Caught: Lowes Price Chicanery

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I believe Lowes was not playing exactly fair with it's pricing. here is what happened, you decide(prices rounded off for simplicity, and since I left receipt with exact prices at home):
Needed insulation, went to Lowes because a newspaper ad said they had a special "buy 3, get one free" That is 33% off.
Rolls had price sticker of $32s. I put 16 rolls on the flatbed.
Got up to register, rang up at 28 bucks per roll. That was supposed to be the "sale price" which reflected the 4 for 3 deal. I am no math genius, but the way I saw it I should have gotten 33% off per roll, and $28 is not 33% off of $32. I asked about this, and they said the price-per-roll in the "computer" was $38 bucks per roll, therefore the 28 bucks per roll reflected the sale price.
Fortunately Michigan has pretty strict "item pricing" consumer law, and if a price tag is affixed to an item the store must charge that price, regardless of what the "computer" says the price should be. Once I pointed it out manager was very good, charged me 25 bucks per roll and I left satisfied, but suspicious.
WHAT I THINK HAPPENED: In anticipation of the 4 for 3 sale, Lowes raised the price of the roll from 32 to 38 bucks, but this store missed marking up the rolls, so they got caught and had to give me the better deal. If that is what they did, they are trying to pull a fast one.. and I am glad I caught them!
I would be interested to hear if anyone else has examples of Lowes raising prices in order to then offer "sale prices".
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It is really 25% off not 33%.
--
Jim Rusling
More or Less Retired
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<snip>

3 items at normal price X .25 = 75% of the normal price
3 items at normal price X .333 = 99.9% of the normal price (call it 100%)
Therefore the first three are really at 33% off making the 4th one "free".
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wrote

Of course I guess you could look at it another way. They are giving you all four at 25% off. Guess it works both ways.
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wrote

It doesn't work both ways. I think the problem is that you think "Buy 3 and get one free" indicates that the deal applies to 3 rolls of insulation. It applies to 4.
A 33% discount is what you get if you buy two and get one free (for a total of 3). A 25% discount is what you get if you buy 3 and get one free (for a total of 4). A 20% discount is what you get if you buy 4 and get one free (for a total of 5).
If you buy 16 rolls at $32/roll and then get a 33% discount (we'll skip sales tax for now), you should be charged $341.33.
If you were to buy 12 rolls at $32/roll (and got 4 free as advertised), you'd be charged $384.
If you were to buy 16 rolls at $32/roll and then got a 25% discount on the lot of them, you'd also pay $384, which works out to $24/roll.
With sales tax, you should have paid $407.04 for the 16 rolls you had on the cart, which works out to $25.44/roll. Lowe's was right. You were not cheated.
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wrote

My apologies. Jack was not cheated. Whether or not YYZed was cheated, I cannot tell.
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wrote

Actually, after rereading the original post, I have determined that Jack got a better deal than he may think. If the original price was $38/roll, Jack should have paid $28.50 per roll, for a total of $456. The confusion comes from the $32 price tag. Either way, Jack got the best possible price. Lowe's gave Jack the advertised discount off the sticker price on the insulation. Had he received the discount off of the price in the computer, he would have paid a total of $483.36. Paying attention to the difference between the sticker price and the computer price saved Jack $76.32. Lowe's did right by Jack, but only after he spoke up.
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TakenEvent wrote:

Sale prices aren't supposed X% off a fictional price stored in a computer. They're supposed to be X% off the price the customer would be paying in the absence of a sale. That's the sticker price.
If there wasn't a sale at all, the price on the sticker was $32, the cashier charged $38, and the cashier said that that what was in the computer, I'd ask to see the manager on the spot. If the manager's response was that it was a case of "confusion" caused by my relying on the sticker price, and that the price in the computer was the real price, I'd leave the store.
The case when a sale is involved is no different.
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wrote

Are you supposed to be refuting or disagreeing with something I posted? The store (eventually) charged Jack based on the sticker price, which was the correct thing to do as it was, in fact, the sticker price and it was also the lower of the two. Other than Jack's misconception about there being a 33% discount, he was much less confused than Lowe's. It must be said, though, that once the discrepency was brought to their attention, Lowe's handled it as they should have.
The real question is whether Lowe's then relabeled all the insulation, changed the price in the computer, or did nothing after Jack left. It wouldn't be that difficult to figure out if the insulation is regularly priced at $32 or $38. If Jack was up to it, he could send a buddy in to buy some insulation to see just how Lowe's handled it.
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TakenEvent wrote:

I was taking issue with your statement that "the confusion comes from the $32 price tag", which I interpreted to mean that $38 really was the number to be used in the calculation, and that the use of $32 was a mistake owing to confusion caused by the price tag. If I misunderstood, sorry.
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I could have just as easily said it the other way around. Perhaps I should have said that the confusion comes from the discrepancy between the two prices.
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raising prices right before a % off sale has been going on forever:(
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wrote

Depending on how hte ad is written, the first three are at 100%, the fourth one is 0%, or free. If you only buy one, tow, or three, you pay full price., but only after the third do you get the fourth one free. Some states do not allow that type of pricing so a 25% discount would be "fair" for the singles.
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wrote:

And if you do buy 3, it would be nice if they reminded you that you could get 4 without paying any more.
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.laughingsquid.com
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On Tue, 22 Aug 2006 15:08:30 GMT, "YYZedd"

4 items for the price of 3 items is 25% off
If one item is normally $25 then 4 of that item would be $100. If you only charge for 3 of the items, the charge will be $75, and the 4th will be free. That's 25% off the normal $100 purchase price.
CWM
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On Tue, 22 Aug 2006 15:08:30 GMT, "YYZedd"

No, it's 3 items at the full price. Total price 300% of the cost of one. 4th one "free", freee for someone who bought 3.
So 4 for 300% of the cost of one. The average price for each one 300%/4 - 75%.

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Well, really, if the sale was described as the OP said, the first 3 were at their regular price, and the 4th was free. If you bought 5 or 6 rolls, the 5th & 6th would still be at regular price, right?
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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Normal price for three rolls is $96, but with the 4th free it works out to $24 per roll, not the $25 you paid. Lowes owes you 16 bucks.
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Michigan has a 6% sales tax.
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Jack wrote:

You were still screwed, should have been $24. (3*32)/4 = 24 ________________

All stores do it. Yes, your friendly supermarket too. Welcome to the wonderful world of merchandising...
--

dadiOH
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