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February 17, 2014

Can You Believe Sears’ Presidents Day Sale Prices?

Filed under: Internet,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:50 am

 For Presidents Day, Sears advertised a big appliance sale, and really was one of their best sales of the year. They were promoting 35% off Kenmore appliances, which is their most generous across-the-board discount on this brand.

Sears 35% off

Poking around the Sears website, MrConsumer was curious to see if Sears was really giving this generous of a discount on all Kenmore major appliances. Checking some refrigerators, some times they were $20 or $25 or so less than a full 35%, and sometimes they over-discounted by that much.

Moving onto slide-in gas stoves, similar to what MrConsumer owns, he found this.


Sears 35% off Kenmore

The actual discounts for these ranges were not even close to the claimed 35% off. Thinking that possibly the extra discount would be added when the item was placed in one’s cart, MrConsumer added that $1259.99 range on the left.


Sears $100 higher

Shockingly, the price became $100 higher –$1359.99 — making its discount the same as the other three shown — only 15% off.

Nothing in the original advertisement indicated the discount on Kenmore appliances was “up to” 35% off as they disclosed for other brands. And there was no asterisk indicating that some Kenmore appliances were excluded from the sale. Given the nature of this advertisement, it is perfectly reasonable for a consumer to believe that any and all Kenmore major appliances were being offered at 35% off.

After running the “35% off Kenmore” appliances claim for several days, Sears finally heard the whispers of Honest Abe Lincoln and George “I cannot tell a lie” Washington, and changed their advertising to “up to 35% off”:

up to 35% off

And they even fixed the price on that slide-in range back to the promised $1259.99.

UPDATE: On Presidents Day itself, one day after correcting their advertisement, Sears sent an email to customers once again promising a full 35% off Kenmore appliances:

Sears 35 repeated

So much for Honest Abe.

The bottom line is, unfortunately, that you have to double check every price and every savings claim to ensure that you are really getting what was advertised.

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  1. After what happened to JC Penny customers should be very careful about making sure the “deal” they are getting is as advertised. When JC Penny tried to offer basic pricing options rather than pricing schemes and games, customers did not respond well.

    As a consequence, department stores have stuck to the thing that works. Playing games with prices makes more money than upfront and simple prices. All I can suggest is that people pay attention to prices and only buy something if they think it is worth it (rather than trying to look for a deal).

    Comment by Wayne R — February 17, 2014 @ 8:39 am
  2. That is total BS if they have the price on the page but when you put in in your “cart” they raise the price.

    But hey, stores do this all the time, price on the shelf but it rings up higher at the register, and all they will say is “oopsie”.

    Comment by Max — February 17, 2014 @ 9:42 am
  3. I gave up on Sears after repeatedly running into bogus sales like this. I would go to the website, pick out an item that should have been discounted only to find it was not. Sears response was that some items are already low priced and not included in the sale or that certain types of appliances were excluded. I never shop at Sears anymore.

    Comment by Mark J Smtih — February 17, 2014 @ 2:38 pm
  4. I never shop at Sears any more either. Usually their prices (even when claiming a sale) are not as good as anyone else’s. Plus purchasing online from them last holiday season, they could not have messed up more. I can’t think of a recent positive experience with Sears, which is really unfortunate.

    Comment by Hannah — February 18, 2014 @ 1:04 pm
  5. Even after shopping my best for a Sears appliance I am faced with this at install time.

    Installer: This model requires a special adapter. You’ll have to…
    Me: Take it back.
    Installer: but it will only cost…
    Me: Take it back.

    This has happened so many times, I don’t even consider Sears any more.

    Comment by Dick — February 24, 2014 @ 3:52 pm

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