5 Dishonest Pricing Gimmicks That Need to Die

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Wouldn't it be nice if you could just trust the price on the price tag?

Unfortunately there's a lot of marketing that goes into that price, and much of it is less than honest. Sales offering big discounts aren't what they seem. Low subscription prices evaporate after a given amount of time. And many prices you see have been artificially inflated so that they can be discounted at a later date.

These and other marketing tricks take what should be a simple piece of information -- the fair value of a piece of merchandise -- and turn it into a mystery. And consumers shouldn't have to play Sherlock Holmes to figure out if they're getting a good deal.

Unfortunately, many of these gimmicks are so entrenched in the retail industry that it's unlikely they'll be going away anytime soon. Still, we can imagine a perfect world of honest prices. Here are a few pricing gimmicks that we'd love to see go extinct.



Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.

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michael_vici

中国隐秘组织控制纳米分子去虐待人,现在我的头被完全的控制住了,用纳米分子散发出气体或者一定形式的液体来进行头部的控制,并能产生出图像和声音,控制住脑子里的主要部位,去带动脑子去想,我现在是被虐待的不行了,我想死,可隐秘组织就不让我去细想,想活活不好,想死死不了。还是不断的虐待我。还有没有天理王法,对一个人进行不断的精神虐待。我的邮箱号码:jamspolo_2006@163.com

August 05 2013 at 4:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to michael_vici's comment
allanfz

You took the words right out of my mouth !!!!!

August 06 2013 at 1:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
t.tmb

UNLEADED
$4.65


with car wash

This looks like a good price as you drive 40 mph, so you pull in only to find out that the gas is actually $4.75/gallon. At 40 mph you couln't read all the fine print that goes along with this price. And at $4.75/gallon it's actually higher than the place across the street. Do you get back in the car and drive across the street or just get fooled and buy the more expensive gas where you are. You shouldn't have to make this decision. I believe gas stations are reqired to post their prices so that they are visible to passing motorists. That way we're not trying to see the pumps at 40 mph when their 30 yards off the street. This creates for unsafe drivers trying to see who has cheaper gas prices. We ALL want to spend less for gas. So when prices of gas soared, stations began this gimmick with reducing the visible price by about .10/gallon to draw you into their pumps. And at first it did draw us into their pumps. But now we are forced to drive and try to decipher fine print. The idea of visible posted prices was designed to eliminate exactly what is going on. It's very unsafe and deceptive. If you stand outside any gas station you'll realize that less than 3% of motorists getting gas actually get a car wash. So why post a sign that doesn't pertain to 97% of motorists. It's pure deception, and nothing more. It's time that the politicians step in and change this unsafe practice. Oh and if you look at the top companies profits you'll notice some of your friendly fuel companies right at or near the top. Nothing like a little greed, but the greedy kickbacks our politicians get from oil companies probably keeps our elected officials from seeing the problem with this deceptive practice.

August 05 2013 at 4:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to t.tmb's comment
allanfz

.....I would go across the street.....screw 'em !!!!!

August 06 2013 at 1:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mjmjupiter

Fine print and legalspeak needs to be done away with as well. Those disclaimers are so long and meant to numb the mind with an overlaod of gibbish-nonsense/BS.

August 05 2013 at 4:39 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
wtowers168

This has been going on since the first merchant ions ago. Retail, suggested retail price, original price are all for the suckers, if paid. Shopping, remembering, taking notes,comparing prices on anticipating merchandise is the responsibility of the buyer. And always, the big print giveth and the small print taketh away.

August 05 2013 at 2:28 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Pantino4

Yes, time was only real estate was, Caveat Emptor.

August 05 2013 at 2:15 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Irrenmann

"Making some prices "members-only" makes the discount even more enticing, and most shoppers don't realize that the cards are used to compile information on customers' buying habits."

Of course we realize—we just don't care, or we even welcome it. Kroger, for example, tracks my buying habits so that all the coupons they mail me are for products I was going to buy anyway! Who would mind this??

There's nothing negative about members reward cards.

August 05 2013 at 1:20 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Jonathan Mandeall

What about 9/10 of a cent for gasoline?? Give me a break

August 05 2013 at 12:39 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
harleridr

Take one look at your phone bill.Tthese people are crazy. I guess as long as Uncle gets his cut all is well. Cost of drugs is the same way!

August 05 2013 at 11:59 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
cayoblues

THE BIGGEST RIPOFF OF ALL...........S&H!!!.......USUALLY MORE THAN THE COST ITSELF FOR CHEAPER PRODUCTS. THAT\'S WHY HALF THE MAIL ORDER SCHLOCK IS \"ORDER NOW AND GET TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE.........JUST PAY THE ADDITIONAL SHIPPING AND HANDLING\".............DAH!..........

August 05 2013 at 10:57 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
d5477a

Comcast gives me what I want,thats why I have it. My pick,go somewere else that makes you happy.

August 05 2013 at 10:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply