Shampoo For The Rich And Careless

Parents will gladly pay extra for baby shampoo that won’t sting their little ones’ eyes or send them to the hospital when they inevitably gulp some of it, but Target is stretching the boundaries beyond reason with this out-of-control markup for this product.

With prices like this, no wonder it costs up to a quarter million dollars to raise a kid.

While this is obviously a pricing error, it’s also a simulation of what the actual price of baby soap looks like to a single parent raising a child on minimum wage.

(Thanks, perfectly_cromulent!)


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  1. Daverson says:

    Up & up indeed.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Dumbest marketing strategy ever, in my book. All I ever think of is “Prices Up & Up.”

    • ablestmage says:

      I was a Target grunt worker for about 2 years (and in no way represent them in an official way, mind you), so I took the item number off the label and I looked up the product the local store at my usual visit. The actual Up & Up Baby Shampoo is immediately to the right of the 239.88 product and priced correctly, and the label for the $239.88 item is covered up by a flipped tag so that it would be unseen, which is standard procedure if an item has been clearanced out or has been deleted from the system for a wide range of reasons.

      A few of the most likely reasons I can guess it would even be visible is if (a) OP was nosy to go snooping under covered-over labels and knew Consumerist will post anything that makes Target seem even within a vague vicinity of clueless, or if (b) a new guy or less attentive-to-detail employee in plan-o-gram forgot to cover it up when resetting the price strip. The label itself appears to actually be part of the printed strip of paper that spans the length of the shelf, rather than a price-adjusted label that sticks over the top of the original strip’s price.

      What I find more likely to have happened, however, is that a customer initially wanted to buy some baby shampoo, decided later they didn’t (perhaps discovering that babies could be sold for $289 per dozen and wanted to take theirs to CS to see if they could get refunded the difference) and put the shampoo back on the shelf, under the perfectly reasonable expectation that the media wouldn’t be alerted to an item being placed on the shelf one space over.

  2. digital0verdose says:

    Two screwed up pricing stories in one day. How much does one get paid for writing these, hard hitting, pricing mistake stories?

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      I believe the current rate for freelance nitpicking is 10 ounces of baby shampoo per article.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      There are lots of other places to go visit on the internet, you know. Why don’t you go try some of them?

      • digital0verdose says:

        I do regularly, what’s your point?

        • myCatCracksMeUp says:

          Sorry I wasn’t clear – I meant you should go to the other sites instead of here, not in addition to here.

          This site obviously doesn’t meet your high standards since it bothers you enough to leave such a comment on a site that provides both information and entertainment for free.

          • minjche says:

            You consider a hiccup in a price tag label maker “info” and “entertainment”? Your house must be really boring.

            • myCatCracksMeUp says:

              I consider the site as a whole to provide information and entertainment. And it’s free. And it’s extremely rude to visit someone, even if they’ve invited you to visit as they have us commenters, and then to criticize. It’s like going to someone’s house for dinner and complaining about the food, very rude. It’s not like going to a restaurant and paying for food and then complaining about not receiving what you asked for; that would be reasonable, not rude.

              I also find the “slow news day?”, “why is this in consummerist?” comments to be totally worthless and adding absolutely nothing to the post or to the site.

              • digital0verdose says:

                Fair enough, but what you are failing to understand is that there are some of us here that really appreciate what the Consumerist does and want it to be taken more seriously and to be held to a higher standard. You obviously don’t care about that. Maybe is more your style.

                In any case, there is no need for you to get all anti-feedback on people because you are complacent with half-assed work. If you don’t like what a person has to say, or can’t handle feedback that has nothing to do with you then you may want to consider ignoring those types of posts.

                • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

                  I agree… I’m sure there are MANY stories sent in that would be more helpful than this. Hell, I know I’ve sent in quite a few over the years that were never put up yet grocery shrink ray was all over the place.

          • digital0verdose says:

            So let me get this straight.

            As someone who has been coming to this site for years, participating in dozens, if not hundreds of conversations about a wide range of topics, I can not occasionally criticize this site for completely meatless stories? Why exactly is that?

            • minjche says:

              Because you’re not allowed to disagree with an article. You may only post comments that praise Consumerist, say how evil every corporate executive is, and agree with how no product may ever change it packaging lest the (insert industry here) shrink ray has struck.

              I started reading Consumerist shortly before they switched hosts off of Gawker, and I really miss the quality of the articles back then.

              Wait, crap! I disagreed! Cue the “well you could always go somewhere else” barrage! Or perhaps there’s still enough good articles on Consumerist that I still choose to read it, but I won’t hold back feedback when an article is out of place or incorrect.

              • crazydavythe1st says:

                I completely agree. Who would have thought that ownership under Gawker would have ended up being Consumerist’s high point, and that Consumer Reports would slowly run the site into the ground? I was excited about Consumer Reports aquiring Consumerist, but the ads have remained, the content has gotten much worse, and it’s not really about consumer issues anymore. It’s a shame that when Gawker owned the site, I didn’t feel I had to turn on Adblock because the Gawker Artists ads were awesome. Here I have to turn on Adblock to avoid the 30 Consumer Reports ads all over the place. To be honest, too, I miss being able to rip into the op for submitting garbage, but alas, I cannot do that anymore.

                Heck, in my everyday life, I see pricing mistakes like this left and right. I personally probably see one or two per week. It’s not funny, it’s not an annoying consumer issue, it’s just a fact of life.

                • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

                  There are ads on Consumerist? Oh, silly me, using Firefox with the AdBlock extension, must have never noticed.

              • crazydavythe1st says:

                Define free. There’s ads all over the place. I’m paying to use this site by viewing these ads. Never mind that these ads are for Consumer Reports, because they are just as annoying as ads for tampons or teeth whiteners.

            • NarcolepticGirl says:

              Excuse mycatcracksmeup.
              He/She has shown several times that they are the (un)official (and VERY passionate) Consumerist Defender.

      • Gulliver says:

        Unfortunately there are other stories on this site that are worthwhile. Lately the influx of stupid, outdated or just plain silly stories is making the site a national enquirer for consumer reporting. If you wan to be entertaining, call yourself an entertainment site not SHOPPERS BITE BACK

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      About $500 per article. Or 5c per article. I’m not sure.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      How much does one pay to view them?

    • runswithscissors says:

      I’m so sorry they wasted your time. Were you wanted in surgery?

      Perhaps in the future they can run all potential stories past you first for your approval, and only post the stories you approve? Would that suit you?

    • Extractor says:

      Agreed! I second the motion.

  3. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    What did the Target staff do when the OP brought the error to their attention?

    • chargerRT says:

      If I’m not trying to buy the product in question, I would do nothing but laugh and snap a picture for Consumerist. I am not a Target team member. Then again, I’m not on Consumerist’s staff. Hmm…this is where passive and aggressive meet.

      I’d imagine employees asked would shrug their shoulders and forget about it, until someone from corporate sees that no baby shampoo has sold at that unit for a while. Then they’ll discount it 99% (but in increments, thus occupying a clearance endcap for months) and never stock it again.

      • Michaela says:

        Yes. Let some poor dope who buys their monthly haul of non-grocery items accidently get in line with the item and have a minor panic attack when their $150 due is incorrectly changed to $400. Yeah…let them (with their kid probably, since they are buying baby shampoo) sit there while lines get blocked up as a nervous college-student has to get management in to tell them about the error, call back to someone for the price, and then fidget with the cash register until the order is fixed…. /s/

        Grow up and aid society. Standing on the side and simply criticizing just speaks to one’s own ill character, not the flaws of Target.

    • perfectly_cromulent says:

      I didn’t show them….however, now I am tempted to go back and see if the error is still there and what they have to say about it. Purely for my own entertainment, of course.

    • PLATTWORX says:

      “What did the Target staff do when the OP brought the error to their attention?”


      Why did the OP not bother to tell a Target staff member and ask why? It would have taken less time than snapping this photo and sending it in.

  4. cristiana says:

    Well, according to the price tag, this is for 12 babies, not baby’s shampoo. I think 240 is a great deal for 12 babies.

  5. Speak says:

    I don’t know, $239.88 for a 12 count assortment of babies, in Target Exclusive packaging, looks like a deal to me (that’s what the sign says). I wonder what the shampoo is doing in the place of the package of babies? The stock people must be putting things in the wrong place again.

  6. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    Why is there an arrow pointing to the nether regions of a goldfish on this packaging? is it trying to say it’s good for cleaning fish butts?

  7. KillerBee says:

    Inflation like that would cause my eyes to tear up fast.

  8. HowdyHowdyHowdy says:

    Yeah, I wouldn’t spend that much… and I’m really trying hard to avoid shopping at Target. I always leave feeling ripped off.

    BUT I do buy this shampoo that’s suppose to be gluten free:
    I asked my husband who the hell is going to be digesting shampoo for it to be gluten free but he said that some wheat products do get absorb by the skin and cause health problems… Oh.

  9. raybury says:

    “a single parent raising a child on minimum wage”

    Okay, find me five. I will send each of them $50. Offer expires in 12 hours if persons not identified. Terms: Single parent raising one or more children with full custody; head of household (not living with own parents, significant other, friends, or strangers) who makes a housing payment of at least 60% of the average in her or his state (bank statements for three months May-July 2010 or June-August 2010 may be required); somehow does not qualify for TANF or similar programs other than by exhausting lifetime benefits; somehow does not qualify for food stamps; works 20-50 hours per week at federal minimum wage at non-tip-oriented job and has done so for over 24 months (evidence may be required); and spends at least $200.00 monthly on groceries (as shown by receipts, credit card statements, canceled checks [get a check card!], or bank statements); does not receive more than $20 worth of help monthly though charities; does not suffer from a developmental disability.

    This is what we are supposed to think of in this instance. But the reality is that people have support structures, ones we as family members provide and ones we as taxpayers fund, and almost no one will continue without finding a way to improve her or his own and family’s lot.

    • minjche says:

      I got like three criteria in and I went cross-eyed.

    • JuanHunt says:

      At minimum wage, $50 wont cover the time to accumulate all of the paperwork you requested. Would you be willing to pay $50/weekly for for the next few months?

      • raybury says:

        I could pretty much throw in some free fairy dust; this just doesn’t happen. TANF, WIC, SNAP, and housing vouchers / Section 8 / low-income rentals are supported by your taxes and mine to help those among us who are in need. Private charities and families add a lot more. When you or I think, How would I do this activity or afford that expense on minimum wage?, the answer is we would not. We would move in with family or friends (as some categorized as “homeless” do), seek entitlements that we qualify for, and so on.

        But if you want to raise the minimum wage to a “living wage,” say goodbye to those who can’t live with it: Say goodbye to small businesses expanding, say goodbye to the very young and very old whose basic needs are met getting jobs to get a little spending money, say goodbye to newly-arrived immigrants finding the first rung on the ladder. (Say goodbye to the immigrant professionals who would come in nearer the top when they realize that their spouses and kids can’t get entry-level jobs if they come here.)

    • Shadowman615 says:

      I’m not sure what point you’re making or what it has to do with the article. Are you saying there are no people who have trouble affording everyday grocery items?

  10. Tvhargon says:

    “Assorted Babies, 12 Count, Target Exclusive!”

  11. dg says:

    Yeah, this looks like a 12 ct price… Still a rip off at $19.99 so Target still doesn’t get any points…

  12. stevenpdx says:

    I make my own babies at home. Seriously.

  13. SaltWater says:

    Slow news day?
    Anyway, it’s called a lame mistake. Not very newsworthy.
    BTW- The Up & Up Target brand is good.

  14. caradrake says:

    Looks like when they went to print out the price tag, they had the UPC of a case of items that was meant to be opened and sold separately… that was my first thought, at least.

  15. PLATTWORX says:

    I must add that I have always felt “UP & UP” is one of stupidest names for a store brand (or any brand) I have ever heard. Who came up with that??????

    How someone put this sign on the shelf without raising their hand and asked a manager escapes me.

  16. Intheknow says:

    Pretty good value for 12 babies.

  17. The Marionette says:

    “While this is obviously a pricing error,” and yet it still got posted………….

  18. Mackinstyle1 says: