We recently heard from RadioShack staffers that the retailer raised “original” or list prices on hundreds of items shortly before the Shack’s March 8 bankruptcy filing, presumably to give the appearance that the subsequent “clearance” sale offered deeper discounts than if the base price hadn’t changed. However, we can now see that some of the items on RadioShack’s website are now selling for more than they were only weeks before the store went bankrupt.
Consumerist reader Jon says he was browsing through the selection of discounted products on RadioShack.com when he decided use Archive.org’s Wayback Machine to check the currently listed prices against what the store charged before it went bankrupt.
As expected, there were plenty of examples of products whose base price had increased in recent weeks, but in general the clearance price was lower than what the item had been offered for earlier this year.
However, he found some cases where customer would have received a better deal before the bankruptcy than they would now.
For example, this mini amplifier sold for $14.99 — not on sale; no higher, original price listed — in Jan. 2017, but now it not only has a list price of $19.99, the discounted price is a dollar higher than it was before the bankruptcy:
That’s only a dollar difference, and on a product that isn’t terribly pricey to begin with, but we poked around and turned up some more expensive examples of supposed clearance deals that were priced lower before the bankruptcy.
Like this RadioShack Surveyor Camera Drone. Its current list price on the site is $79.99, and it’s discounted 20% to $63.99. The price on this drone fluctuated over the last few months, according to pages captured by the Wayback Machine, but between late Nov. 2016 and late Feb. 2017, we found two things: That the list price was never higher than $69.99, and that the actual sale price was never higher than $63, meaning the drone was available for less than the current price for at least the three months leading up to the bankruptcy.
Or these headphones, which now have a list price of $199.99 discounted 20% to $159.99. RadioShack did not increase the list price on this item, but just last month (and as far back as Dec. 2016), you could buy the headphones for $149.99:
And then there’s this Auvio bluetooth speaker, currently selling for $63.99, discounted from a list price of $79.99. Two weeks before the bankruptcy filing, RadioShack.com sold that same speaker at $55.99, down from a list price of $69.99, and eight dollars less than the current sale price. In early January, RadioShack truly discounted the price on this speaker, selling it at only $31.99, half of its current clearance sale price:
You get the idea. To be clear: We’re not accusing RadioShack of any wrongdoing. We’re merely pointing out that the prices in its clearance sale may not represent the value the company put on these same products — many of them RadioShack house brands — only a few weeks ago.
We’ve reached out to RadioShack to see if the company wanted to comment on these price changes. If we get a response, we’ll update this story.