By Kate Merrill

BOSTON (CBS) — Everyone loves a good deal but, that bargain price may not really be a sale at all.

“At some stores, the sales absolutely never end,” explained Kevin Brasler, executive editor of Boston Consumers’ Checkbook. Brasler told WBZ-TV retail stores know the power of those “sale” signs. “They know it works. They know that if they get people in the store and every display has a big splashy sale sign on it that you’re going to buy more.”


Brasler and his team at Consumers’ Checkbook tracked prices for 10 months at 19 different stores to try to figure out if a sale was really a sale. “Seventeen were guilty in some way or another of having these fake sales and making it seem like you’re saving a ton of money when, in fact, it’s not really a special price at all. It’s the usual price is that lower price.”

Checkbook found the stores with USUALLY misleading sales are:

  • JCPenney
  • KMart
  • Kohl’s
  • Macy’s
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Sears

“The worst offenders, week after week after week, for 10 months were offering these bogus sale prices,” said Brasler.

Kevin Brasler (WBZ-TV)

Checkbook found these stores’ sales are OFTEN misleading:

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

Checkbook found these stores’ sales are SOMETIMES misleading:

  • Staples
  • Target

Checkbook found LEGITIMATE sales at:

  • Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • Costco

“I think the big take away is shop around. Even if it says 70% off, you don’t know it’s a good deal unless you’ve actually checked around at other stores to make sure it’s a good deal,” said Brasler.

Under federal guidelines, stores can advertise a sale price if a regular price is offered for a “substantial period of time.” But, there is no specific rule about how long a sale can run.

Kate Merrill


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s