These Frappuccino Prices Are Confusing

Someone explain how this works. Jason tells us that Starbucks Frappuccinos 4-packs normally retails at the Target in Amherst, NY, for $5.24, but there’s a new price tag on them for $5.49, boasting they’re, “Even Lower than our advertised price.” So, in the circulars they’re advertising them for, say, $5.99? Why not a sign that says, “BIG SAVINGS” and then in small letters, “as compared to a piece of gold bullion.”


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  1. DePaulBlueDemon says:

    Inform the manager of said Target.


  2. infinitysnake says:

    Someone’s having fun with you…5.24 is not “standard price” for anything at target, it’s a clearance price.

  3. Spamwich says:

    Haven’t we seen enough examples of this? I read this site for stories of evil corporate shenanigans, not the tragic tale of Joe Pricecheck and his apathy towards the importance of hanging the right price tags at his minimum-wage job.

  4. msbeer says:

    @Spamwich: I would say that this is a problem to consumers that should continue to be addressed here. However, instead of the daily post, maybe one post per month dedicated to pics of this nature that Consumerist has received throughout the month. It would definitely have a greater impact than one post at a time, especially if they are receiving a huge number of these.

  5. bradriley says:

    1. If there was a close up of the tag you can see a date printed on it. If I remember correctly, that is the day it was printed. If that tag is over a month ago, I could be a tag that was just not replaced properly.

    2.Usually Target is on these things by printing their price tags on large strips that replace a whole row of price tags at once, but as you can see this one was replaced by itself.

    3. As for Price Cut (PC) and Temporary Price Cut (TPC) prices being the same as normal prices, I have NO idea why they do that. Anyone can see it, they only have to lift up the PC or TPC signage.

  6. horned_frog says:

    anyone’s who’s unfortunate enough to have worked in retail knows that mistakes (price) sometimes occur.

  7. jermscentral says:

    BradRiley and Horned_Frog are correct. Working for the big blue beast (Best Buy), I came to realize how easily price mistakes became a customer’s advantage. We had to do zoning every week, but some departments would get lazy and not print up their new shelf tags (or the tags would be printed but not put on the shelf). Therefore, when BB went to raise a price, but the associates had not replaced the tags, the customer got the price on the tag. The same applied to instant rebate items. If our tag said you got a $20 instant savings, you got a $20 instant savings. Then the department got a beatdown for not doing its job.

    Most of these tags have a date printed on them. Next time you’re in a BB, take a close look at the tag; the only date you see (apart from any dates showing the mail-in rebate validation period) on it is the date the tag was printed. Any tags that are more than two weeks old are likely to be incorrect, unless the product is a regular item that never changes prices.

  8. RandomHookup says:

    @jermscentral: That’s a store that’s on top of their game. Most of them shrug their shoulders and go ‘oh, well’ and try to charge the higher price anyway (even if state laws say otherwise).

  9. xskeptictankx says:

    That happened to me at the Target near my house a few weeks ago. The 6-packs of red Gatorade were “special priced” HIGHER than the regular price of the blue ones, then behind the red Gatorade sale label there was a third price CHEAPER than the blue ones.

    It really makes you wonder how they come up with their regular & sale prices if the same product in 2 different flavors don’t end up costing the same amount.

  10. Xerloq says:

    @xskeptictankx: Red flavoring is more expensive than the Blue flavor. That’s why I buy Purple flavored things.

    Thanks to the blurry picture, we can’t tell that the UPCs or SKUs are the same.

    I do agree, though that you could just take it to the manager. If they try to charge you a higher price, show them the shelf and they will usually give it to you through an obligation to honor the lowest posted price. That’s why having correct signage is such a big deal. If they refuse to sell at the lowest posted price, then we have a story for the Consumerist.

    Shop at Albertsons. Most of them have a price accuracy guarantee. If the item rings up differently than posted, you get the item free. I once had some beef (or something) come up cheaper than the shelf price and remarked, “Cool, I thought it was more expensive than that.” Concerned, the checker checked the shelf, saw the higher price and gave it to me free.

  11. tmorgan01 says:

    I worked at target as a team leader (manager) in pricing and presentation for 9 years and I can explain what may have happened here. If you are familiar with working in retail, then you know that Target does comp shopping and as a result, prices are adjusted on certain items that are comp’d. My guess would be that the frappucino was comp’d at lets say Walmart, Kmart, etc and the price was reduced to what the label says $5.24 then by coincidence that item was going on a price cut and in reality the actual original price was probably $5.99 and was price cut to $5.49. Prices will vary among stores on certain items depending on the results that are received from the comparitive shopping at other local stores.