This week we finally caved in and bought our son a new bike for Christmas. After checking out deals in local shops we eventually settled on a bike from Halfords.com – reduced by half it’s original price of £159.99 to £79.99.
But did I log off thinking I’d bagged a real bargain, a fantastic bike at half price? No, I think I spent £80 on an £80 bike. The only discount – if you can call it that – was the 5% cashback we got by going through Quidco.
As there, in the small print on the website was a note confirming that the bike had only been sold at it’s higher price for less than four weeks in just 55 of its 466 stores. From what I can see Halfords had always intended that this bike would be sold for £80 – and simply inflated its price for a short period of time in a small number of stores to convince stressed out parents that they’re getting a good deal in the run up to Christmas.
I would be interested to know how many people paid £160 for the bike – anyone who did was well and truly ripped off.
Supermarkets have long been accused of using this cynical ploy and now it seems high street retailers are following suit.
So as Christmas shopping season gets into full swing don’t be fooled by a reduced price tag. Check the small print and shop around to see if other retailers are selling it at a higher price.
Of course, if it’s what you want, there’s no reason not to buy it, just don’t let retailers con you into thinking you got a bargain.