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Thread: Fake Discounts at Hudson's Bay

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    Frosh Canuck EvilTofu's Avatar
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    I have been following the price of an item on Hudson's Bay website for weeks. It's the Jamie Oliver by T-Fal Hard Anodized Cookware Set. It's a Bay exclusive. I bought its open stock 8" pan at about $60 and found it to be extraordinary quality for a non-stick. So I was thinking of buying a set.

    Last week, it was "half price" at $229 from $459. This week, it is still "half price" but at $434.99 from $869.99. It's actually a 5% discount, but they inflated the original price to make it seem like a deal. I feel it is against Competition Act and had already filed a complaint.

    This isn't the first time I notice this kind of things. My friend bought a set of T-Fal Natura. (terrible cookware, BTW) after seeing me use them. I paid $88 at Walmart, but she paid $175 at Viva (Best Buy) that was supposedly half priced.

    I hate that the Competition Bureau for setting irrational rule in which an item must be at its full price for something like 40-60% of its display-life (makes everything more expensive for us, makes retailer reluctant to carry more stock and risky products) Yet this false discount is where they should step in.

    Hope you guys would also report such unethical practice to the Competition Bureau when you notice it!


    Update September 21st, 2016:
    WTF? It is $199.99 at regular price today!

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    Last edited by EvilTofu; Wed, Sep 21st, 2016 at 01:16 PM.
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    I am sad to hear this because I just started price-watching some coats at The Bay. I read on another forum that people had billing problems when ordering online and customer service was not sympathetic.

    Grrr...only place I can get this brand and they have to be like this!

    But it just shows...if you really want something you really have to price-watch for at least three months, IMO. It takes that long to see the full story.
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    I feel the same way, especially the dept. stores, they are the worst. We really have to know our prices, or at least know what we are willing to pay, which for me isn't much hahaha!!
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    Unfortunately, Competition Bureau will not do anything. They always...always side with Corporate. These laws, including SCOPS are usually designed to make customer feel safe
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    Fake discounts are nothing new. Some years back I worked for an American women's clothing company when they had a call center here (Newport News/Spiegel). They were a catalog company and I worked sales and customer service on the phones so I knew every catalog they issued, from cover to cover, for a couple of years. There was NEVER a regular price - not on a single item in any catalog. Everything was on sale, always. That outfit on sale for $80 that's regularly $120? It was never sold for $120 by them.

    Years prior to that I worked retail at Northern Stores in northern Quebec. Each year prior to Christmas we'd get a consignment of gold jewelry that was priced at twice the price we expected to sell it. It was called 50/50. If we sell it at 50% off, we make 50% profit on that sale price. On special nights before Christmas (men's night, women's night, seniors night) all gold jewelry would be half off, So a $100 gold necklace would be $50 and we'd make $25 on it because it only cost us $25 from the consignment guys who are also making a profit. It might actually be worth $10, maybe. Whatever we didn't sell was sent back to the supplier. No risk to the retailer and only the customer gets screwed.
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    KAZ2Y5 Chantel's Avatar
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    You have to be diligent, that's for sure. Canadian Tire is another store that offers 'fake' discounts. Their regular prices are significantly above what would be a reasonable price for the item, and then they advertise them at 75% off to attract customers. Like an $800 cookware set marked down 70% off... to still a price above what competitors offer it for on sale.

    I notice The Bay is VERY bad for severely overpriced luggage only being competitive in price when on sale. The regular prices are so incredibly inflated.

    They suck in shoppers who don't think very hard, I guess.
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    Yes you have to be careful as a shopper - it pays to comparison shop even online. I'm finding amazon.ca offers very competitive prices.
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    I bought a pair of Sam Edelman sandals for $45 from Hudson Bay online last week. They were marked down from $185 which is high, but still I wouldn't find a cheaper price anywhere for them.
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    I clicked on your link an added it to my basket for fun. It comes up at $199.99 for me???
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    ^ Same, plus it will be another 20% off using the Giving code.

    Hope OP sees this and jumps on it!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Arvilish View Post
    Unfortunately, Competition Bureau will not do anything. They always...always side with Corporate. These laws, including SCOPS are usually designed to make customer feel safe
    Just so it's clear to everyone reading here... the SCOP is not a law. It's enrollment and participation by any retailer is a voluntary choice. It's the retailer's formal commitment to adhere to honest and proper price posting. It's not really intended to make the customer feel safe... but rather a self-inflicted punishment when they don't adhere to their own commitment of pricing standards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveP View Post
    Fake discounts are nothing new. Some years back I worked for an American women's clothing company when they had a call center here (Newport News/Spiegel). They were a catalog company and I worked sales and customer service on the phones so I knew every catalog they issued, from cover to cover, for a couple of years. There was NEVER a regular price - not on a single item in any catalog. Everything was on sale, always. That outfit on sale for $80 that's regularly $120? It was never sold for $120 by them.
    Depending on how their pricing was worded, this could be considered illegal. For any price to be deemed a 'regular price' it has to be available for sale at the regular at least once every 'interval' (I think it's 12 months, but whatever).
    Now, if they worded it as "MSRP" (Manufacturer's retail price) -- or "compare with other stores who sell it for..." (like you might see at say Winners, Marshalls, HomeSense, etc) ... even if that definition was in fine print by way of a footnote "regular price mean MSRP" or "regular price means what it sells for at other retailers" then they're free and clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveP View Post
    Years prior to that I worked retail at Northern Stores in northern Quebec. Each year prior to Christmas we'd get a consignment of gold jewelry that was priced at twice the price we expected to sell it. It was called 50/50. If we sell it at 50% off, we make 50% profit on that sale price. On special nights before Christmas (men's night, women's night, seniors night) all gold jewelry would be half off, So a $100 gold necklace would be $50 and we'd make $25 on it because it only cost us $25 from the consignment guys who are also making a profit. It might actually be worth $10, maybe. Whatever we didn't sell was sent back to the supplier. No risk to the retailer and only the customer gets screwed.
    Customers aren't actually getting 'screwed' -- Not offense but that model is how most retail works... consignment or otherwise. Stuff is priced at whatever the market will bear and whatever customers are willing to pay. Markups along the way are how the retail chain works.

    The manufacturer has a cost, they mark it up and make a profit when they sell it to the wholesaler. The Wholesaler marks it up when they sell and ship it to the retailers. The retailer marks it up and puts a price tag on it for the end customers. The customer doesn't have a chance of paying what it costs to manufacture. That's never going to happen. Everyone is in it for a profit.

    Even when you eliminate the middle-men, there's a markup. Say you're a farmer selling your produce in a stand at the side of the road. Are you going to sell it for LESS than or even at PAR what it cost to plant it, fertilize it, water it, cultivate it, the salaries for your farm-hands, your own value of your personal labour? Hell, you're probably not even going to go so low as to just 'break even' on all of that. You need to make all of that hard work worthwhile... pay the bills, put your kids through school, etc. So you're most likely going to be selling it for MORE than it cost financially. You're going to turn a profit. Otherwise, what's the point?


    - When I worked there, Radio Shack sold their house brand batteries for $4 a pack, when the total cost them was about 40cents to put it on the shelf. That's a 90% profit margin.
    - A bottle of Pepsi costs pennies to package, and yet it sells for for $2 at the convenience store.
    - Tim Hortons sells coffee for $2 a cup when it actually costs them about 20cents, including coffee, cup, lid, and all. If you don't add dairy or sweetener, even better for them.
    - A $15 pizza at Papa John's costs them about $3-$5 to put together...
    ...and so on.

    Whenever a retailer sells for half-price, they're still making money. We as customers should already know that if we're sensible enough. But half price is still, to US, a 'good value' for something that we'd normally pay full price for. Now these are some of the higher volume, higher profit items we see every day. I'm not saying everything is priced this way... some items have a slim profit margin.

    Regardless, EVERYTHING is marked up in price along that same chain. That's how these companies stay in business. But the customer isn't technically getting screwed. If they don't see value in the item for the price tag, then they ought not buy it.
    Last edited by bhlombardy; Sun, Sep 18th, 2016 at 03:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bhlombardy View Post
    Depending on how their pricing was worded, this could be considered illegal. For any price to be deemed a 'regular price' it has to be available for sale at the regular at least once every 'interval' (I think it's 12 months, but whatever).
    Now, if they worded it as "MSRP" (Manufacturer's retail price) -- or "compare with other stores who sell it for..." (like you might see at say Winners, Marshalls, HomeSense, etc) ... even if that definition was in fine print by way of a footnote "regular price mean MSRP" or "regular price means what it sells for at other retailers" then they're free and clear.
    The company produced their own designs and contracted clothing manufacturers overseas to manufacture the items. The company then tells the manufacturer to suggest this dress should be $80. Then they sell it for $60 and advertise it as a $20 savings. I'm sure they're legally covered but that doesn't make it any less underhanded.



    Customers aren't actually getting 'screwed' -- Not offense but that model is how most retail works... consignment or otherwise. Stuff is priced at whatever the market will bear and whatever customers are willing to pay. Markups along the way are how the retail chain works.

    The manufacturer has a cost, they mark it up and make a profit when they sell it to the wholesaler. The Wholesaler marks it up when they sell and ship it to the retailers. The retailer marks it up and puts a price tag on it for the end customers. The customer doesn't have a chance of paying what it costs to manufacture. That's never going to happen. Everyone is in it for a profit.

    Even when you eliminate the middle-men, there's a markup. Say you're a farmer selling your produce in a stand at the side of the road. Are you going to sell it for LESS than or even at PAR what it cost to plant it, fertilize it, water it, cultivate it, the salaries for your farm-hands, your own value of your personal labour? Hell, you're probably not even going to go so low as to just 'break even' on all of that. You need to make all of that hard work worthwhile... pay the bills, put your kids through school, etc. So you're most likely going to be selling it for MORE than it cost financially. You're going to turn a profit. Otherwise, what's the point?


    - When I worked there, Radio Shack sold their house brand batteries for $4 a pack, when the total cost them was about 40cents to put it on the shelf. That's a 90% profit margin.
    - A bottle of Pepsi costs pennies to package, and yet it sells for for $2 at the convenience store.
    - Tim Hortons sells coffee for $2 a cup when it actually costs them about 20cents, including coffee, cup, lid, and all. If you don't add dairy or sweetener, even better for them.
    - A $15 pizza at Papa John's costs them about $3-$5 to put together...
    ...and so on.

    Whenever a retailer sells for half-price, they're still making money. We as customers should already know that if we're sensible enough. But half price is still, to US, a 'good value' for something that we'd normally pay full price for. Now these are some of the higher volume, higher profit items we see every day. I'm not saying everything is priced this way... some items have a slim profit margin.

    Regardless, EVERYTHING is marked up in price along that same chain. That's how these companies stay in business. But the customer isn't technically getting screwed. If they don't see value in the item for the price tag, then they ought not buy it.
    We wanted to sell a necklace for $40. So we priced it at $80 so we could advertise it as 50% off and the customer is tricked into thinking they're getting a great deal when, in fact, they're paying the full price we expected to get. I didn't say it's illegal but it is most definitely deceptive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhlombardy View Post
    Just so it's clear to everyone reading here... the SCOP is not a law. It's enrollment and participation by any retailer is a voluntary choice. It's the retailer's formal commitment to adhere to honest and proper price posting. It's not really intended to make the customer feel safe... but rather a self-inflicted punishment when they don't adhere to their own commitment of pricing standards.
    SCOP is a law in Quebec
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhlombardy View Post
    Just so it's clear to everyone reading here... the SCOP is not a law. It's enrollment and participation by any retailer is a voluntary choice. It's the retailer's formal commitment to adhere to honest and proper price posting. It's not really intended to make the customer feel safe... but rather a self-inflicted punishment when they don't adhere to their own commitment of pricing standards.
    Yup, that's right, and not all retailers participate...only these guys:

    Signatures to Scanner Price Accuracy Voluntary Code

    Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada Supporting Companies:
    Shoppers Drug Mart
    The Groupe Jean Coutu (NB and ON only)
    Lawton Drug Stores
    London Drugs
    Lovell Drugs
    Pharmasave BC
    RCC Supporting Companies:
    Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd.
    The Home Depot Canada
    Canadian Tire Corporation Ltd.
    Toys r Us
    Rona
    Wal*Mart Canada Corp.
    Giant Tiger Stores Ltd.
    The North West Company
    Best Buy
    2 Home Hardware franchisees
    Canada Safeway Limited
    The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company of Canada Limited
    Loblaw Companies Limited
    Sobeys Inc.
    Metro Inc.
    Thrifty Foods
    Co-op Atlantic

    CFIG Supporting Companies:
    Thrifty Foods
    Overwaitea Food Group
    The Harry Watson Group
    Longos Brothers Fruit Markets
    Federated Co-operatives Limited
    + 1374 independent locations

    http://www.retailcouncil.org/scanner-accuracy
    Last edited by lecale; Mon, Sep 19th, 2016 at 03:50 PM.

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