The Worst Sale Ever, Pants Down

American Eagle Outfitters recently ran a sale.


Signs throughout stores proclaimed, “40-60% off the entire store!” A bargain, for sure.

But reading the fine print told another story:


What?!? According to Wikipedia, low-rise jeans are one of American Eagle’s best-sellers. The apparel chain probably lost out on thousands and thousands of shoppers by eliminating jeans from this boot-cut sale.

Bad move, AEO.

Space Invaders: Best Buy

Periodically, we’ll dig deep (really deep) into outrageously large packages which hold the smallest items. We’ll pull back the wrapping and see exactly why these companies do what they do. Today, we’re checking out a crazy big box from Best Buy.

Expecting an SD card shipment from Best Buy? Don’t look for a small box- expect a humongous one. The other day, we ordered the exact same thing from the Best Buy website and this arrived at our doorstep a few days later:image

That’s enough air packs to lift the Statue of Liberty off the ground!

Of course, we found our SD card safely wedged underneath the excessive air packs, but this raised a very important question: why would any single company include such an exorbitant amount of packaging for such a small item?

According to Best Buy, the company is “committed to using the strength of our people and our organization to:image

  • Systematically manage and continuously improve the environmental performance of our operations and supply chain.
  • Continue to develop waste minimization, pollution prevention and accessible recycling programs.

Wouldn’t you call all of that unnecessary air packaging a “waste?”

But it doesn’t end there. A few days later, we again ordered something small and thin from Best Buy- a calculator. Here’s the package that came:


imageThis time, we didn’t even get any air packs to protect our purchase, so why is the box as big as Texas?

We reached out to Best Buy Corporate about their over-sized shipments and environmental policy and will update this story when we hear back.

Raising the Barcode (Part 2)

Barcodes are everywhere. They can be found on products, coupons, receipts, & even cars. Most of these barcodes are just plain rectangles or squares. But other barcodes have taken on unique shapes and designs. In Japan, you’ll find odd-shaped, decorative, and creative barcodes just about everywhere. But here in the United States, we just have boring, ordinary barcodes- or do we? After scouring the stores, we found seven more brands that utilize unique barcodes.

1. Bigelow Tea


Bigelow Tea likes to incorporate their furry friends into their barcodes! On this box of Peppermint Bark Tea, the barcode is shaped like the furry rodent seen on the front.

2. Edy’s/Dreyer’s Ice Cream

3. Hot Pockets


Of course, since Hot Pockets are hot, why not make a flame-shaped barcode?

4. Raisinets


You may have once tried to sneak a box of Raisinets into the movie theater (c’mon, admit it), but you probably didn’t notice the sun-shaped barcode on the back.

5. Michelob


The Michelob logo, shaped liked a pennant, is incorporated into the barcodes of their alcohol products.

6. Lean Cuisine


Lean Cuisine went for a simple, yet unique barcode that features an elegant, wavy leaf.

7. Big Chill Water


CVS Health’s brand name water has a distinctive barcode that looks like a raining cloud.

The New Hamptonality Reality

New Orleans (21)

The Hampton Inn in downtown Montgomery, Alabama, March 2013.

Spring break is here, which means travel plans for many Americans. Among the drudges of trip planning is lodging. Whether it’s a hotel, motel, hostel or all-inclusive resort, a lodging plan needs to be built into every overnight vacation.

Those who choose to relax and unwind at a hotel have many brand options, including the Hampton Inn by Hilton. This mega-chain has over 2,000 locations in 17 countries across the world, with an overwhelming majority located right here in the File:SCMap-doton-FortMill.PNGUSA.

Late last year, Hampton opened a brand new, state-of-the-art property in Fort Mill, South Carolina that may be particularly enticing to travelers. Looking to book directly at this infant hotel, one might head to the Hilton website, where the price is $89 per night.

fort mill

Click to enlarge.

After applying all discounted rates, Hampton calculates that the cheapest price is a government/military rate. So, continuing with the booking process, one will obviously look for the $89 rate…

fort mill 2

Click to enlarge.

…only to be told that the rate they were looking for doesn’t exist. In this broader rate view, Hampton reveals all of the different prices for one King-sized bedroom, none of which are $89. However, looking to the asterisk tells us that there is a rate change during the stay, (e.g. one night is $89, while other nights are more expensive.) But the “State Government” and “Military Family” rates don’t have asterisks, so there shouldn’t be a rate change at all. Selecting any one of these rates breaks down the total charges, which are the same for each discount type.

aarp and senior

But the Fort Mill property wasn’t the only one with false rates. We searched for properties in twenty different cities, from Birmingham to Boise to Boston, with over 75% of these searches resulting in an advertised rate that simply wasn’t there.

So where does Hampton get their figures? Do they just pull them out of thin air? We asked Hilton these questions and more, but the hospitality giant has not yet responded.

CVS Health: No Haste for Waste

(Due to security and business conduct reasons, we can’t reveal in which CVS location this incident took place; however, it is near Charlotte, North Carolina.)

Easter?! It seems like it was just yesterday. (Actually, it was.) But local CVS Health stores have already begun clearing out their Easter holiday merchandise; one store began as early as Sunday evening.

According to one of our readers, who also happens to be a regular customer at the store, CVS employees were throwing away pebad eggrfectly edible Easter candy just after 8 PM Sunday. When he questioned them, he was told that the treats were being “damaged out” to make way for “summer merchandise.”

“With the amount of remaining Easter candy, we could’ve hosted an Easter egg hunt for needy and underprivileged kids,” the reader said. “This stuff could’ve been donated to any number of charities.”

And that isn’t all. Year-round, this CVS store throws away “what has to be tons” of day-old, same-day, and next-day aryeexpiring loaves of bread that could instead be donated to feed hundreds of hungry mouths. On average, over 15 sealed loaves of bread head to the dumpster on a weekly basis.

And CVS doesn’t seem to care about all of this food-wasting. We’ve reached out to the company several times and are still waiting for a reply.

take actionNow that you know what’s going on inside CVS, you can help stop this tremendous waste of food, resources, and money. Reach out to your local CVS location and ask about their policies for damaged and/or expired food items. Another simple (albeit, less effective) method is to just switch to a competitive drug retailer such as Walgreens or Rite Aid. Or, send CVS Health your own thoughts by clicking here.

(Sources: CVS, Free Coupons,

Bullseye Bloopers: Pampers Diapers

In our newest storyline, we’ll be bringing you tragic pricing tales from Target, whether the Big Bullseye has made a pricing goof or if a sale just isn’t as good as it seems. Here, we’re exploring a Pampers Diapers sale.

Target recently put Pampers Baby Dry Diapers on sale for $24.99. In addition, a $10 gift card was being offered if you bought two. Good bargain, right? Well, peeling back the sale sign reveals a that this isn’t much of a sale:


Yep, that’s right. The original price was $25- the sale knocks the price down just one cent. In another instance, the original price is $24.99:


So why does Target have such strange sales? It’s a question that may never be answered; the hypermarket is known for its incorrect and confusing pricing techniques. The official blog of Consumer Reports, Consumerist, has reported on “Target Math” dozens of times, so head on over and see what other outrageous things the Big Bullseye has been up to.

We reached out to Target Corporate and here’s what they had to say:

“When guests purchase two packs of the diapers we list in our ad, they receive a $10.00 GiftCard. This is how we account for the savings and value-added benefit in purchasing the two packs.”