For at least the past year, Aeropostale's in-store system has been the same: Two racks toward the back with a sign that says everything is 70% off the lowest ticketed price.

The gimmick of course is that the "lowest ticketed price" is rarely that low. The T-shirt I bought yesterday had been marked down to $15.50 -- but the non-discount T-shirts on display at the front of the store were all "Mix & Match: 2 For $22." So $15.50 is hardly a "marked down price" then -- it's actually something of a rip-off.


Of course after taking the 70% discount, the $15.50 shirt cost me just $4.65 -- which is actually a really good deal.

But why the heck should I have to calculate a 70% discount which is, unless you're some kind of savant, not exactly that easy to do.

A good trick is to take 10% of the price and then multiply it by three. So 10% of $15.50 is $1.55. $1.55 times three is $4.65. So the math is doable, but why should I have to do it?

And why does Aeropostale bother discounting everything by only a small amount and then stuffing it on a rack where we have to figure it out? What exactly is the point of this charade? Marking it up to mark it down is a time-honored tradition of slimy salesmanship but marking it up to make me do math is just plain rude.

So here's my plea to Aeropostale: Keep it up with the great sales, but just price stuff at the amount you want to sell it for and spare us the math.

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