5 Dishonest Pricing Gimmicks That Need to Die

Alamy Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just trust the price on the price tag?

Unfortunately there’s a lot of marketing that goes into that price, and much of it is less than honest. Sales offering big discounts aren’t what they seem. Low subscription prices evaporate after a given amount of time. And many prices you see have been artificially inflated so that they can be discounted at a later date.

These and other marketing tricks take what should be a simple piece of information — the fair value of a piece of merchandise — and turn it into a mystery. And consumers shouldn’t have to play Sherlock Holmes to figure out if they’re getting a good deal.

Unfortunately, many of these gimmicks are so entrenched in the retail industry that it’s unlikely they’ll be going away anytime soon. Still, we can imagine a perfect world of honest prices. Here are a few pricing gimmicks that we’d love to see go extinct.

Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.

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