Rabid for Red Clearance Stickers

Now that's sneaky

Nothing gets our attention like red markdown tags, especially since every penny counts.

Well, let’s rephrase that. A single penny doesn’t make for much of a discount, unless you’re a sucker who isn’t paying attention.Take this container of antibacterial wipes on “clearance” on a prominent end cap in a major store where many of us shop frequently.

Apparently we lose all sense of reason when we see the word “Clearance.” Show us a red sticker and we become colorblind to everything else, even the black and white of the actual price.

Are we really this gullible? Or do we need to be reminded of caveat emptor, let the buyer beware, because companies trying to meet sales targets will resort to any number of gimmicks so that we will abandon our own good sense.

The only thing that could make me feel better about seeing these stacks of “clearance” wipes would be a disclaimer from a local university  or 60 Minutes saying they were all part of a research experiment on buyer behavior. Hypothesis: How many shoppers are charmed by the magic word, “Clearance”? Can we be lured by day-glo stickers, prominent placement, and overly aggressive signage, even when there is virtually no actual savings?

This isn’t an experiment, it’s our real world, and it’s up to us to remember that there is always a bullseye on our pocketbooks.

  • jaime james

    Target is absolutely HORRIBLE about this and makes me so angry. most of the time their stuff is marked down by 3 cents.

  • Tina

    Good point about the three cent markdowns – that’s the other trigger that makes shoppers crazy if we’re not careful. That .97 ending really does mess with our heads, doesn’t it?