PSA: Careful of "Fake Sales"

October 14, 2017, 10:39 PM · Be careful when a store has something "on sale"!

I was eyeing a case for home use, and it was listed on SW Strings for about $110. It wasn't an emergency, so I waited for a sale.

Lo and behold, I got an email, for a weekend sale! 10% off orders of $100, 15% off orders of $150, and 20% off orders of $200.

Great! I can buy some strings with the case, and get 20% off!

So I logged in for their "lowest price guarantee". Searching for the case...looks good! Same price as before

Clickity click...what is this?

It went up to $130? How sloppy of them, they didn't even change the old price for the upper listing.

Maybe this is just this one item?

Maybe not...


Replies (13)

Edited: October 15, 2017, 9:41 AM · My post got cut off. Must be a character limit...


This is basically the case for every item on their site!

Perhaps SW Strings just doesn't like me personally. So I logged out, but the same thing happened.

I provided the screenshots, because no doubt SW Strings would edit their sloppy work. The URLs are also displayed in the screenshots.

I find this very deceitful, as the discounts would only happen if you ordered $200! And the discount is nowhere near 20%!

This is common in many retail stores, but I never expected this for online music retails!

Some images may be hard to read because the images are a bit big. Right click, "Open image in new tab/window" to see the full image.

Image links for big pictures are:

EDIT: They must've realized their mistakes. The website now reflect the inflated prices.

Let's see if it goes down again after the weekend.

October 15, 2017, 12:24 AM · Are you sure the discount does not come off the price at check out? Easy enough to see if you put the items in the basket, then go to pay. You can always cancel the sale before you are fully committed.

Cheers Carlo

October 15, 2017, 9:40 AM · Carlo,

Yes, I'm sure. I checked.

In fact, overnight, they now changed their prices to reflect the inflated ones.

I hope someone proves me wrong, because this is beyond dishonest!

October 15, 2017, 10:09 AM · I just tried it and it worked fine for me. When you get to the Checkout page, you enter the promotion code, and the 20% is automatically deducted from the merchandise total.
Edited: October 15, 2017, 10:49 AM · When I was young, I worked at a Hardees. The manager was being pushed to increase sales. He came up with the idea of a weekly "special". The first week it was a Large Coke, a Hot Dog and Fries. The price on the big board outside was the exact same price of the 3 items combined. No one, until Thursday, noticed or asked. Sales of the aforementioned items increased greatly.

When the person on Thursday asked about the "Special" and why the price was the same as the 3 purchased separately, the manager told him that it was the "Special of the Week" and that was all. It didn't mean a better price.

October 15, 2017, 11:18 AM · I think this is a not an uncommon practice to give "discounts" but raise the price right before the event. It's pretty much the same concept as those items with jacked up retail or "market" price and then saying it's % off.
October 15, 2017, 4:16 PM · I wonder if it wouldn't be better if the OP asked SW Strings what was going on first. As George Huhn noted, it worked fine for him. Certainly, it's common practice on most sites (and at the cash register IRL) to apply the discount after adding the item.


Edited: October 15, 2017, 4:59 PM · George, Neil, you are missing the point. What Miff noted was that SW Strings apparently jacked up the base prices at the the same time they instituted the sale, thereby negating the advertised discount rate.
October 15, 2017, 7:26 PM · Ah, I see what you mean. It will be interesting to see if the prices go back down after the sale is over.
October 15, 2017, 7:59 PM · Most places raising the price and the marking it down is illegal. That's a deceptive business practice. As for the OP, that sounds like the kind of thing you can handle pretty easily with just a phone call to their customer service team.
October 16, 2017, 3:14 PM · After-sale update: Sure enough, the prices went back down to regular today, after the sale ended.

@Paul: Is it actually illegal? I would love to bugger them about it...

October 16, 2017, 6:51 PM · I'm not a lawyer, but I found this pretty quickly:
October 16, 2017, 8:18 PM · Arizona Attorney General office of consumer protection:

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