We’ve been following the price tug-of-war between Target and Walmart as the two retail giants battle for the right to claim they’re the cheapest in the land. It seemed Target had the edge on Walmart last year, and now new research suggests you really will “pay less” at Target.
These days, if you can’t use your phone to do something, it’s almost like, why do it at all? You should at least be able to buy a microwaveable burrito, if not a flat screen TV, with a magic wave of your smartphone. Big retailers like 7-Eleven, Walmart and Target are teaming up to create a new mobile payment network so you can buy almost anything your heart desires.
The worst kept secret in telephony is that there is a new Apple iPhone coming in the fall. Thus, some of the big box retailers that offer the current version of the device are starting to offer discounts to clear inventory. Apple stores are not advertising any such price drops, but a new report claims that employees have been given authorization to offer price matches.
We’d like to say we’re shocked, simply shocked that a woman is accused of switching out price tags on pricy toys like Lego sets in exchange for cheaper ones in order to buy the items and resell them for a profit. But we’re not that surprised, because we’ve seen this sort of very bad no good behavior before.
Earlier this month, when the Visa and MasterCard announced a massive settlement in the legal battle over credit card swipe fees, it looked like the seven-year-old dispute had finally come to an end — and that we’d all soon be seeing credit card surcharges at retailers. But in just the last few days, the nation’s largest retailers have come out in opposition of the settlement.
Taking a cue from department store beauty counters, where employees ply customers with samples and tell them they look fabulous, Target has begun testing the deployment of so-called “beauty concierges” at its stores in the Chicago area.
I really enjoy shopping at Target. I like its low prices, its quality store-brand items, its red prescription bottles with the drug name on the top, and the fact that you can buy bananas priced individually instead of by the pound. But above all, I love their absurdist pricing schemes that demonstrate a lack of math skills on the part of Target employees, Target customers, or both.
Steve bought a patio set from Target, and discovered when he went to assemble it that a part was missing. No problem, he thought: either Target or the manufacturer, Smith and Hawken, would have more parts available. Well….no. As it turns out, Target bought the Smith and Hawken brand, and products under that name are now contract manufactured for Target. The products seem all right…until something goes wrong. Then, like Steve, you learn that customers are apparently Target’s quality control department for this furniture, and when something goes wrong, there are no spare parts.
If you’re into getting designer goods at decidedly un-designer prices, you might be familiar with the crazed rush that inevitably ensues at Target stores across the country when the retailer offers a special line of designer products. Starting in December, you can expect that stampede to turn into a full-on riot parade, as Target and luxury retailer Neiman Marcus have announced a new partnership to offer 24 designers in a limited holiday collection.
When Heather tried to sell her son’s old crib, she learned that it had been recalled and contacted the retailer, Target, to find out how to get a refund. She was told that if she brought the crib to a Target store, she would receive a refund on the spot. What she wasn’t told is that the refund would be in the form of a Target gift card. With the nearest store an hour away, she doesn’t visit regularly and has no use for a gift card. She’s on a tight budget and has more use for cash. She tried to find a fellow customer to buy it from her until store management asked her to stop. From their point of view, she brought in a recalled item without understanding Target’s policies, and was soliciting customers inside the store, attempting to sell her gift card for cash.
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.
Fifty Shades of Grey, a current bestseller that’s
lightly rewritten Twilight fanfiction the erotic tale of chance meeting gone terribly, terribly right, might make an appropriate gift for some people. A friend who shares your love of popular fiction. Your favorite librarian. Your grandmother. We’re pretty sure it wouldn’t make an appropriate Father’s Day gift, though, no matter what this Target display says.
It’s one thing to repeatedly push extended warranties on customers. We’re not fans of this particular revenue-drivng tactic (or of most extended warranties in general) but there’s nothing fundamentally dishonest about it. What is dishonest is what David says that an employee at a midwestern Target store did. While selling him an iPod Touch, the employee told David that Target’s extended warranty covers accidental damage. It doesn’t.
Thomas the Tank Engine books are timeless. But Consumer Reports buying guides have a definite shelf life, and we’re pretty sure that 5 years is past the expiration date. Victor spotted these on the clearance shelf at Target. “Of course it’s marked as-is,” he notes, “which is both unhelpful and completely unnecessary to state.”
Someone at Target has once again brought out the Bizarro Pricing Gun for the clearance sale price on this pack of Windex Electronic Wipes.
Maybe the price of these lice kits is just up a bit due to supply and demand. Or maybe there’s some other perfectly logical reason why the product was featured in a sale flyer….even though, as George notes, the price has been hiked ten cents.
You’re never too old for LEGOs! But it is possible to take those beloved brightly colored building blocks to a bad place where you’re resorting to crime in the pursuit of said toy. Millionaire tech executive Thomas Langenbach has been arrested for allegedly creating bar codes and using them to buy LEGOs at Target for his own special discounted price, and then selling them.