It’s a sale but which one?

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Last week my wife and I went out shopping for something specific, and called in at one of the bigger stores on The Moor, where we bought a couple of what we wanted in the sale.

The sign on the shelf said “Today you pay” and then the price. We paid just under £17 for each of what we wanted. We quite liked what we had bought and decided to get another couple of the same item.

The next time I went into town was three days later on Black Friday, a sale that all the shops, including the one I was in, seemed to be taking part in.

I went to the said item, only to find out it was now £3 dearer, at £20, in the Black Friday sale than it had been in the earlier sale.

I decided to consult with my wife before paying the extra £3 for the item. We decided that we would go ahead and buy them, so I returned to the shop two days later only to find that the said item had now risen to £22 and the sign on the shelf now read “reduced from £28”.

That’s three different prices in six days, all under the banner of one sale or another. Anyone buying the item this week would have paid £22 and felt they had a bargain from the original £28 price. In fact they could have bought the item for £17 or £20 a few days earlier, so they now might think they didn’t actually get the bargain they thought they were getting.

The store would no doubt have some plausible excuses for these rapidly changing prices, but we decided not to purchase the extra ones we needed because, quite honestly it seemed misleading to keep swapping the prices around.

When is a sale a genuine sale, that’s the question?

S Collins

by email