Are the “Sales” really “Sales” ?

Do retailers really respect “Sales” or do they deliberately pad a “fake original price” and maintain their normal “selling price” which you see as discounted?

Let’s have a look at the 2 cases below:

Sales start date in France – 10th of January 2018

Case 1:

Retailer: Fnac.com
Product reference: LG 55SJ810V
Original price: 1199€
SALE price: 899€

Fnac Pic

Analysis of Historical prices from Price-Veille

Price on the 10/01/2018 at 14h = 1199.00€
Price on the 11/01/2018 at 14h = 899.00€

Graph 1

We can therefore agree that Fnac has discounted this TV by 300€ for the sales period.

Case 2:

Retailer: Cobra.fr
Product reference: Sony KDL32WD750 BAEP
Original price: 499.00€
SALE price: 399.00€

Cobra Pic

Analysis of Historical prices from Price-Veille

Price on the 10/01/2018 at 05h = 399.00€

Graph 2

It is stated on the product page that this TV had an original price of 499.00€, but with the sales this has been decreased to 399.00€.

Looking at the historical prices and going all the way back to the Christmas period, we can see that up until the 10th of January and beyond, the price has not fluctuated once. We can therefore agree that Cobra.fr is deliberately padding a “fake price” to highlight the discount available on this particular product to entice buyers to purchase.

Now let’s take a look at a particular product and see which strategy each retailer has chosen to adopt during the Sales period.

Product category: LCD TV

Product reference: LG OLED 65 W 7 V

Graph 3

Fnac.com priced this TV at 7999.00€ whereas the other retailers respectively priced this product at 6630.00€.

Coming up to the Sales period on the 10th of January, all retailers have more or less aligned themselves with prices having a difference of 1€.

Son-Video have decided to take their sale further by decreasing the price of the TV from 6630.00€ to 5990.00€ which amounts to a saving of 640.00€.

Darty & Fnac decided to maintain their price of 6630.00€ whilst Cobrason, Ubaldi & Boulanger.com have decided to outdo Son-Video and decrease their sale price by a few euros.

Taking into account the analysis from above, we can agree to an extent that retailers do discount some of their products. However, we have also seen one case (and surely more) a “fake price” was padded to highlight the discount available.


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