This Toys R Us Sign Is Technically True, But Still Stupid

“I guess technically, $.01 is ‘over $0,'” writes reader Don in Arizona who found this sign, “and in 1850, saving $.01 was probably a smoking hot deal but today, not so much….”


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  1. do-it-myself says:

    I’m having trouble figuring out what was going through the heads of the staff members who put this sign in place.

  2. pervy_the_clown says:

    I understand that maybe typo’s or accidents happen when typing or printing the sign. But you would think that when setting it up, someone would say “Hm…this doesn’t seem right,” wouldn’t you?

    • madanthony says:

      Obviously, it’s an automatic computer-generated sign that takes the original price minus the new price and prints it at the top as the savings, rounding the pennies down.

      As far as what went through the employees’ heads, I’m guessing “fuck it”. They probably have a big pile of signs to put out, and the sign is correct, if silly.

      • dragonfire81 says:

        I have been that person before and when I notify management, I usually get a shrug or variation thereof. At an operation like Toys R Us, signage comes down from corporate and no one at store level has the power to make any changes, so even IF the sign is stupid, there’s no point in the person setting it making a complaint. They probably don’t get paid enough to care about it anyway.

        • RandomHookup says:

          What about all those companies that like to brag about their “empowered employees”? When even the managers can’t pull a sign, then there’s a real problem.

          • treimel says:

            Well, that’s probably one of the reasons that Sears, K-mart, Toys R us, et al. are being destroyed by the Amazons and Zappos of this world.

  3. Xenarian says:

    I don’t think even a minimum-wage undereducated wal-mart staff worker could print this sign. I smell a bit of computer-generated advertising here.

    And what’s up with the “red tag sale”? I don’t get that… It could mean quite a few things:
    If you take 30% off, you get up to another 70% off, for a grand total of up to 100% off
    If you take 30% off, you get up to another 40% off, for a grand total of up to 70% off.
    Or something entirely different.
    What is up here?!

    • Cantras says:

      probably that when you add 30% off to whatever they’re alreeady marked down, it equals 70% off however much it cost to start.

  4. incident_man says:

    I work for a large retailer and occasionally we receive promotional signs transmitted electronically from the main office like this one. Usually, we have the time to toss ones out like these and create new ones if we need to, but knowing retail companies during the holidays, Toys-R-Us most likely has their staff running ragged with other tasks and they just don’t have the time to correct it. The ones I like are the ones we get that have obvious spelling or punctuation mistakes. I asked one of my managers if anyone at the home office ever heard of “spell check” but she didn’t find that too funny. I just want to take a black marker and write “FAIL” across them, then put them up.

  5. SpazMonkey says:

    heh. The local KMart had some damn thing or other on clearance.

    Normally $49.99, now only $49.97.

    wow… helluva clearance, guys.

  6. Winteridge2 says:

    It’s a TOY store! They are targeting kids! Doesn’t matter what the sign says. Hey, these customers even buy robot hamsters-and fight to get them. Oh, wait, that is the parents doing that.

  7. Torchwood says:

    Wait a sec…. .99 verses .98. If I recall correctly, the cents may indicate a possible change, like .99 may be “regular price”, while .98 means “closeout” or “supplies limited.”

  8. I_Am_The_Stig says:

    Wait a second, Wal*Mart has the same high chair for $49.97. Howzabout it, Toys R Us? Will you price match?

    • Joedel263 says:

      it’s cheaper at TRU.. with the “Red Tag Sale” it’s an additional 30% off the clearance price (so it’s 30% off the $49.98

  9. dg says:

    At every Big Box retailer I’ve every consulted with, they had a “sign machine” or a “sign program” – some employee pushes around a cart with a battery that prints out signs, or they have something in the back that receives a transmission from “Corporate” and then the stack is just handed en masse to some hapless drone to put up…

    When the program was written, some programmer asked “What’s the usual discount?” every answer he got was “over $1.00” – so they never thought to code for saving less than a dollar. When the program sees that, it rounds down to “$0.00” because it’s a coding error. And the person putting the signs up has probably seen this goof up before.

    The first time they saw it – they asked, or the manager said “just take a big marker and black it out” and then they had to hunt for a marker, then go back to the sign, then fix the sign, and all the while they’re trying to do this – customers are pestering them for assistance (due to chronic understaffing) so fixing the sign turned out to be a big PITA, and everything sold out in a day or two anyway so it wasn’t worth the trouble.

    The next time the issue cropped up, the manager said “screw it we’re too busy”, or “I’ve told Corporate about this 15 times and they don’t care, so just put it up…then go stock Aisle 12”, or the employee after hearing this a few times said “F’ it…”…

    So here you are… Proof that Turds roll down hill…

  10. SkuldChan says:

    Long ago when i was a tier 3 tech at Adobe I helped a customer (big box store) troubleshoot an acrobat form used to generate these signs (I really can’t remember the bug they were complaining about…). Yeah its a calculated value – the employee would type in the various fields and Acrobat would calculate the “you save xyz % or $” – then all they had to do what hit the print button and out came the poster/sign.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if that is what happened.

  11. Bhockzer says:

    I used to work the night shift at a Toys R Us and I can honestly say that this was most likely intentional, especially considering it being the “Holiday Season.” We used to purposely change the little SKU label names on items so they were obscene. For example when you’d check out, the little screen would read “Hot Wheels Dump Truck w/ Flames” but after we got our hands on the electronic tagger it would magically read “Hot Flaming Dump.” My personal favorite was just changing the tag that is put on the shelf. At one point we had changed all the Bratz tags to Slutz. And all the times we’d do this our night manager was totally complicit. There were several occasions when the name changes were, in fact, his idea.

  12. StatusfriedCrustomer says:

    This sign *is* stupid. If they want to sell any, they should change it to “Save UP TO $10”.