The discount chain Target is very good at many things, which include designer partnerships and building tiny stores. It’s very bad at some other things, which include selling groceries and putting prices on products that make any sense. “Target Math” is the name we give to these bizarre bulk markups, “sale” items that aren’t actually discounted, and pricing discrepancies within the same store — but this dubious art isn’t just practiced in the halls of Target. [More]
The Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule requires disclosures and price breakdowns to protect consumers who, unless they’re pre-planning their own funeral, are operating on a time crunch and are grieving. Yet a recent study found that more than a fifth of funeral homes failed to correctly explain and itemize available options and the expenses for direct cremation. [More]
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]
In the past, most recently in 2013, Coca-Cola has experimented with the idea of vending machines that adjust prices according to the temperature. The idea really bothers some people, but fixed prices that are always the same for everyone haven’t historically been the norm. We may be coming to the end of a weird century-and-a-half experiment with the practice. [More]
Bulk buying is good. When you buy multiple food pouches that come in a single box, for example, it makes life easier for cashiers and maybe for you when you unload your groceries. That’s what Jared thought when he went to buy some baby food pouches at Target. [More]
Walmart is famous for lowering prices and calling them “rollbacks,” but sometimes the opposite happens, too. Reader Ben spotted this example of roll-forward pricing at his local Walmart on a clearance sign. [More]
It’s the strangest thing: remember our post yesterday about Dell’s gift guide catalog and the camera prices that didn’t line up? Dell still hasn’t called us back or anything, but all of a sudden the price on that Nikon camera described in the post is down $100, in line with the catalog price. What a weird coincidence! [More]
When Scott found socks on “buy one, get one half off” sale at Kohl’s, he picked up a few packages. The sale signage stipulated that the discount was off the original price…but was that the original price, or the original original price? Scott noticed that a sticker had been placed over the original tag, raising the price from $12 to $14. So what’s the original price?