December 16, 2013 (Beethoven's birthday)
© 2013 Information Disciplines, Inc.
Our mailboxes are filled with brochures and catalogs pushing Christmas gifts. The Sunday newspapers are also loaded with colorful inserts. Yesterday's Chicago Tribune contained dozens of those advertising suplements. Here are the product prices shown in three of them:
|A major appliance/TV chain
|A low-end furniture store
(just page one)
|A leading telephone company
(the whole brochure)
Needless to day, the inner pages quote similar prices. So do brochures and advertising from many other retailers.
Why does the retail price of every item end in 99 cents? Here are two possible explanations:
Pick the more likely explanation.
If the explanation above is b, then we feel insulted by the retailer. Why should we do business with a company that publicly insults our intelligence? We complained about this along with other deceptive pricing practices back in 2005, but the practice as become even more widespread with every passing year.
My response for both personal and company purchases is to avoid dealing with those retailers. I not only refuse to buy the product carrying the deceptive price; I don't buy any product or service from a retailer whose advertising lists every item or almost every item with a deceptive price. If they choose to insult my intelligence, why should I reward them?
Fortunately, in a large city like Chicago with a broad range of retailers, we can still find stores that conduct business in a fair and responsible manner. That may change in the future, but for now those retailers will get our business, even if their stores are less convenient or if we have to pay a few cents more.
Readers will make their own decisions.
Current Champion of Misleading Prices
May 29, 2014
The trend may be spreading, but it's hard to imagine a more blatant example than the four-page "Memorial Day Sale" insert in today's Chicago Tribune. It lists large-screen televisions, washing machines, and refrigerators.
I'm particularly tempted by that 50-inch Samsung television for only $999.99. Of course, I could never justify spending a thousand dollars on a television.
Computing Equipment, too!
April 26, 2015
If you thought that this sleazy practice was limited to pharmacies and discount appliance stores, you may have been surprised by today's full-page ad on the back of Parade magazine from a once-dignified computer vendor. It listed four items:
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Last modified April 26, 2015