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]
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]
Last week we pointed out how Apple artificially inflates the discount of its refurbished units by using the original introductory list price as a comparison, even if the price has since dropped and the true list price is now lower. Now a reader writes in to say he caught Toys R Us doing the same thing on sale prices of Playstation 3 bundles and 30 gig Zunes. Our question: is this legal? New York City’s consumer protection law seems to imply that—at least for retailers doing business in NYC—it’s not, unless you clearly indicate the trail of price reductions, something neither company is doing.