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Store This, Not That! > Blog > Is it On Sale or For Sale?
January 20th, 2014

Is it On Sale or For Sale?

On with the grocery shopping tips! And it’s totally appropriate since I just went grocery shopping today and all of these I found, once again, TRUE today. In fact, these marketing tricks are so great that I can remember reading about them in my marketing textbooks at school….they are so great the owners of grocery stores are hoping you’ll never realize them!

Is it a “ON SALE” or “FOR SALE” tag?

My mom always tells a funny story about my grandparents where my grandmother comes home so excited that she just stocked up at the grocery store because they were having a huge sale.  To which my grandfather (after looking at the end cost on the receipt) would say “EVERYTHING IS FOR SALE”  This is actually one of grocery stores favorite tricks.  Who doesn’t love a good sale. But have you ever, for fun, peeled back the sale label (the one that covers the original price) to see how much you’re actually saving? I have…and you know what I discovered? That a lot of the times it is the SAME price. So the “sale” tag was really more of a “it’s FOR sale” tag than a “it’s ON sale” tag-apparently, my grandfather was correct. Now, I’m not saying this is always the case but they definitely know that your eye is drawn to those tags and they put them on items not on sale to move them. I want you to take a step back the next time you’re at the grocery store and actually look at all of the tags they have hanging down an aisle. Next, look at how many of those are actually indicating that an item is on sale. You’ll notice there is are a lot of little tags hanging down an aisle…all to get your attention and look at it. You eye is naturally drawn to bright colors and something out of place. Those tags fit both of those requirements and make grocery stores a whole lot more money!


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  • Renee

    January 15, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    My father was a grocery store manager and loved to tell us kids the time he couldn’t move an item. So he set up display with a sign limiting the number you could purchase. By the end of the day the non-moving item was all gone.

  • Robin

    January 16, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Target does this big time. Their tag reads “as advertised.” Behind those tags is always the same price. They’re not claiming that its on sale, just that its their advertised price, but nonetheless, the tag still draws attention!

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