Thanks for Nothing, Sears and Kmart

It is with a tinge of sadness that we lament the passing of hundreds more Sears and Kmart stores following their filing for bankruptcy last week. However, some of the dumb things that they have done can turn off consumers. For example, when retailers advertise a sale or reduced prices, shoppers expect to save money and be offered a good price. Sometimes, however, that wasn’t always the case at Sears and Kmart.

Example 1:

Just when Sears announced they were filing for bankruptcy last week, the local Sears in Cambridge, MA which had just started its own store closing sale, was adding an extra incentive — an extra 10% off your total purchase.

Sears 10% off

Great, except for one thing — the fine print on the coupon.


not at the register

What, you can’t use the coupon in the store and this is a store only coupon?

As it turns out, who knows what that really means because the Sears in Cambridge was automatically giving folks the extra 10% at the register, even without the coupon.

Example 2:

A couple of months ago, Sears MasterCard offered an unbelievable “month long” deal — get 20% back in points if you use the card at gas stations.


month long promotion

Apparently February has been displaced by August as the shortest month of the year.

Example 3:

People think that shopping online will generally save you money. These items at from marketplace sellers, however, challenge that assumption big time.






Thanks for nothing, Sears and Kmart, for all these “deals.”

If you spot an outrageous or funny offer, please submit it to edgar (at symbol) .

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8 thoughts on “Thanks for Nothing, Sears and Kmart”

  1. The only I can think of is, with the card one, maybe they can only opt into the offer until 8/8 and that they keep it until the end of the month. Regardless that’s pretty sketchy, but I would think if it really does end on 8/8/2018 that’s got to actually be illegal misrepresentation in advertising.

  2. If you go to Amazon you will find marketplace sellers that charge $100 for a $2 item. Apparently once in a blue moon, someone actually buys from those clowns. These are not connected to Amazon (or Sears) and only use those sites to sell to sucks (customers).

  3. I tried to paste a screenshot with this but apparently you don’t allow that. I was shopping a few months ago for Super Scrabble at The prices for a simple board game were outlandish. Most of the crazy ones are gone but one is still there. $287.14 for Super Scrabble via their online marketplace.

    Edgar replies: Carol… that is absolutely amazing. You win the prize for most outrageous price (so far).

    • I believe this is the same thing that happens on other online marketplaces – it costs time and money to take down an item when out of stock and repost it when it comes back in stock. Instead, when out of stock, seller just increases the price to something outrageous so nobody buys it, then reduces to a normal price when back in stock. Notice all the postings are third-party sellers.

  4. Sears weekly sales fall victim to the same ‘gamification’ scheme that a lot of retailers suffer from. Trying to promote all the sales they are having while also secretly excluding merchandise from sales and intentionally overpricing their merchandise.

    Sears still has a lot of quality clothing and linens (I still shop there), but all the electronics, hardware, appliances, automotive, and other merchandise drags the store down. The executives should have decided long ago to focus on fewer markets.

    I think the main reason why other retailers survived and Sears did not is because Sears tried to sell TOO MANY different kinds of things and didn’t do any of them better than other retailers.

  5. The first time I got an e-mail offer that said “You have $9 in Rewards Cash” from Sears, I drove over and walked into the store, asking where my $9 was. No one I talked to knew, not the sales clerks, not the office. They read my e-mail, yet it was all befuddling, and they finally “guessed” I could get that much back in “points” if I spent a certain amount. I knew I wasn’t going to get something for nothing, but I resented the way they presented their offers. Buh, bye, Sears.

  6. In slight defense of Sears/Kmart, the example #3 sourdough bread is a (according to Amazon) a pack of twelve loaves. The Amazon price is $81 with a single loaf costing $6.75. The Kmart price is $93 with a unit cost of $7.75.

    The way the ad was shown seems to be incomplete and misleading. There must/should have been more to the description than just what was presented.

    Edgar replies: Bob, below is the completely meaningless and irrelevant description for this item on the Kmart website:

    Description Item # SPM12566603517 Model # ADIB0154UZUG4

    95%+ Organic*GMO Free
    Wiseco high performance forged pistons are designed from over 70 years of experience in all racing and riding conditions, to provide your engine with the best performance, durability, and long service life. All Wiseco pistons and components are optimized for your vehicle to get the most value for your money. Look to Wiseco for all of your performance needs.PROP 65 WARNING: This product can expose you to some kind of chemicals, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer For more information, go to
    Added on June 01, 2018

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