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May 20, 2013

J.C. Penney Now Restickering Goods with Higher Prices

Filed under: Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:16 am

Following up on our story last week about J.C. Penney putting new higher “fake” regular prices on goods on their website (most likely so they could offer them “on sale” in the near future), consumer reporter John Materese of WCPO-TV in Cincinnati did his own hidden camera investigation at J.C. Penney stores.

He visited two JCPs and found that many goods were restickered with higher prices. How did he know that? He peeled off the new stickers to see what price was below!

JCP stickers


In the above example, a new $18 sticker covers up an old $13 price.

Click picture to watch story or click here.

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  1. How annoying!!!

    Penny’s *TRIED* to be fair and the idiotic public (like those women interviewed) showed with their wallet they wanted to be tricked all the time. Kudos goes to JC Penny for trying, but now they are giving folks what they want.

    When comparing the prices at Sears, they should have compared final prices, not sticker prices. The story did mention that there were deals to be had at Penny’s, but by that point, the damage was done.

    I’d say the TV station should be ashamed for the quality of their story, but even mouseprint made Penny’s look bad instead of giving them credit for trying. If there’s someone who should look bad, it’s the public that stopped shopping there.

    Comment by Robert — May 20, 2013 @ 7:44 am
  2. At first I thought the report would be very misleading because they were not mentioning that ALL stores mark up prices in order to mark them down, but at the end they mentioned something to that effect.

    What I AM disappointed with is that the news reporter didn’t mention that JCP was TRYING to avoid doing that but customers didn’t respond to it well and JCP returned to the old business model that most other stores use. Gladly, the statement from JCP did acknowledge that customers did not respond to the new business model and it’s the customer’s fault.

    It was also funny at the end that the one reporter said “WHO KNEW!?” because shoppers who desired to be informed have already noticed the pricing patterns at department stores and the like.

    Consumers really disappointed me with this JCP fiasco. For millennia humans have demonstrated an ability for higher learning beyond the base desires for survival and pleasure. I feel like this is one of those cases where the people who give in to base desires (the pleasure of seeing a sale) are holding others back.

    When it comes to shopping one should be willing to pay what they think something is worth and not just what the seller tells them it is worth.

    Comment by Wayne R — May 20, 2013 @ 9:42 am
  3. I just do not understand people. If something seems to be a good deal to you, buy it. SHOP AROUND and get the best deal.

    If you are so easily conned in to buying something, you DESERVE to overpay. These are the same people that then go on to complain how they “never have any money”.

    And seriously, just how many shirts and pants do you need?

    Comment by Tima — May 20, 2013 @ 10:05 am
  4. This is another example of why our country needs to teach “finance” in our public schools instead of some of those other high level math classes. Not only are people falling for these tricks they are putting these purchases on credit cards, which they pay off with home equity lines of credit, etc. and then end up with no retirement savings!

    Comment by Nancy — May 20, 2013 @ 11:38 am
  5. @Nancy I disagree. You need both. You need good math skill to do finance. Simple things like compound interest (usually taught in trig) and how much will that loan really cost you. Not the crazy charts they pull out and fling around. What will it really cost. For example a 6% home interest loan over 30 years is nearly 2x what you were loaned out. Finance is more than just keeping your checkbook balanced. It is about what is best for you. How much is a per unit cost (algebra). How many items should you buy of something (linear algebra).

    Comment by me — May 20, 2013 @ 1:35 pm
  6. Can I just take the higher price stickers off the item and try to pay the lower price???

    Comment by Richard Ginn — May 20, 2013 @ 3:00 pm
  7. Richard, I was just thinking the same thing. Wonder what they would do at the cash register.

    Edgar replies: Richard and Linda… that is larceny. The store decides what price to charge, not you. Fraudulently changing price tags is a crime.

    Comment by linda devey — May 20, 2013 @ 10:11 pm
  8. I agree the store has the right to set price for an item.

    JC Penny could have easily avoided this mess by spending the money on proper tags in the first place.

    Putting a NEW 20 buck sticker over the 10 buck price is not good at all.

    Comment by Richard Ginn — May 21, 2013 @ 12:25 pm
  9. @Nancy. You are quite correct. You do not – I repeat – do not need high level math skills to understand basic financial facts. I have taught for many years a consumer class for SPED students many of whom do not even know their times tables but can quickly find out exactly how much a loan will be, or a credit card or virtually any other long or short term purchase by using various calculators. The important items are having a budget, comparing wants and needs, long range financial goals, employment options, purchase of items such as insurance and just about anything else an adult will need. How to really shop both for the everyday needs such as groceries or the big ticket item. I stress one of your most significant budget items is an expense known as savings.

    I could go on and on but recently had one student call me up. He was quite involved in our class on stocks – we use to purchase stocks on my dime and they would share any profits. This student had bought 500 shares of Alexion (ALXN) Pharmaceuticals back in 2006 and 500 shares of Gilead (GILD)at the same time – both with money from a military bonus. He also purchased several “Blues” at the same time. With splits on both he now holds 2,000 shares of each and a total value in excess of $300,000. He is as sharp as a tack with investments.

    Edgar comments: Gang, please lets get back on the subject of deceptive price advertising.

    Comment by Rick — May 22, 2013 @ 9:10 am
  10. i deal with the general consumer on a daily basis. my observation is that consumers enjoy bragging rights “i got this on sale” instead of their friends stating they purchased it at regular price. oh and did i mention the regular price is cheaper!! sears also has a example on their friends and family discount night open to the general public – advertising a discount on total purchase depending on the department…and the price will be cheaper the day after the sale…the poor uneducated comsumer

    Comment by tom gauvin — May 23, 2013 @ 10:00 pm
  11. Sam’s Club did the same thing with their DVD’s after Christmas, and didn’t even bother trying to cover the previous lower price all that well (but it was still under the new tag). Many had been priced at $11 or $14 before Chrismtas, only to be repriced at $18 (or higher) afterwards.

    Comment by Amber — May 23, 2013 @ 10:54 pm
  12. Before all the recent price structure changes, I worked at JC Penney’s and was doing very well there. After a year and a half, I was managing 2 departments. I quit, in part because of these practices. For instance, their BOGO half off sales were a complete rip-off. An item would be marked at say $30.00. But it would NEVER, EVER, EVER be sold at that price. Ever. It would always have a sign that said ‘REGULARLY 30.00, NOW 21.99″ Then there would be a big add “BUY ONE GET ONE FOR HALF-PRICE” so now the “regular price” is used (this is the only time) Customers FLOCK in, to spend $45.00 on two items which are normally priced at $43.98. I don’t know if it is retail in general, or JC Penney’s in particular, but it’s been going on since I left prior to the pricing structure changes.

    Comment by xjcp — June 5, 2013 @ 10:02 pm
  13. Since we have given our industrial base mainly to China and other third world countrys where goods are
    produced so cheap, is when this markup game started. At the time most products that were made in USA
    the normal markup was generaly as such. For instance if the reailer were to buy a shirt for $1.00, to that they would add the freight lets 10% which would make their cost $1.10, then they would generaly
    mark it up 100% or slighly more which would mean at retail from $2.19 to $2.49, that was pretty much
    things were priced. But here’s what happened, when they could by the $1.00 for $.50 cents or less, they would still mark it up based on comparable USA prices, have a sale with 25% to 50% off and still double there cost. The USA retailers in their adds would say compare at $2.49, and what they were comparing it
    with was if it was made in the USA, so the consumer thought they were getting a bargain, no doubt they were, but it wasn’t the same quality that was made in the USA. This type of marketing has created the
    problems that retailers have today, because we no longer produce products here, they don’t have that same comparison model. Because the market is so price oriented and highly competitive,they lie to the consumer about the bargain they are getting by creating a false true markup to begin with. The consumer
    is conning himself if he thinks there is something for nothing, no one wants to be made a sucker but that’s exactly what the retailers are doing based on the ignorance the general public has about marketing
    The biggest hoax of all is the car industry,no interest for 36 months or cash back, you are getting nothing, not one thin dime all that is built into the cost of the automobile, folks there is a sucker born every minute, you are not going to outsmart the seller any more then beat the odds in Las Vegas. So if you really want the best deal possible shop and compare apples to apples. Everyone wants to say what a great deal they got because if they don’t they are going to look and feel stupid. Buy what you like and if you can afford it pay the price, be quiet about it and you will allways be satified. Thanks

    Comment by Marv Behar — June 6, 2013 @ 2:43 am

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