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November 4, 2019

Beware This Disingenuous Discount

Filed under: Internet,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:46 am

When a web store offers 20% off upon entering a promo code at checkout, who wouldn’t use it? We all would. But here is an example from the Bath and Body Works website that may make you rethink always using a coupon code.

Bath and Body 5.99

For this purchase of some hand sanitizer, they are charging $5.99 for shipping. There is, however, at the top of every page a 20% off offer if you enter a particular promo code when you check out.

20% off

If you enter that code, something surprising happens.


$9.99 shipping

While you indeed get a $2.20 discount on the hand sanitizer, the price of shipping mysteriously jumps up $4 from $5.99 to $9.99.

What’s going on here? The answer is contained in a fine print disclosure elsewhere on their website:


shipping policy

The 20% off coupon which was applied to this order reduced the merchandise total to under their $10 minimum and thus a $4 surcharge was imposed. Most people would never realize that using a discount coupon could actually cost them money.

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  1. There are often times the promo code cancels out free shipping because the minimum order doesn’t get met, but to see it cost more is funny! The same type of thing happens at JCPennys website. They offer free shipping at $100, and ALWAYS have some type of code. If you load $100 of merch in your cart, it shows you get free shipping, but the second you enter the promo code your free shipping goes away. (Of course you can just add more merch to get back to $100 including the use of the promo code like I get sucked into). 🙂

    Comment by Mike — November 4, 2019 @ 8:38 am
  2. This is not surprising. ALWAYS look for this, and don’t be surprised, when you see it.

    Comment by Len — November 4, 2019 @ 11:29 am
  3. This happens often but I ALWAYS make sure of the final total before “clicking” the order button. People should just practice BUYER BEWARE and check their total(+s&h) cost.

    Comment by Gerry Pong — November 4, 2019 @ 11:41 am
  4. 4 bucks extra for shipping even though the size of the box is not going to change at all. That is not good at all.

    Comment by richard Ginn — November 4, 2019 @ 12:28 pm
  5. Yup, and be particularly careful on the MyPillow website, really dicey pricing.

    Comment by Henry Colman — November 4, 2019 @ 2:58 pm
  6. I wonder why the sales tax increased as well.

    Comment by Crystal Blake — November 4, 2019 @ 8:33 pm
  7. Who pats $18 for a bottle of hand sanitizer?????

    Comment by joe horner — November 5, 2019 @ 7:29 am
  8. Had a similar issue with 2 gift cards from 2 well known outdoor companies. Was looking all fine and dandy as my purchases met the free shipping requirement and wham ! Enter the gift card info and the free shipping was suddenly removed and 11.99 shipping fee appeared for one company and 8.99 for the other.

    Comment by Scott — November 5, 2019 @ 8:20 am
  9. The discount seems genuine, but the shipping costs do not.

    Comment by Wayne R — November 5, 2019 @ 11:03 am
  10. If you use a 30% off total purchase coupon at CVS and also Extrabucks of $30 because of the way CVS processes coupons the $30 becomes $21 in Extrabucks because 30% of the Extrabucks are taken away from the consumer on the purchase. BE aware.

    Comment by Bradley Berger — November 11, 2019 @ 12:22 pm

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