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New report: 6 retailers most likely to advertise misleading sale prices

New report: 6 retailers most likely to advertise misleading sale prices
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Mike Timmermann |
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If your favorite store has a sale that never seems to end, when do you stop calling it a sale?

Starting in March 2017, researchers with Consumers’ Checkbook tracked prices offered by 19 national chains for 20 big-ticket items at each store, checking prices weekly for 44 weeks.

The nonprofit consumer organization came to the conclusion that many of the sales and discounts are bogus.

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New report: Sales at J.C. Penney, Kohl’s, Macy’s and other retailers can be misleading

Consumers’ Checkbook said it found disturbing pricing policies at 17 of the 19 stores. In some cases, the “regular price” listed on price tags is rarely — if ever — what customers actually pay.

This is what money expert Clark Howard refers to as “fake sales” and has been warning you about for years!

Some retailers are more likely than others to use misleading pricing tactics. The study found that J.C. Penney, Kmart, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Sears offered the items Consumers’ Checkbook checked at sale prices more than 75% of the time.

Costco and Bed Bath & Beyond were the only two retailers to consistently conduct legitimate sales, according to the report.

Consumers’ Checkbook says bogus sales and discounts are meant to encourage shoppers to spend more money on additional items without taking out their smartphone to compare prices elsewhere.

Take a look at the list of major retailers below and how they fared in this study:

Usually misleading

  • J.C. Penney
  • Kmart
  • Kohl’s
  • Macy’s
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Sears

Often misleading

  • Banana Republic
  • Best Buy
  • Bloomingdale’s
  • Gap
  • Home Depot
  • Lowe’s
  • Nordstrom
  • Office Depot/Office Max
  • Walmart

Sometimes misleading

  • Staples
  • Target

Legitimate sales

  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Costco

Clark’s bottom line 

Let this study serve as a reminder to do a quick internet search to check prices before you buy anything! Don’t pay attention to signs that say 25%, 50% or 75% off — the only thing that matters is the final price.

Which retailer do you think is the worst offender? Let us know in the comments and read the full report here.

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