I was happy with the quality and the price, and I remember thinking it was a pretty darn good deal for things that weren’t even on sale. I was totally unaware that the business had decided to do away with the common strategy of overpricing things, then having a bunch of sales. Stores do that incessantly, and I hate it.

Recently, I purchased three dresses and a casual blouse from a certain major retailer, and I spent right around $100 for all four pieces.


I was happy with the quality and the price, and I remember thinking it was a pretty darn good deal for things that weren’t even on sale. I was totally unaware that the business had decided to do away with the common strategy of overpricing things, then having a bunch of sales. Stores do that incessantly, and I hate it.


Recreational shopping is not for me; if I’m at the mall, you can bet there are things I vitally need, and I’m not going to walk out of there without enough stuff to make it unnecessary to enter that place again for at least six months. 


I truly appreciated my recent shopping trip. I was thrilled to find things that worked for me and were at a fair price, without worrying whether I was making my purchase at the “wrong” time and that it might be 50 percent off if I could find the chance to come back next week.


All too many times, I’ve seen an item that I’d like to have, but it’s been at full (i.e., an artificially high) price, and I’d have felt like a fool if I had actually paid that amount, knowing that at any moment the thing would be available for much less. That would mean I wouldn’t purchase the item at all, because I wouldn’t be there when the store decided to put it on sale next week. Whole wardrobes worth of items have gone unpurchased by me for that reason.


I thought I’d just had a lucky shopping trip, but then I found out via social media that this was all part of this store’s new pricing policy — but that it wasn’t working out and would probably be discontinued. 


Now I just read an Associated Press story confirming that the business has lost sales under this new model, and the executive who championed it is leaving. So that was my first and last really convenient shopping trip, it seems. 


I suppose, like every other big store, this place will now have sale after sale after sale, so that you won’t feel like buying anything that isn’t marked down.


Think it over, my fellow shoppers. Do you really enjoy “idiot” pricing, in which the same item’s price goes up and down and all around, and if you buy it when it’s 25 percent off and come back a week later, you run the very real risk of finding it 75 percent off, making you feel like a sucker?


You can’t blame a business for responding to customers who have voted with their dollars. The customers have basically said, “Please, play games with me. Please don’t price that dress for a fair and reasonable $40. Please price it at $80, and then put it on sale for 50 percent off, because I will then buy it with child-like delight, able to pretend I just got a great deal.”


It’s much the same as “vanity sizing,” in which a dress that is really a size 10 is marked size 8, so the purchaser can pretend she wears a smaller size than she really does.


All right, I know I’m a bad consumer, but I don’t enjoy any of these games. Mark the sizes and the prices as they truly should be, and then get out of my way and let me purchase what I need.


I’m sorry to see that the public didn’t appreciate a true innovation when it was presented to them. If it had been successful, other stores would have followed suit. Now we’re stuck with the old model.


Editor Michelle Teheux may be reached at mteheux@pekintimes.com.