At Target, ‘Price Cut’ Means Keep The Same Price

Yolanda noticed something strange on the shelf at Target. Well, maybe only strange if you have no experience with shopping at Target. An item on the shelves was labeled “Price Cut,” but if you moved that price tag to the side, there was no price cut at all.

She writes:

I took this picture at Target.  I was very careful to compare the two products to ensure they were the exact same product.

The “Price Cut” price of $15.99, regular $17.49 was hiding the original price sticker which shows a regular price of $15.99 – the same as the “Price Cut” price.  So where is the savings?  And why are they calling it a Price Cut?

Either they raised the price, then immediately cut it again, or the “Price Cut” tag is just a temporary promotional thing meant to confuse the heck out of customers if it slips out of place, revealing the identical tag below. Could go either way, really.


Edit Your Comment

  1. yossi says:


    The original price WAS $17.49. They swtiched the shelf price to the new lower price of $15.99, so when they remove the temporary, promotional “price reduction” sign, the shelf will be ready to permanently display the new lower price.

    • RandomLetters says:

      Which is exactly what the next to the last line of the article says.

    • Martha Gail says:

      Yeah, I’m gonna guess after the price changes the plan-o-gram team came behind her and changed out the shelf labels. Meh.

    • seven says:

      I used to work at Target and thats exactly what we did. Those ballons are only supposed to be up for a short time (14-30 days). When they’re to be put up they also place a new label with the lower price on the shelf strip. It’s done to save time so the price change team can just scan the baloon label and remove it (sales lables and price cut ballons are scanned into the aisle so they can be found/accounted for when its time to remove them).

  2. Sean says:

    It says right on the price cut tag that the price was $17.49. Obviously they changed the shelf tag and added the price cut tag at the same time. Where is the story in this?

  3. SkokieGuy says:

    At Target, price tags are printed on a really long strip of paper that is cut to fit the length of the plastic price tag shelf clip.

    This is what Target means by a price cut.

  4. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Even better is when items are reduced by a penny or two. How can it be worth even printing the shelf tags, and paying someone to apply them to the shelf? This happens at my local grocery chain from time to time.

  5. Alisto says:

    Former Target Team Lead here. I’ll explain what happened:

    1. The shelf strip had a price of $17.49. The Pricing team came along and added the little plastic “Price Cut” sign.

    2. A new planogram or revision was done in that aisle, which came with new shelf strips. The new strips had the lower price.

    3. The plastic Price Cut sign was put back. It was put back because the Pricing team has to do audits on a daily or weekly basis. If there is no price change sign where the computer says there should be one, it hurts their scores. During those audits is when the computer tells them which ones to take down.

    So yes, it looks silly, but it’s not a big deal and has a reasonable explanation.

  6. staceygee says:

    Seriously, these shelf-price-error articles are getting a little tiresome. At any given time, a store like Target has tens of thousands of items for sale. They could have a dozen of these errors at any one time and still have an accuracy rate of over 99.99%.

    Frankly, I am amazed they make as few mistakes as they do, especially since the most popular theme on this website after pricing errors is the supposed incompetence of the people working at these types of stores.

  7. Costner says:

    So Target always gets these posts about crazy pricing mistakes, Walmart gets the “Raiders of Lost Walmart” feature along with the random “receipt checker incident”, Best Buy and Sears share horrible customer service stories mixed with deal spiral guesstimations, and JCPenny is typically featured due to some response by One Million Moms.

    Where is the love for K-Mart? What type of regular revolving article can be tied to them to level the playing field here?

  8. az123 says:

    There is an actual reason people see this all the time… I worked for Target back in college and they actually adjust prices by region in order to compete (most often you see this with movies and music). The issue is when the sales / lower prices promotions come into play, they come from corporate with no regard to this.

    When I worked there every week the CD sales would come in, then we would need to go re-adjust the prices in the system because for the most part the sales prices were higher than our normal everyday price, because for some reason CDs were a few dollars cheaper in the southwest than other areas of the country.

    Of course evidently we were smarter back then, because we knew this happened and adjusted it before the customers knew (at least 99% of the time we did) and would not put a sale sign out that says a price higher than the marked prices. Seems now they just blindly put things out, regardless of how stupid they look

  9. maxbellb says:

    I work for Walmart Canada as a department manager and we frequently come across this kind of situation. Every day we have many price changes to do. However, the system we use to do these price changes doesn’t tell us if the item’s price is simply lowered, if it’s a rollback, or whatever.

    We activate the price change and print/display the new price, often tossing away the old tag. Most of the time, we only know later, like when we receive the flyer, if the price change is a rollback. So when the time comes to display the rollback signs, if we did not keep the old tag, we only have the new price to show. We could put a rollback sign every time a price is lowered, but pronvincial laws forbid us to do that as not every price cuts are due to promotional events and our signage has to be exact.

    Maybe something similar to this happened with this item at Target.