $1.49. A couple weeks ago they had it “on sale” at 3 for $5, which works out to $1.67 each. Right. Thankfully the manager noticed and switched it back the next day.

  4. mopar_man says:

    I’ll have to run out and buy some of those before the sale is over tomorrow. I’ll have saved -$0.30.

  5. MeanMachine says:

    “Whenever I think of the past, it brings back so many memories.” Stephen Wright

  6. JohnA says:

    This reminds me of one of my favorite YTMND’s:

    Good times…

  7. mattshu says:

    Iv’e been in Safeway several times and seen “sale” tags that proudly exclaim, “YOU SAVE $.01.” I assume they hire blind/illiterate people to put these tags up.

  8. digitalgreek says:

    I work for Circuit City, and I know that this can happen when there are a batch of older batteries that are going down on clearance prices to be sold, vs a nice new set of batteries.

    A secret? .99 cents means new to us .95 or less means its old. ;-)

  9. I’d be curious to see what sales numbers look like before and after something like this. Are people more likely to buy a product marked “on sale” even if its actually more expensive than it should be?

    Wouldn’t surprise me if some shoppers picked up a few of these without paying attention, thinking they were getting a deal.

  10. jgross says:

    19 vs 16, sonnnnn!

  11. EtherealStrife says:

    The sale tag is for a 19 pack of batteries. Notice “19-pk” right below “Reg. 9.59”. The 8.69 is for a 16 pack.

    afaik there’s no such thing as a 19pk, so try again. And I read that as a 16 not a 19.

  12. youngatheart says:

    Unfortunately this happens much more than we know.When telling a salesclerk to put out a sale sign, we should also tell them to RTFM

  13. mopar_man says:

    I see 16 as well.

  14. FezMan88 says:

    I put this on digg

    And where in the world are you going to find a 19 pack?

    I’ve seen this at Wal-Mart as well. Roll-Forwards pricing

  15. traezer says:

    This happened quite a bit at a grocery store I worked for. What happens is that the corporate office sets up the sales and tells all the stores about it. However, some stores have cheaper prices than others, so at some stores the sale actually works out as a sale, but at others the “sale” costs more. When a customer came across this, we sold it for the cheaper price. I guess thats what happens when the lovely corporate office runs everything without double checking.

  16. Ah'm Tha Sharaff says:

    This reminds me of the deal my local Supervalu grocery store runs – 5 items (like a pack of 12 frozen burritos or something) for $20.00. Problem is, when rung up separately, no item is EVER more than $3.99. 3.99 x 5 = $19.95!!

    What a great deal! Pay a nickel more just so the cashier can actually save time by ringing up five things at once!

    The best part is, sometimes an individual item doesn’t even cost $3.99.

    I know this because I eat a lot of frozen burritos. Membership, please.

  17. Salveway says:

    I work for Safeway and what you are seeing here is a common practice. When Safeway wants to raise the price on an item, but the customer will notice a direct price increase.
    The solution:
    The item is put on sale for two weeks and once the sale is over. The item will have a new regular price higher than the old price.

  18. Lordy says:

    We used to have the same situation at Ritz camera…but we always sold it at the more expensive price….Kinda sad when the sale price is never as low as its advertised

  19. Youthier says:

    I just checked the weekly ad online and the sale is definately for a 16 pack of batteries. No 19 pack.

  20. puka_pai says:

    @mattshu: Iv’e been in Safeway several times and seen “sale” tags that proudly exclaim, “YOU SAVE $.01.” I assume they hire blind/illiterate people to put these tags up.

    Nope, pricing managers (whatever the position is called) are dedicated, detail-oriented professionals. Who are also ridiculously overworked and underpaid, but that’s to be expected in retail.

    When I did that job, it was par for the course for the 2-person department to get 8,000 (yes, EIGHT THOUSAND) tags to hang EVERY WEEK. Since those tags are generated and sent to us by our corporate masters, sometimes mistakes are made. We don’t catch them all, which is why most grocery stores have a price guarantee policy, but we get most of them. When you consider there’s at least 5 pieces of information that have to be checked for every tag (expiration date, UPC and item numbers, regular price and sale price) I think we do pretty well.

    As for the Target tag, if you look closely the item number is the same on both tags. I don’t know Target’s policy, but it looks like their pricing people screwed up and didn’t pull the old tag — sin #1 in the pricing business. Chances are the 19 is either a typo or maybe a special promo pack with 3 extra (free!) batteries in it.

  21. ZugTheMegasaurus says:

    Looks like a 16 to me. And they don’t make a 19-pack. And if they included free ones, it would still be called a 16-pack (they usually put a little sticker or graphic on it regarding the extras, but they don’t change the UPC and everything for it).

  22. kwesty4 says:

    Actually the two DPCI’s (item numbers) in the picture are different if you look closely. If you look at the item location there is not an aisle number on the sign. This means that a dumb team member just put the sign in the aisle and looked at the pegged location instead of looking for the endcap where the batteries that were actually on sale were located.

  23. graventy says:

    This actually happens pretty often, largely due to price matching with local competitors. It is a nationwide sale at one price, but locally, it is regularly cheaper. In these cases, the team member is supposed to notice the price and put up an “Even Lower” sign.

    The lower price should still ring up at the register, though.