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Secrets Of The Store Sales

Updated on February 7, 2014

Holiday Sales Tactics

Stores often have sales during the major Holidays January sales, Black Friday sales, Easter sales Summer sales and plain old clearance or end of season sales.
But are you actually getting the bargain that you were looking for or are the sales just another marketing ruse to help you empty your wallet into their already bulging cash registers?

Chain stores often advertise massive sales and to get people in through the doors they offer High end products at bargain basement prices, how can they sell things so cheaply and manage to stay in business?
Below you will find the secrets of the sales that the stores would rather you did not know about.

January Sales

Often Items offered on sale are being sold at the actual retail price, they have been sold for an increased price in only one store in a chain.
Often Items offered on sale are being sold at the actual retail price, they have been sold for an increased price in only one store in a chain. | Source

High End Low Price

One of the most popular marketing ploys used by the stores during the sales is to advertise High end products such as 3 D T.V's at silly prices which are reduced from $800 to $50.

This ploy is so effective that on most occasions people will actually camp outside the store overnight to try and ensure that they are first in line to grab the deal as soon as the doors of the store open for business.

You should always take note though that stocks are always limited with these sales and most people will be left disappointed; there are usually only around 2 or 3 of the advertised product actually on sale in the store.

The aim of this is to get as many people to the store as soon as the doors open knowing that even failing to get the High end item people will still browse the store and anyone passing the store will wonder why it is so busy and come for a look around too.

Bargain Hunter Poll

Have you ever managed to secure a High End Item in the sales at a bargain basement price?

See results

Up To 90% Off Sale

Stores often advertise sales with a range of 10% up to 90% reduction and because they have a few items that are being sold at the 90% sale price they will advertise that fact for all it is worth.

These sales should come with a buyer beware warning because they often consist of items that have been returned to the store, slightly damaged goods or they have been sitting in a stock room for years because nobody wanted them the first, second, third or even twentieth time they were put on the shelves.

Glasgow During The Sales

Glasgow city center is always busy but during the sales it is almost impossible to move around.
Glasgow city center is always busy but during the sales it is almost impossible to move around. | Source

Black Friday In New York

Bargain Hunters Queue for hours in New York hoping to find the bargain of the century.
Bargain Hunters Queue for hours in New York hoping to find the bargain of the century. | Source

The Fake Reduction Sale

Some chain store items are advertised at half the price when they have never been on sale in that store before, The law states that for an item to be considered on sale at a lower price that it must have been on sale for the full price for at least one week. the item would have been placed in one store of the chain for one week before being sold in the rest of the chain at the reduced price.

Sometimes a bargain is just the actual retail price of the item made to look like it is on a reduced sale.

Electronics Sales

Often you will find a huge range of electronic products reduced in price, Laptop computers, cell phones and so on but they come with a clause that to receive the bargain price you must take out an insurance contract.

Stores actually earn a commission for every insurance contract sold and recoup their losses from the product, you on the other hand are tied to a contract which takes money from your bank account every month and ends up costing more than the normal price of the product.

Sales Tax

Some stores might just seem to be offering the bargain of the century but often they will not tell you until you are paying for your for sale item that the bargain price does not actually include Sales tax. If you don't want to be caught short you should check the small print or simply ask before you commit to the sale.

Limited Amount Sale

Another common ploy used by stores during the sales is to state that it is a first come first served sale, there are a limited amount of the stock that is on sale.

The actual truth is often different, stores may have only 20 of the product on show but they keep topping up that display from the thousands of the product in the stock room.

By stating that there is a limited amount customers are more likely to get to the store as soon as possible thinking that they will miss the offer if they don't get there quick enough.

How To Shop Wisely In The Sales

Sales have a way of making you spend a lot more money than you intended to, and the stores know every trick in the book to tempt you out of your hard earned cash.

With a little care and preparation you can avoid temptation and keep some of your money in your pocket.

The tips below could help you keep in control of your spending.

  • Write a list of what you want to buy
  • Take cash only
  • Buy what you need
  • Shop around
  • Remember

Write a list of what you want to buy and stick to it; if you can, try to find out the prices before you go shopping and only take the cost of your items with you.

Take cash only, leave your cards at home that way you can resist the urge to splurge easier.

Buy What you need. Only buy items that you need or that you know that you will use, it may seem like a bargain when you see a foot spa on sale for $5.00 but it could be $5.00 down the drain when you find that foot spa 3 years later hiding away in the back of a cupboard still in the cellophane wrapping untouched.

Shop Around. There are many price comparison websites and Cell Phone applications that make shopping around these days much easier, search for the best prices in your area.

Remember. The Holiday sales such as Black Friday usually last for a whole month, if you see an Item that you think that must have, you don't have to rush in and buy it straight away, you could give yourself a day or two to think about it and if you still want to buy it simply add it to your next shopping list. Again remember some items are often reduced by more nearer the end of the sales period.


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    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      4 years ago from West By God

      Great article. I took a class for marketing for small businesses and WOW did I learn a lot of the trade....much that I do not like. I learned how they do price mark ups and the like and how they set prices. The thing is with today they do not use the thirds rules. One of those rules is way out of proportion. I mean marking things up used to be like 100 percent and now you see things marked up like 400-500 percent. Really ridiculous!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      I love your article and can see it as a great teaching tool for marketing students. I have found some great bargains but as you say, you have to make sure that is what they truly are.

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 

      5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Hi Jimmy,

      I've worked in retail most of my career know that some of these ploys are regularly used by the bigger chains. I prefer to work for smaller chains and mom & pops myself. If a person is willing to take the chance on availability, prices will drop at 3 day intervals until the holidays are over because no store wants seasonal leftovers. Typically, discounts begin mid- December and are 10, 20 30, 50, 70, then, luckily, 90% if the items didn't come in from the wholesaler at a short discount.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Jimmy. Great article pointing out marketing techniques used today. Some people I know stand in line for four hours to get a bargain. All they get are poor aching feet. Crowd mentality is very poor. Thank you for sharing this well written article. Blessings. Audrey. Pinned and shared.

    • easylearningweb profile image

      Amelia Griggs 

      5 years ago from U.S.

      Great tips, Jimmy! Also, I like to check for best price comparison.

      Happy Shopping!

    • jellygator profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      Great hub!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      5 years ago from USA

      It really bugs me when something is marked up so they can tell you what a bargain you are getting, particularly when it has been cheaper before.

      It definitely pays to keep an eye on the price of the things you want to buy, especially the big things or the things you buy frequently so you can tell when something is at a good price or not.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 

      5 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Where I live, there are constant sales of 50-90% off all year round. Trouble is, it's on crappy items that no one wants to buy. I've often seen stock from 5 years ago which hasn't moved still being sold today. Voted awesome!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      5 years ago from SW England

      I'm quite cynical of sales techniques and I think rightly so. It's time there was some sort of legislation over the practice of inflating prices, then palming them off as bargains; it's deceitful to my mind.

      Great hub and great advice.


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