Different Day, Same Sale, Or Almost

November 17, 2016


How long has this dress really been on sale?

It’s the middle of November and the holiday shopping season is approaching fast.  This is the time of year when retailers step up their promotion game and I won’t be able to go anywhere or watch anything without seeing an ad for a sale.

But are these sales really as “new” as they sound?

Not always.  This pink A-line dress is listed on the retailer’s website as a “new markdown” item.  But when you shop as much as me, you learn all of the strategies that retailers use to get customers to buy.

You see, the catch here is that this same exact dress, has been listed on the same exact retailer’s website, at the same exact sales price, since July!  That’s right, July.  I don’t consider that a “new” sales price, do you?


It’s not really a “new” sale.

At first glance this sign looks like a great deal, I’ll get 3 turtlenecks for the price of 1.  The full price of the turtlenecks are $64.99.  So let’s do a little number crunching.  If I purchased the 3 turtlenecks at full price I’d have spent $194.97, and each turtleneck will cost $64.99, yikes!

But the sale price means that I’ll only spend $64.99, and each turtleneck will cost $21.66.  That sounds like a good deal.  And if I need 3 turtlenecks, then it is.  However, I was in the same store last week and the savings offer at that time had me walking out of the store with 1 turtleneck at the price of $22.10.

That’s a 44 cent difference!

When I first saw the new savings offer, I almost returned the turtleneck I bought the week before.  After all, now it’s even cheaper!  But the difference in the sales price is only 44 cents, is it really that different from last week to this week?  Not really.  Besides, I only need 1 turtleneck right now—not 3.  Instead of spending my time and my gas on making a return, I’ll stick with what I’ve already bought instead.

Would you have returned the turtleneck for the “new” sale? 

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