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Author Topic: Wal-Mart's secret code
snopes
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Comment: This is kind of fun to know. When you are shopping at Wal-Mart, pay attention
to the $$$.

Wal-Mart pricing scheme:
If price ends normally (32.99), item at full retail price. If price ends in 5
(15.95), 1st markdown has been taken. If price ends with 1 (29.91), item has
been marked down to less than 1/2 price.

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abby 68
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Is writing this down , heading for walmart today [Wink]
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vpandora
We Three Blings


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I don't see how this could be true (or even, particularly useful)

Half price markdown usually would be a clearance markdown. And the best way to tell if you're getting half off is to read the big 50% off signs that usually accompany the display. Why would they hide it in sneaky price codes...customers buy more when they think they are getting a deal. Thats why at Kmart, we mark them with yellow double tickets, with the original and clearance price.

v"price is right"pandora

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Dasgupta
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
vpandora said:

I don't see how this could be true

While I've never worked at WalMart, ToysRUs had a similar 'code'.

Anything ending in a 9 was full price and printed on yellow paper with a blue border.

Sales were all (supposed to be) printed on white paper with a red border. Ending in 8 or 7 was a sale, and ending in 0 was a Manager markdown, when a manager would take inititive to move old items or floor models without specific instruction from corporate HQ.

Mind you, this was a few years ago and may have changed...

quote:
or even, particularly useful
I can't see the last number of a sale being particularly useful to a consumer either, especially when the 'code' is unknown. However, beign able to group items by their price may make accounting or product tracking easier, perhaps.

Das "never work a toy store during xmas" gupta

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Mr. Furious
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by vpandora:
I don't see how this could be true (or even, particularly useful)

While I agree that it isn't terribly useful for a consumer, I don't see why it couldn't be true. I've noticed that sale items at Wal-Mart seemed to end in a different number than other items, but never got ambitious enough to drill down to deciphering the "code."

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vpandora
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The fact that Walmart is a big name in outpricing the competition is more of a factor in having odd digits in their prices. Many stores will beat another price, even if its only by a couple of cents.

So maybe it *could* be true, but it seems that it would be a waste of time to devise a code for this. How is it useful for the employees?

A friend is working at Walmart now...I'll ask him. Call it research! [Wink]

vpandora

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"...Is that all there is? If that's all there is, my friends, then lets keep dancing..."

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Alexina
The Red and the Green Stamps


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It could be true! While working my way through college, I worked at a Cherry & Webb, which is like a miniature Filenes or Macy's. There, every new item came in priced ending in .00, ie., $50.00, $35.00, etc.

First markdown would end in .99, second in .98, and final in .97. Of course, such markdowns were accompanied by signs stating, respectively, "Sale!" "Clearance - 25-50% off!" and "Clearance - 50-75% off!" I think the ending digits were that way so that when looking items up by UPC or description in the database, sales associates and managers would know which section of the store the item belonged in. Does that make sense? So, it probably doesn't make sense to take notes and go to WalMart -- they probably price things that way for a similar reason, and have things clearly marked when they're on sale or clearance.

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Enjal
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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I've actually heard this from a friend who works at Sam's Club (wharehouse store owned by the same folks that run Wally World). I don't remember seeing those types of prices at Wal-Mart but I see the prices ending in 1 all the time at Sam's Club and it is because they've marked the price way down and are usually planning to discontinue selling/carrying that product.

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Morgaine La Raq Star
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Target does this too. Any sale price ending in a 4 (i.e. $1.74, $3.24) is at least 50% off and many times 75% off or more. The '4' means it's going on final clearance & probably will not be marked down more. I'm at the local SuperTarget at least twice a week grocery shopping & I'm always looking for '4's.

Mor 'bargain shopper'-gaine

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TomFoley
The Red and the Green Stamps


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This can't be totally true. It's Wal-Mart policy to not ever have prices end in .99, or 5 either I think.

[edit: see it at www.walmart.com Most prices ending in 4,6,8,3]

-Tom "was a wal-mart employee for 2 days" Foley
(also my stepfather has worked there for several years)

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BlueRose
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Not true (I've worked there for 4 years). Rarely do prices end in 5 or 9 (4, 6 and 7 are the most common.)

Roll-backs (as opposed to markdowns and clearance sales) are rarely as big as 50%. They occur when the manufacturer cuts prices and the savings are passed on to the consumer.

Clearance prices usually are whole dollar or half dollar amounts. Markdowns are usually 30 or 40% (with an occasional rare 70%) and it's off the original price. So an item marked $9.57 at a 40% markdown would be $5.74.

Blue "associate discount does NOT apply to clearance items... bummer!" Rose

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colin sky
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I forget the exact numbers (I could have it in reverse), but when I was buying a TV locally the store informed me that I could tell by the price that if something ended in .99 it was a current product, but if the price ended in .95 it was instead a discontinued product, and they were only selling off remaining stock. It seemed true for what I was looking at.
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Moose
The Red and the Green Stamps


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And even if it isn't intentional, it may well be coindicental.

If there are specific percentages for the various clearance stages, and that the store prices all items at x.99, then applying that percentage will have the cent values compute fairly consistently.

Fifty percent of ninty-nine cents is always either 49 (and a half) cents, or ninety-nine (and a half) cents, depending on whether the dollar value is even (former) or odd (latter).

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Talula
The Red and the Green Stamps


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This, as far as my experience goes, does not apply only to walmart and other discount stores, but also high-end department stores. At Lord and Taylor any new, full-price item ended in .00, while any sale item was marked down to .98 or .99.

-Talula

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tonypitt
The Red and the Green Stamps


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FWIW, this is a common practice is retailing (that any good retail merchandising book will likely mention). Different retailers will use different increments depending on how much they believe in the odd pricing effect. Many retailers start prices at x.99 and then change the first markdown to x.98 and then continue in that pattern. Some will go from x.99 to x.97 or x.95.

Although it's not necessarily universally used in retailing, it's definitely not something invented by Wal-Mart of used exclusively by them.

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