Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Deceptive Price Tags

Over in Estonia, Tanel Mehine at the University of Tartu has discovered that "consumers perceive yellow price tags as presenters of discounts" and suggests that "companies have the opportunity to increase the consumer’s reference price and thereby to raise revenues by changing the colour of the price tag without offering an actual discount."

In his study, he only compared the use of white and yellow labels.

I hope in his next study he looks at the impact of red labels that say "price checked weekly" like they use at Loblaws.

Here are two I found this past weekend next to cat food price tags of $0.79 and $0.85. The weekend before, those tins were priced at $0.75 and a few weeks ago they were on sale at $0.55 each.

From these examples and others, I've come to the conclusion that "price checked weekly" means that Loblaws has checked a price and decided they needed to increase it.


Anonymous said...

Those f@ckers!! F@ck'em ... I am shopping at Giant Tiger instead!

zoom said...

I used to fall for those "Prices Checked Weekly" tags! Then one day I actually thought about it, and that was the end of that. Another cheap trick by Lowblaws is that they have a big SALE sign on something, but if you read the small print you see it's only a penny cheaper than usual. Rat bastards.

David Scrimshaw said...

Anonymous: I love the Giant Tiger, but I wouldn't count on their price labelling to be any less tricky.

Zoom: I'll be on the lookout for those penny off sales.

Loblaws (and other retailers): I hope you are taking note of the names people like anonymous and Zoom use for you. And I hope that when you are doing your cost/benefit analysis on tricky price labelling you factor in how angry your customers get when they catch on.

Anonymous said...

I've just been thinking about this and decided to try and do something about it. Loblaws apparently doesn't want to explain the "price checked" signs and doesn't respond to inquiries. I've been meaning to take my camera to snap a picture, then along with some price tracking send the data to the competition bureau and advertising standards council. Maybe Ellen Roseman at the Star too. Its pretty clear they have NEVER adjusted a price they supposedly "checked'

David Scrimshaw said...

Anonymous, I'm eager to see what response you get.