So just when I thought I had discovered all of the tricks food and consumer goods manufacturers and stores use to try and dupe us out of our money while giving us less and less actual product, I stumbled upon a few more this past week. I suppose it was arrogant of me to think that, these corporations have whole staffs of people whose JOB it is to come up with these things. So here we go:
MATH TRIVIAL PURSUIT (OR, DEALS THAT AREN’T)
I admit I fell for this one. Recently I bought French’s mustard, the 14 ounce squeeze bottle. Its label proudly declared, in large print with a star around it, “40% More!”. So I get it home and as I’m putting it away, I notice it does not say “40% More FREE”, as products usually do when it’s a bonus size. No, the tiny print below reads, “compared to the 10 oz size”. Ummm….thanks for the info? I love number trivia as much as the next girl, but that’s a statement of mathematical fact, not a deal of any kind. The ONLY reason for that to be there is to try and fool you into thinking it’s one of the occasional real bonus sizes. Anyone can see the bottle is bigger, so what? So I started looking for it, and sure enough, I found the same kind of thing on a cereal box and a couple of beverages. So watch for that.
A ROLL DOES NOT EQUAL ANOTHER ROLL
This is one I noticed shopping for toilet paper. Oh, I’m sorry, “bath tissue”, as the commercials call it. (Really? Like no one knows what it is? Using cute cartoon bears in the ads does not change its primary purpose). Anyway, you’ll notice the packs are all measured the same, by rolls. But guess what, there’s apparently no standard roll size, because on the package you’ll see the total square footage listed of all the rolls so you see how much you’re actually getting. You guessed it, they’re all different. So if you have two twelve roll packs, and their price is only a few cents difference, you’re better off getting the actual larger pack. When I compared, some of them were several feet apart in terms of total paper. The same applies to paper towels, by the way.
VAGUE OR MISLEADING SIGNAGE
This one I’ve seen for years, but it still bugs me. This is at the store level, but I’ve seen more and more signs attached to items that are in their weekly ad, where you usually find sales. These signs say “as advertised”, but if you look closely at the sign itself or even under the sign at the regular shelf label, it’s regular price. Or a generic, “look at this deal” sign, making you think there’s something special about it. My personal favorite is a grocery store I frequent that uses little signs that say “Amazingly Low Price!”. It usually isn’t.
So that’s it for now, until new ones pop up. As they will.