Wrong Sign, Right Price: What to Do When the Price Sign Differs from the Real Price

I was just reading some tips on Become.com’s Pocket Change Blog on how to deal with the problem of when the price on the signage or price tag of an item differs from it’s real price.

This is such a common problem for us bargain shoppers, that I thought would share the solution proposed in the blog. The blogger, who works/worked at a big box retailer, states that if the signage or pricing sticker is off due to retailer error, then the customer is entitled to receive that item at the listed price. He then suggests that if the retailer doesn’t give it to you at that price, then you should contact a very Orwellian sounding governmental organization called “Weights and Measures” to report the error. Apparently retailers are very afraid of this agency, it’s sort of like the Board of Health for non-food related retail stores.

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  1. Anne says

    This is standard practice at most, if not all, major retailers.  You can score big if the employees are so busy they don’t get every sale sign down!  (Which is why, in my retail manager days, I had my staff swap out the signage before they repriced each item!)

  2. Amanda says

    This happened to me last year.  I found some cable knit sweaters at Gap I liked and the sign on the table said $20.  Well, I go to pay for them and they ring up at $40 each.  I told the cashier I thought the sign said $20, he just shrugged, so I figured it must’ve been for something else. Told him I wasn’t buying and started leaving, but checked the table first and I was right, the sign said “cable knit sweaters $20”.  So I went back to the cashier and pointed this out to him, he got his manager and she said they had to sell them to me for that price (the sign was there from a sale they had had before).  Of course, they immediately took the sign down, but I got my sweaters!

  3. Christie says

    I know this isn’t very fashionista-related, but this is also true for all stores, so remember it in the grocery store.  Just think, the more you say on groceries, the more you have to spend on clothes.

  4. Valerie says

    I work at a retail store and occationally our prices will be marked cheaper than what the item rings up, or people will forget to take sale signs down and if the guests notice we have to give it to them for what the sign says or what the price sticker says.  I think that it’s just fair to do that.  It’s like false advertising type stuff.

  5. Tara says

    It should be noted that shoppers should make ABSOLUTELY SURE they have read the sign correctly.  I used to work in retail and got harangued daily by customers demanding a sale price on a full-price item because they didn’t read the wole sign.  They’d see a price they liked and not read the item description, sometimes demanding to be sold an item at the price on a sign as far as ten feet away. 

    Improper signage is one thing, and absolutely worthy of polite complaint.  Just make sure you’re right before bringing it up

  6. Ben says

    Ok I have a question, What if a retailer has a tag for an item of the same brand but different model than what is actually being displayed. Are they required to give me the Item being displayed at the price they have listed? Its a 24 inch flat screen monitor but the tag directly under that monitor is for a 22 inch monitor?  Im in a hurry on this I dont want to mis out if I am in the right.

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