I remember going to an advertising seminar years ago; and the first topic was subtly delivered, but the message was loud and clear: WHAT YOU GIVE AWAY IN THE BIG PRINT, YOU CAN TAKE AWAY IN THE SMALL PRINT. Even though that seminar took place decades ago, the practice taught then is still used widely today to create the illusion of savings, when little, if any, exist!
Let me start with a simple example everyone has seen; big event furniture ads with big bold 50%, 60% and even 70% OFF savings claims jumping off the page. Few notice the very small “up to” positioned discreetly beside the big bold percentage off.
The two little words “up to” deflate, if not outright negate, the big bold savings claim! If there’s just one closeout item sacrificed at the big discount, then the ad is legit because the savings are “up to” the percentage claimed! The ad may be legit but the savings aren’t!
If an ad is not tying the savings claim to deeply discounted doorbusters, then it’s likely basing the savings claim off MSRP or List Price—prices the store or manufacturer make up and everybody in the furniture industry knows that nobody ever pays! In this case, like the use of “up to”, a very small “Off List” or “Off MSRP” will be discreetly tucked in the ad to neutralize the discount claim. A discount off a price never paid is no discount at all!
Then there’s the seemingly always present large block of barely readable text at the bottom of most sale ads. If you get out your magnifying glass and read it, you find exclusions, exceptions, and terms and conditions that must be met in order to qualify for a discount or extended payment terms offered.
So a word to the wise: If you want to guard your budget, make it a practice to always look for the small print in a big sale ad!
At Speedy Furniture, the big print says, WE BEAT SALE PRICES–and there is no small print!
In fact, unlike our competition, we backup our big print claims! We don’t just claim to beat sale prices, we prove it! Throughout our stores we show competitor sale prices on identical items so you can see for yourself that our sale-beating price claims are real—no small print needed!