...when you read the fine print.
I was excited to read in the Sears Outlet Stores ad (February 19th thru March 4, 2009) that lawn tractors are on sale. "ALL LAWN TRACTORS 30 - 40% OFF*". I went to the website to see which models were available near Minneapolis. Only two models were available and neither of them were "30 - 40% OFF".
46 in. Lawn Tractor
Reg Price: $1,649.99
Sears item # 28813
Mfr. model # 28813
This impressive tractor features a 46 in. Precision Cut Plus deck and 20 hp Briggs & Stratton Intek Plus engine with manual
20 hp 46 in. Deck, DLS 3500 Lawn Tractor
Reg Price: $1,749.99
Sears item # 28714
Mfr. model # 28714
Powered by a Briggs & Stratton 20 hp Intek Plus engine (includes oil filter) with overhead valves for cooler running and longer life.
Now when I sharpen up my pencil, it appears both of these tractors are 20% off. How can that be, when the advertisement so clearly reads "ALL LAWN TRACTORS 30 - 40% OFF*"?
Wait, what's that asterisk for? Let me see...nothing on that page...nothing on the page before it...oh there it is - three pages earlier I see where the explanation is for the asterisk. Wow! Let me get my glasses out for this small print. "*Savings off regular retail price." Okay, so what's regular retail price? Kind of hard to figure that one out since the Sears retail stores no longer carry either of these tractors. So how do they figure retail price when they aren't available for retail sale?
Here's the kicker for me though. On the front page I find small print that reads, "Merchandise and discounts vary by store.". What? What do you mean that discounts may vary by store? How in the world can they say ALL LAWN TRACTORS are 30 - 40% off then? If the discounts vary by store, does that mean that in reality they could run an ad stating, "ALL LAWN TRACTORS 99% OFF*"? Why not, since discounts vary by store and all? How about "ALL MERCHANDISE 200% OFF*"? That would really get people into their stores since Sears would be paying them to take your merchandise, right? Imagine their disappointment however, when they discover that discounts vary by store, and gosh darn it - their store's discount varied quite a bit.
Horribly misleading Sears!
Coon Rapids, Minnesota