Price Point

Friday, April 13, 2012

So my husband isn't really trendy, per se. If I didn't buy new clothes for him, he'd contentedly wear things from seventh grade. I'm not trying to change him {necessarily}... but when I had visions of him sporting his monogrammed LL Bean backpack while pursuing a PhD, I had to put my foot down. I explained to him that he needed something more grown up. A man bag, if you will. You know, like an over-the-shoulder satchel. A messenger bag. Whatever you want to call it.

{He has taken to calling it a "weapons bag" & referencing Jack Bauer. This makes me laugh.}

Click through for photo source {and an article about how to buy your own JB weapons bag!}

Anyway, I found a suitable weapons man bag at Banana Republic in March. Please note that I normally do not even look at the clearance racks in BR; I am too cheap for that. But I saw this bag from the entrance & it looked good. Upon further inspection, it seemed well made. So I just bought it. I almost passed out when the cashier told me the total: $103.88. {This is why I don't shop at Banana!}

But as she handed me the bag, the cashier put in a sheet of coupons that would be good for every Wednesday in April. When I looked at the coupons as I was walking out, I discovered that they were 40%-off coupons. Now I don't know what you're thinking right now, but this is what I was thinking right then: 40% of $100 is $40. I could buy this same bag in April for $60 instead of $100. So naturally I planned right then and there to return the bag the next time I was in the mall and buy it again, with a coupon, in April. {Oh yes... I am that person. As if you didn't already know that.}

So that's what I did. My friend Stephanie and I have lunch on Wednesdays, so this Wednesday I convinced her to go to Subway with me... the Subway in the mall. :) I went into BR with coupon in hand, grabbed the bag, and went to check out. The cashier read me my total: $79.50.

Wait, what? I thought. Shouldn't it be more like $64?

Confused, I explained the situation. That I had purchased the bag before & returned it, wanting to use my 40%-off coupon to get a better deal. That I had paid $104 before. How much was the bag, exactly? She looked at the price tag: $127.

Wait, what? The last time I bought it, it was $98.

Banana Republic had changed the bag's "price point," the manager explained nonchalantly. It happens sometimes. Translation: they marked up the price. They marked up the price twenty-seven dollars!

This happens? It does?! I have never encountered a situation like this before. Ever. Have you? In my opinion, it's their fault if they screwed up the price point initially. Go ahead and make your next line of jewelry 50 cents more expensive or something to cover the loss. {Yeah right -- like there's a loss on a $100+ messenger bag!} But don't mark up prices after they've already been on the floor... that is ridiculous.

And at the very least, if you're going to mark up the price, go ahead and create new, professional price tags. They took a label-maker (well, like a price-tag kind) and stuck the higher price on the professional, lower-priced tag. So you could peel off the higher price and see that it used to be cheaper. I don't normally say this, but really: WTF?

It's not like I'm boycotting Banana now {I find it really lame when people have one bad experience & are like, "Omg, I'm NEVER shopping there again!" Shut up; I know you will. Don't be so melodramatic.} -- but I'm certainly not anxious to go back.

I am quite curious to know if anyone has had this happen to them, because... well. I never!


Ashley said...

Well, I never! :) Love it.

Ok, I can maybe - MAYBE - get behind them upping the price if the demand is high enough. That's how prices in general work anyway. But they didn't print new tags?! That's just asking for complaint after complaint. Seriously.

sandy said...

Look on ebay for the same bag. If you find it cheaper return it again, and then let them know how lame their upping pricing is! BR BOOOO! Shame on them!

Jennifer said...

You can always try Zappos for cheaper (not cheap) bags. Plus, shipping is free. BUT after having worked for YEARS in retail, I can tell you that this happens ALL THE TIME. If it was human error that marked it down in the first place, then marking it back up is the logical next step. And I'm not really sure why you're surprised that they used the ticket gun - as opposed to hand writing it like I used to at EB. The price is the price on the product. Also, not sure if this is making way in the US yet - but at some grocery stores here in South Africa they have digital price markers. So the price is never on the product or the shelf. In fact, they could effectively change the price while you are in the store and you have no way to prove they over-chargerd you.

Say something...