It’s that time of year again when everyone is looking for a bargain but are the discounts quite what they seem?


I remember when I was younger and when there was a sale you got 20% to 30% off. The only time you ever really saw 50% off with a further 20% off was when a company was closing down. Nowadays that’s all you seem to see. Retailers advertising 50% off sale with a further 20% off and a further 10% off after that. There’s that many percents you just don’t know whether you’re coming or going. The sceptical out there would look at these sales and think something just doesn’t quite add up and when you look a little deeper you realise you were right to be suspicious.

Many retailers are deceiving consumers while advertising they are having a sale when in reality they are selling products at their regular prices. False advertising is illegal in most countries but many retailers are using loopholes to get around the law. Providing a retailer has sold at a price for 28 consecutive days they can advertise it being discounted from that.


For example:

A company that sells their product for £100.00 the majority of year. What they will do at a time when they know it is a slow time for sales is start selling that product at £263.00 for at least 28 days. Then legally they can advertise that very same product as being discounted by 50% then a further 20% and another 10% selling it at £94.68. Which in reality it means you’re only getting a discount of 5.32%.

Attorney Matthew Zevin told Today: ‘We’re alleging that the savings is false. It’s completely made up.’

According to Mr Zevin, signs that declare 50% off,  30% off are not deals at all – in many cases the ‘regular price’ is artificially inflated to produce a false sale price.

The ‘sales’ are simply an ‘advertising scheme’ and a ‘campaign to mislead consumers,’. ‘It induces people to buy those products, and they are just preying on this behavior, and it works,’ said Mr Zevin.

A professor of marketing at New York University Priya Raghubir, says that stores are ‘playing on our emotions’ with sale stickers and “the practice is wide spread.”

You feel good and happy that you got a deal when in reality that isn’t the case at all there’s a few things that you can do to make sure you aren’t getting ripped off.


  • Before you buy ask the question of how long was it sold at the RRP for?
  • Use your instinct does the sale seem too good to be true then it probably is.
  • If the product is discounted that heavily how much is it worth anyway?


This doesn’t mean that you can’t get a bargain it just means don’t let retailers pull the wool over your eyes. The sale we have once a year in December is based on the prices we’ve sold at through out the year where we give up to 25% off. We’re a family business with good old fashioned values where we sell quality products at a fair price and when we have a sale we like to give our customers a good deal that we won’t offer any other time of the year. Find out more about this years bathroom sale.