Holiday “Sales” That Aren’t

Comedian and talk show host Bill Maher has a segment called “New Rules” where he rails at hypocrisy and stupidity — especially when practiced by large organizations. Maher’s “New Rules” substitutes his own, more sensible standard.

In that spirit, I’ve got a “New Rule” for stores that advertise sales, holiday or otherwise:

New Rule — stores can’t advertise that an item that’s normally $25 is “on sale” because it’s marked down to $24.89 (or a grocery store item that’s normally $3.89 is “on sale” for $3.79). If you want to scream “sale” to Holiday-weary shoppers, the “sale item” must be marked down at least 5%.

In fact, Edina Realty has long had an internal policy designed to cut down on the number of agent “blast” e-mail’s heralding price reductions on their listings.

To be forwarded to agents company-wide, the price cut must be at least 5%.

P.S.: Don’t know if this is an “urban myth,” but I just heard a plausible explanation for why air fares seem to magically increase the closer you come to booking your tickets (while on an airline site recently, I had a quoted airfare increase in between the time (30 seconds?) when I selected the flight, and input my credit card for payment!)

The explanation?

Software on your computer, called, “cookies,” lets the airlines track you, so they can guess — or literally know — when you’re about to buy. Call it high tech “bait-and-switch” (advertise one fare, substitute another when you’re ready to pull the trigger). Assuming, of course, that it’s true.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

Leave a Reply