Questionable advertising on store exterior

We went to do some evening shopping and saw this shop’s advertising. From a distance it said 80% off everything storewide. Then we saw above the door that there was on brown paper the additional text Take an EXTRA 20% off.

It was only when standing right in front of the signage did the tiny writing on the black background become visible, saying Up to. I wonder how many people are have been lured in by the “80% off storewide” without noticing the miniscule “Up to”?

By saying Storewide this mean that everything in the store has a discount of some size (possibly very small) discount. But how do you work out the final discount?

Here are two ways that it could be worked out:
For a product with an 80% discount, is the additional 20% off the original price (20% of 100% added onto the 80%), which would make it free; or was it 20% of the remaining 20% (which is 4% of the original price), so you would get an 84% discount? Clearly the former is unlikely, so it has to be the latter.

Let us assume that some product has a 5% initial discount. Does this then become a 25% discount (5% plus 20%); or does it become 20% of 95% ((100%-5%)x20%) which is 19% to add on to the initial 5%, so a final 24% discount? Based on the maximum 80% discount discussed above the former is unlikely. I suspect that the average punter off the street would, without thinking, expect to get the 5%+20%=25% discount.

Final example: if the initial discount is 50%, would the average punter expect to get 70% (50+20)%, or (50%+(50*20)%)=60%?

The signage is verging on deceptive, and the discounting is contentious.


I had a similar experience at a McLaren Vale winery recently. They had a tasting fee refundable on minimum of 2 bottles purchase. Say a case of wine has a 10% discount on $500 and the tasting fee is $20.

A reasonable person would expect $500 (wine) -$50 (discount) - $20 (refund) = $430. The winery did $500 (wine) - $20 (refund) - $48 (discount) = $432. Not a huge difference and I empathise with their business challenges in recent years but I did not take it well because there was either a partial refund of the tasting fee, not a full one as advertised, or the discount was less than 10% again not as advertised.

The lovely counter staff indicated I was not the first to complain; the manager/owner would not budge. I cancelled my $500 purchase and bought the minimum required to recoup my tasting fee.


I saw that exact store - or one very like it and the same as you thought that 100% off would be very unlikely. Anyway given the obvious ambiguity I decided that it was ‘bait’ and didn’t even bother finding out.

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Why not just give it away for free. Unless they are bad with calculating.

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Did you miss the fine print at the top left hand corner of the giant poster?

There is also a sneaky ‘rrp’ and asterisk on the other side of the sign.

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Yes. When I looked from a distance, as in the first photo I posted, and even in the second photo, the fine print is not visible.

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I’ve never really looked hard enough at the signs when I walk passed. They are like all the other noise in the background. For the first time your pics revealed what most may fail to notice. :+1:

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I’m familiar with this type of advertising in clothing stores: the biggest percentage is the ‘Up To’ figure and usually it has been already applied to the price label shown on the item. The percentage of the discount can be worked out from the original price crossed out on the label. (In my experience it’s very hard to find an item on which the highest percentage has been applied to.)

The ‘Take another xy% off’ is the discount applied on the last price shown on the item. Usually the items are the biggest or the smallest sizes or the not very popular ones and the shop is looking to get rid of the stock as fast as possible.

That homewares store is a very popular one and often has the type of sales shown in the photos, some very good bargains can be picked-up there.

I always ask the shop assistant if I’m interested to buy an item to make sure of the right price to pay, and I agree that it can be confusing but I’ve long given up on the mysteries of advertising :laughing:

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The biggest doubt may be the authenticity of the ‘original price’? Especially for major cooking and kitchen goods.

Compare the regular prices of premium cookware brands in the major department stores, the discount and Global owned retail stores (House, Robins Kitchen etc) with Aldi Crofton products or IKEA brands.

The true cost to produce a quality product is likely much closer to the lower priced alternative than the multiples of units higher rrp attached to heavily discounted stock.

It’s not evident that the discounting by ‘House’ relates to clearing sizes of pots and pans clearing unpopular sizes no one desires. For clothing discounts not being a popular size may have it’s benefits, fashion preferences less important?

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That’s one of biggest ‘unknown’ unless you’ve regularly gone in to check the prices, especially with clothing which early in the season prices make up for any discounts later on :laughing:

With homeware it could be the ugly, unpopular pieces; items where there’s not a great range to choose from; sets that might be difficult to find a replacement if one piece gets broken…take your pick of the many ‘unknowns’ out there :laughing:

Apologies to @meltam for being off topic. It seems that’s what we do best on the Forum :laughing::rofl:


Thank you, but I am quite happy to have serendipitous tangents appear, as they are often what ‘fleshes out the bones’ and brings real world experience to the topic. Even when not germane, they can be informative and entertaining.