Sears Kicks Off Holiday Weekend With False Advertising

UPDATE: Sears Changes Its Mind About The Definition Of “All”
Like many consumers, reader Nazar hoped to get in on some money saving deals over the holiday weekend. He spotted this advertisement (pictured above) in the Sunday paper for Sears, which clearly reads “ALL Garage storage on sale, 50% off – excludes closeouts.” Nazar headed down to Sears and picked out a garage storage unit, (not on closeout) but at checkout the Sears manager refused to give him 50% off citing that the sale was for the pictured unit only. Nazar’s letter and our advice, inside…

This advertisement was in the Sunday paper in Northern New Jersey. I was in sore need of some garage storage and so was happy to see that Sears was offering all garage storage at 50% off. After heading to the Sears at Paramus Park Mall and picking the units we wanted (none of which were closeout) we were told that only the cabinet pictured was ringing up at 50% off and that all other units (under the same brand-name) were on sale for 20%. We showed the ad to our salesman, who read it and understood it to mean that all garage storage was half off.

He called the manager to confirm. The manager, Edna, said that the ad clearly indicated that only the pictured cabinet was half off and that we would have to pay more for the other units. I explained to Edna that without the benefit of her explanation a person at home would understand the ad to mean that all storage was half off and accused Sears of deliberately making the ad ambiguous to draw in unwitting customers. She conceded that it was reasonable for me to understand the ad to mean all garage storage was half off but refused to honor it.

I believe that the ad is incredibly misleading but wanted you guys to take a look and see if you agree. The ad is good until through Tuesday. Just wanted to warn others out there not to fall for the same trap.

Your site does consumers a great service. Keep on fighting the good fight.



We have scrutinized the entire advertisement page and we can find nothing that would indicate that the sale applies to pictured items only. Unless the word “all” has some alternate definition, we are afraid you are the victim of false advertising. We can’t say that Sears did this intentionally but at the very least, the manager made a mistake. We recommend filing a complaint with the attorney general’s office in New Jersey. Here you can find the form needed to file the complaint. Maybe Sears will soon realize why ALL customers are shopping elsewhere.