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March 27, 2017

Extra 15% Off “All” Appliances at Sears?

Filed under: Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:14 am

A couple of weeks ago, Sears had its periodic “Family & Friends” sale boasting an “extra 15% off ALL appliances” Sunday only.

Sears 15% extra off

If, however, you went to buy a Whirlpool refrigerator, or Maytag dishwasher, or a Samsung washer and dryer, you got a nasty surprise, buried on page 13 of the circular.


Sears disclaimerClick to see disclaimer actual size

All the major brands other than Kenmore basically are only 10% off. Could anyone really read that disclaimer easily? Would you have been on notice that major brands are not an extra 15% off as advertised?

Probably not.

This is no way to treat friends and family, Sears.

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  1. So they are giving 15% off on all appliances then they take it away in the fine print by redefining the word “All”. Isn’t that illegal?

    Comment by Peter — March 27, 2017 @ 7:15 am
  2. I guess when news of annual store closings of the Studebaker-Packard, a.k.a. Sears-Kmart of retail isn’t resulting in a total demise quickly enough…it’s time to call for an extra dose of Barnum & Bailey side-show slight-of-hand bait-and-switch to ensure the audience leaves, muttering obscenities under their breath.

    Comment by Marty — March 27, 2017 @ 7:17 am
  3. This has to be illegal. Talk about false advertising and misleading the public. Outrageous.

    Comment by Nancy Savageau — March 27, 2017 @ 8:11 am
  4. Well, it does say “Exclusions apply. See page 13 for details.” If I’m shopping and see a promotion like this, I usually do check those exclusions. And, while 10% isn’t as good as the advertised 15% on other items, it’s still not all that bad.

    Comment by Bill — March 27, 2017 @ 8:36 am
  5. Well we do have the BBB’s National Advertising Division Sides with Mouse Print* and Against Lowe’s on Misleading Ads post at this site.

    When you exclude too much it is not a sale you are supposed to have.

    Edgar replies: Yes, this is similar to the Lowe’s issue where virtually all major brands were excluded from the advertised discount. But, this case raises another issue too. As a general legal principal, a disclaimer cannot be used to change the meaning of the primary claim. The primary claim in this ad is that ALL appliances are an extra 15% off. To use a disclaimer that is nowhere in close proximity to the primary claim, and one that completely changes the claim to offer a discount of only 10% off on almost everything, is where Sears is on shaky legal grounds.

    Comment by Richard — March 27, 2017 @ 10:32 am
  6. Using the word ALL and then being able to weasel out of it with the phrase “exclusions apply”, *should* be illegal. Especially when the exclusions are so extensive.

    But you might be able to play their game if you are willing. Once upon a time, the people working in the appliance department at Sears were on partial commission, and you could negotiate to a point. See how badly they want the sale and shoot for 15% on that Samsung. Can’t hurt to try. Start out by saying how deceived you feel by the ad when they say you can only have 10 and work from there.

    Comment by Bob C. — March 27, 2017 @ 10:51 am
  7. The purpose of regulatory bodies is clearly not to prevent stuff like this from happening.

    “15% off ALL appliances” and “exclusions apply” are two contradictory phrases that should not be acceptable to the public good.

    Comment by Wayne — March 27, 2017 @ 11:08 am
  8. Sears will be out out of business in the next year. If you wait you will get much better sales.

    Comment by dave f — March 27, 2017 @ 12:53 pm
  9. i believe you found this issue with sears in the past..if so, and since they all find ways to misrepresent things…sadly thats not anything new. this is what i hate “up to..in small letters …then 50% off on everything in the store. thats the worst thing as if an item is $200 and they give you 1 cent off thats sneaky and maddening but still legal.

    guess the govt is too busy taking away your privacy rights to care about slimy advertising.

    Comment by rich — March 29, 2017 @ 8:28 pm
  10. The same could be said for Home Depot a dishwasher is advertised at $398.00 along with the advertisement includes a 25% off notice, what they don’t tell you in the advertisement is the $398.00 price tag includes the 25% off. Most people would enter the store believing the price was 25% off of the $398.00 price tag. Reminds me of automobile salespersons in a bait and switch game.

    Comment by Caroline — April 1, 2017 @ 1:54 pm
  11. Pushy sales people and deceptive ads such as this one could be a couple of reasons Sears is tanking.

    Comment by Key West Bill — April 10, 2017 @ 12:41 pm

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