Part of the game that department stores play with their customers is holding rotating sales to let is think that we’re getting a real bargain. Are there items that were never available for the “retail” price at all? Macy’s has discovered a way around that, by slapping a disclaimer on their website pointing out that no one necessarily ever paid the original price for an item. [More]
Is it fair to consumers when a retailer sells their own private-label products at a “discount” from the prices that they set in the first place? Two Kohl’s shoppers in California say that it isn’t, and they’ve filed a federal class action suit alleging that discount department store Kohl’s does exactly that. [More]
Outlet shoppers know the drill: items are marked with a “Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price,” and then an outlet price. What does that mean when you’re shopping at the Michael Kors outlet, and the merchandise is all made for the outlet? That makes the suggested price meaningless, and is exactly what a recent class action suit against the fashion company alleged. The suit has been settled, and the fashion company has agreed to pay consumers a total of $4.88 million to make up for years of imaginary price tags. [More]
Yes, it’s pretty much consumer common sense that the “list” prices that companies use to convince us how great their bargains are can be more or less nonsense. Anyone can make their own list, then put prices on it. Just in case you need a refresher, though, here are two great reader-submitted examples of discount prices that aren’t all that discounted. [More]
Reader Colin writes us to share an email he sent to Target about their practice of marking items as “Sale”… with no actual discount. Colin writes to Target:
I’m currently in the process of shopping for a Nintendo DS, and have been keeping out for any kind of deals on the item before I buy it. Today I was in the Turnersville Target, and I noticed a big red SALE tag on the DSes. However, the price was still the usual $129.99. I asked the clerk at the electronics counter and he told me “Yeah, that just means it’s at the price in the flyer.” Quite frankly, the only word I can think of for marking an item with a SALE tag when it is not, in fact, at a sale price, is deceptive.
We thought this might have been an isolated incident in New Jersey, so we went to our local Brooklyn Target and sure enough, the Nintendo DS Lite is marked “Sale” even though there is no discount.