Social Question

Supacase's avatar

Have you seen a store obviously inflate a price before a sale?

Asked by Supacase (14490 points ) November 24th, 2010

We are buying our daughter a Barbie townhouse this year. A couple of months ago it was $159. Two weeks ago it was $139. Today it is $179.

I can’t help but think they jacked the price up to make $159 suddenly look like a nice discount in a couple of days. Anyone who hasn’t been watching the price at the same store over a period of time would never know differently.

Have you seen examples? Does it make you angry or do you think it is just part of doing business?

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13 Answers

squirbel's avatar

It’s frustrating, and I stopped believing in sales long ago. The only wise shopper is one who watches the prices and nabs them at their lowest.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I used to work in sales for a short time, unless you have worked in sales you really have no idea some of the devious and deceptive things they get up to.

For example, the store i worked in had beds for $1200, with a sign that said “used to be $1700 now only $1200”. But in that store it had never been $1700 at all, It was once that price, but in another store, at the other side of the country, for about 1 week.

The other one, was we used to offer credit, the interest rate was 28%, but they told us that if a customer asks what the interest rate was, that we should say 1.95% (monthly).

It does make me angry yes, it should be illegal. When me and my minions finally take over the world we will do away with things like that.

squirbel's avatar

Isn’t that outright lying?! [About the interest rate]

And 28% is usury.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@squirbel It’s not a lie no, a 28% annual interest rate does work out at about 1.95% a month. It’s totally factual, but obviously highly deceptive.

And yea, 28% is just insane, Thats why we don’t hear about loan sharks any more now days, they took their brand of extortion and made it legal.

The other nasty one used to be “5 years interest free credit”. But then the interest rate was 36% after 5 years, They would sell them something, and then put them on a 7 year pay back plan.

I could probably go on for hours with some of the things they used to do. In the end, depending who it was that came in, I actually used to talk them out of a sale intentionally. Some poor pensioner on $70 bucks a week coming in to buy a bed for their grandson, I just used to look around and then tell them it was a scam. This is a big chain im talking about too.

Actually, selling beds was not really that important. If I sold a bed I would get 0.5% sales commission, But if i sold them extended guarantee, and all the extras, I could rack it up to about 8%. The beds where just a cover for all the other scams.

ducky_dnl's avatar

Yes! I went shopping at Aeropostale last week and they jacked up a $48 sweater to $89. I bought it, but got a slight discount.

poisonedantidote's avatar

FYI people, sales reps can all normally give up to 20% discount, and they work on comission for the most part, so be sure to always talk them down in price. If it comes down to losing a sale or losing $10 out of $20 they will always give a discount.

squirbel's avatar

At what kind of stores, @poisonedantidote ? You mean I can bargain in Foot Locker et al.?

Cruiser's avatar

NO!!! NEVER!!! That would be….deceiving and ruin all the fun!!! I want and need to believe 778% off regular price is a real deal!!

DominicX's avatar

Yes, I have. Clothing stores do this all the time. They have a sale and act like there are big discounts, but the so-called “original price” is actually higher than it would’ve been under normal circumstances. The sale price is still lower than the actual original price, but not as much lower as they’re trying to make it seem.

YARNLADY's avatar

Being very frugal is a life style for me. I always keep track of prices and only buy low. My pet peeve in raising prices is restaurants on holidays. I no longer celebrate by eating out on special days.

Blueroses's avatar

Another deceptive practice: I used to work in newspaper advertising and we’d get full page ads with Was$$/Now$$ boxes to fill in for sales. Most often the “Was” I was told to “make something up”. This happened most frequently in car dealership ads but also for dept. stores.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@squirbel I have no idea what that is, but if they have sales reps that work on comission instead of just a set wage, they can usualy give a discount, they wont make it too easy, but if you tempt them with a sale and then make it look like they are going to lose you, you can get some cash off.

Normally people think bartering is just something for market places, and that you cant barter at a shop, but in most cases you can.

e.g. If you are buying a new TV, ask if they can give you a 20% discount, they will normally say they can give you 10%, then just say that if they throw in a wall mount and an extension cord for free that they have a deal, and most times it will work.

avoid the new guy or temps, look for someone who has worked there a little longer.

I only really have experience with this in the UK and in Spain, but people are people, i don’t see why it wont work other places.

faye's avatar

I worked at Zellers, would be US Target, years ago. Interest on your Zellers credit card pushase would be 29% and we were to offer all kinds of incentives to get you to apply for one. I hung up ‘sale’ clothes that were brought in at the sale price which means it was their normal price.

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