Explanation For The $307.06 Harry Potter DVD

On Wednesday, we posted a picture a reader sent us of a Harry Potter DVD priced at $307.06. Not only was it not Photoshopped, several CompUSA employees chimed in to let us know there was actually a very good reason for it to have this huge price. Whenever a movie is supposed to be held until a certain street date, the price for that item is set to the release date. In this case, Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire came out on March, 7th, 2006, 03/07/06. By mistake, this tag was moved out to the floor when it should have been kept in the backroom. Mystery solved!

PREVIOUSLY: The $307.06 Harry Potter DVD


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  1. Hmm…still funny.

  2. Hilarious

  3. kris in seattle says:


  4. homerjay says:

    Seems a little overly complicated (though not for CompUSA). The alternative would be to just print a release date on the tag. Its the 21st century, after all.

  5. B says:

    My calendar says it’s 11/30/07. When was the picture taken?

  6. cashmerewhore says:


    that’s my question. This tag is over a year old….

  7. ideagirl says:

    @homerjay: If it is the 21st century, then where is my flying car??

  8. meeksthegeeks says:

    Staples did this when I worked there. For Black Friday product, they set the price at $99,999 so it would “alert” the employee.

  9. ManiacDan says:

    Interestingly, I encountered prices like this at Blockbuster, and they were legitimate. I worked there during the BIG SWITCH to DVDs. Blockbuster was required by the studios to put both products on the shelves (VHS and DVD) but the prices were independently determined (otherwise it would be illegal price fixing). So VHS tapes were clearly marked at $999.99. People would bring them up anyway, thinking it was a pricing mistake, and we’d have to tell them that yes, Gladiator on VHS was a thousand dollars. Then we’d explain that it was a cheap trick to get them to buy a DVD player, which were right over there on that shelf please go buy one.

    I’ve heard of retail outlets setting prices to ridiculous levels to indicate some other status (like street dates or black friday ads, as mentioned above) but so far Blockbuster is the only store that purposely priced a for-sale item at a hundred times the MSRP in order to discourage sales.

    Anyone else experience something like this?

  10. AceKicker says:

    I knew there was an explanation behind it. Is it the best way to mark a release date? Certainly not. But sometimes stores have to invent little workarounds for things like this if there isn’t a solution made for it. Happens all the time.

    I kind of like the idea personally, I’m sure it’s worked fine until one unattentive stock boy wasn’t paying attention. I’m sure he’s kicking himself in the head. And as blatent as this may seem, it’s still better than not making any note and mistakenly selling it before the release day. That translates into big $$$ lost.

  11. Dr.Ph0bius says:

    Regardless, it was a dumb story to begin with. It seems below the Consumerist to report stories of consumer outrage that are misprints. If someone had been charged $307.06 for the DVD and it was marked $19.99, maybe then… Worse is when someone sends a picture of a Walmart sign with a sale price higher than the original price, and we’re all suppposed to complain about those “greedy bastards at Walmart,” when 9 out of 10 times it was some customer (kid) screwing with the sign. Hey, I hate Walmart as much as the next person, but is that really a story?

  12. alfista says:

    C’mon…it’s not 1970 when database storage space was expensive…add a column to that table!

  13. RandomHookup says:

    I understand that CVS’s system will set an unknown item’s price to $999.99 to alert the stock personnel when they put up the shelf tags. That didn’t work for whoever put out the frozen pizza in my new store.

  14. homerjay says:

    @ideagirl: Being held back by the Stonecutters, probably.

  15. XTC46 says:

    @homerjay: They have it this way so when we (I work at compusa) use our horrible inventory software we can see the street dates, and so when a cashier who isn’t a total idiot rings it up they can say “wait a second…this isn’t right” and call a manager who hopefully wont be so stupid as to just do an over ride. It works pretty well.

    Also, compUSAs inventory software is a crappy cli run via telnet that was written about 10 years ago..it is horrible.

  16. Chase says:

    @ideagirl: The same place where they’re presently holding my Rocketeer jetpack. ;'[

  17. homerjay says:

    @xtc46: You accentuated my point several times. :)

  18. Hrm. Even though we have confirmation that it isn’t .. that camera REALLY made it look photoshopped. :P From the gray stroke on the price and everything. Haha. I was wrong =(. Anyway, at least the crazy price makes sense now.

  19. spinachdip says:

    @B: In the previous thread, the OP explained that he was clearing out his cellphone, I think.

    @fall_farewell: That’s pretty much what you get with a cameraphone. Even with a $400 digicam you get a decent amount of distortion, but you’re talking about a lens that’s even cheaper and smaller than the typical consumer camera.

    You add poor lighting and a subject that’s too close, and you get a picture that’s all fucked up looking.

  20. RumorsDaily says:

    I want a refund.

  21. ZitosGhost says:

    Why is that supposed to be smart? Whats wrong with just putting a date on there instead of writing it with a $ in front?