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When items appear to be discounted, are they really on sale?

Lifestyles Left At Altar
Posted at 1:05 PM, Nov 22, 2022

Many retailers say their items are on sale, but in reality, how much are you really saving? Data indicates you might not be saving that much if anything from normal prices.

Consumers' Checkbook researchers spent 33 weeks tracking sale prices at 25 major retailers. They found for the majority of retailers, the sales are often misleading.

“Often the sales just rarely end that they just continuously offered items that were, you know, had a list price that was crossed out of a lower price next to it, and they were representing that they were offering a discount at that time on that item,” said Kevin Brasler with Consumers’ Checkbook.

Consumers' Checkbook found nine retailers are usually misleading, 12 are often misleading and one is sometimes misleading. Just three retailers’ items are actually on sale when claimed to be.

It's a problem they've found is getting worse.

“The reason is those crossed-out prices that the retailers use. they're meaningless,” Brasler said. “The industry actually has a term for them. They're called ‘anchor prices,’ and they really only exist to discount off them. But the discounts aren't genuine. “

He says you need to shop around to make sure you're not overpaying for things that claim to be on sale.

The Federal Trade Commission said these near-constant sales are illegal.

The agency hasn't commented on its enforcement of this.