BP #12 If you think it’s too good to be true, it probably is

Shopping is something that I spend too much of my time doing. I am alays searching places like Amazon or Groupon for the best prices to find what I want. I justify this by all of the deals I get and coupons I use. It always feels nice to know or think you got a good deal on something making it worth it, whether I shop online or in the store.

In recent news, there is a new tactic companies are using to get you the “best” deal, or that’s what they want you to think. Companies want you to believe you are getting an amazing deal in order to more easily persuade you of your purchase decisions. They use the labeled list price, suggested price, reference price or manufacturer’s suggested retail price. This price implies that you are paying much more somewhere else, so you need to get it here. This is a sales tactic that is drawing legal scrutiny, as well as prompting questions about the integrity internet shopping websites.

If everyone is getting a deal, is anyone really getting a deal?

This happens everywhere. It happens at places that seem trustworthy or that you never thought would do that to their customers. I see it especially on places such as Amazon and Groupon, because that is where I search for deals most often. I am learning it is always good to search around before buying, because you really can’t trust these companies to rely on for the best deal.

The article I read used a skillet as an example. On a ton of sites, it shows that the suggested retail price is $285, but all these places imply that you get the best deal with them, when in reality, they are all selling the same thing for $200. This has gotten some companies, such as overstock, in legal trouble, yet so many more are still getting away with it.

The use and deception of list price has some moral issues with it. I believe that the companies have a moral obligation to their customers, and by abusing their power by the use of list price, they are purposely harming their buyers.

In readings from the last few weeks, we have learned about the lying of sellers to buyers, in order for sales people to get the most out of the deal. Carson believes that lying is not allowed under any circumstance for sales people. This could be through the means of lying or concealing information. The philosopher believes there should be an obligation against deception for sales people specifically so that consumers can’t be ripped off, because it happens all the time, just like example used above.

Consumers are being tricked and wrongly persuaded into their purchase decisions based on a false belief of a good deal. We see this a lot at times such as Black Friday. Stores lower their prices, but so does everyone else. They take the suggested retail price, lower the normal price a few dollars, or they may even leave it the same and call it good. People see it and they believe it is a good deal. Then they buy it. Consumers have the right to be fully aware of what is going on in this situation and I think it is good that places are getting busted for the lack of integrity they have.



One thought on “BP #12 If you think it’s too good to be true, it probably is

  1. This is a very common act in this industry and I agree with you that the customer is being very hurt from this. customers must be educated on the topic or salespeople must be enforced to provide proper information to make sure that customers are not directed in the wrong direction when making a purchase. This will still be tough because those who gain commission off of a sale like this may still try to sway customers wrongly for the higher commission.


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