Misleading Promotional Signs in Retail Stores


I have a problem with advertising. I feel like retail stores that supply our public with clothes do everything in their power to mislead people to buy their pieces in hopes that they don’t care that they just tricked them when they come to the register. Common promotions that throw people off include “Up to ___% off,” where the “up to” is so tiny all you can see is the __% off. Another one is “___% off select styles” when the “select styles” is usually located at the way bottom of the poster or sign and it is in small print. A sale is a sale, but you have to be smart about reading the signs and make sure you don’t fall in love with something out of your price range that you though was on sale for 50% off.

Since I have worked in retail I know the traps that fashionistas and people just looking to save some money fall into. You think you are getting a deal and then when the cashier rings you up and you usually disappointed and angry at yourself and the store for tricking you.

The latest promotion to catch my eye is from the shoe store, ALDO.

aldo shoes bad ads promo take one bad advertising aldo shoes

This is actually the second time I have seen this promotion in their store. The first time I saw it I had to pick one up to see if my eyes deceived me or if I actually could take one without paying for anything. If a store is going to say “Take one” you would think it would be a buy something in the store and get one of these free, but it isn’t. It is a regular shoe that still is priced relatively high and you don’t get them for free when you buy something else in the store, so why does the sign say “take one?”

aldo take one deal

I went to the sales person closest to me and I said, “You know.. If I wasn’t from this country and didn’t speak very good English I would just take one like the sign says.” I wonder if they had any issues last year with this promotion.

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5 thoughts on “Misleading Promotional Signs in Retail Stores

  1. Oh, I hate those sales wording tricks! What about those that say “EVERYTHING up to 70% OFF”. With “up to” so tiny, you’d have to poke your nose into the banner to read it. They’ll do just about anything to get people into the shop. I just don’t get it how they don’t realize that they’re just putting people off. If I take something to register and it’s not how much I was expecting it to be, I’d tell them to cancel the sale and most likely will never return to the store.

    • That happened to me at Old Navy. There were these cute booties that I thought were on sale for for half off but only select shoes were half off, which was on another side of the rack. I waited in line for like 20 minutes just for them to tell me “oh the sale is on the flip flops..” I put them back right away.

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