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Holiday Shoppers Warning: "Watch out for 'up to' savings claims"

submitted on December 5, 2012 by HouTex in "Sales / Promotions"
I saw this article linked on yesterday.
It made me think about Buxr's policy of posting the exact range of discount instead of "up to" deals, and why I like it. (See the previous discussion at )

This time of year it seems like every store is advertising "up to" sales! And when people see the signs, they think everything is marked down the advertised amount even though there may only be one item in the sale group at that discount level.

Here's an example:
An ad that says “Save up to 60 percent on all sweaters in stock!” is simple and straightforward. It would seem hard to misunderstand. There’s no hidden disclosure or fine print. The ad says every sweater in the store is on sale and some are 60 percent off.
But that’s not how a lot of shoppers would interpret this claim. They believe the ad says all or most of the sweaters are discounted 60 percent.

It doesn't seem to matter whether the words "up to" are in large or small print, most people don't realize at first glance that they're not getting the full discount on all the sale items.

Did you know that Massachusetts law prohibits “up to” advertising claims? Advertisers in that state are required to give both the smallest and largest discount available in equal size type, such as “Save 10 to 50%.” And at least 10-percent of the items on sale must be offered at the biggest discount advertised. Too bad that doesn't apply in all states!
The bottom line
Be careful when you see sale ads, especially as you race through the stores looking for super bargains. Look for the words “up to” and realize what it means: most items are not going to be discount that much. As always, it’s the walk-out-the door price and not the promised savings that counts.

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