50 percent off! Get your attention?
You should be seeing a lot of great sales in store and online in the coming days.
But are they really sales?
We found a number of stores being sued for allegedly having false “original” prices to make it look like you’re getting a deal.
Take a lawsuit involving JC Penney.
A woman claimed a $30 shirt was on sale for $17.99.
But she says she found the shirt had been $17.99 for the last 3 months.
JC Penney settled the lawsuit for $50 million.
Kohls settled a similar suit for $6 million.
Macys, Bloomingdales and Burlington Coat Factory face similar allegations.
Then there are the outlet stores.
You can get deals.
But the Federal Trade Commission warns “much of the merchandise sold at outlet stores is manufactured exclusively for them, and may be of lesser quality."
Michael Kors outlet paid $4.8 million to settle allegations they misled consumers to believe items were previously sold in retail stores.
Columbia Sportswear Outlet settled similar allegations.
Kate Spade, Fossil, Cole Haan, Bass and Ralph Lauren outlets were all hit with lawsuits claiming sale prices are false.
None of these companies mentioned claim any wrongdoing.
So how do you know if a sale is a deal?
Check to see if the original price is real by comparing with other stores. If it's an outlet, check the retail price.
At outlets, ask if they sell "made for outlet" only merchandise.
The FTC says the price may be lower for a reason.
And watch for those sales where you pay today and get the discount towards a future purchase.
Click here to search for all of these lawsuits.