You may have noticed a proliferation of limited offer for 24 hours type web sites, often having only a handful (sometimes as few as one) product for sale at a super reduced price for a very short time.

Well the idea is fine, but unfortunately one of these sites in New Zealand is just plain misleading with their claimed discounts, using inflated retail prices to show discounts that aren’t there.

My mate Anton did some digging and came up with the follow comparisons for 1-day.

First of all this one on 27th May 2010 selling Jet Planes (lollies, or as Americans call em – candy).

Implying a normal price of $52.95 is just misleading, as it could be purchased from another store for $20.97 at their REGULAR prices.  Click on the image on the right to see more detail.

As Anton explains:

It looks like they 1-day seem to take the price of the most expensive configuration or store and call it their Why pay price. I calculated the regular price of 20 x 200Gram bags at $53.80 on www.woolworths.co.nz.

In my view this is misleading.  All they are showing in this example is how one can get discount for buying a larger bag, not an actual reduction in price.

If 1-day are relying on the Why Pay as simply a comparison, and not the actual regular price others charge, then why not just make up any number.  Why not say: “Why pay $200 for a can of baked beans when you can buy it here for $2″.  Misleading rubbish I say!

Here’s another example from April 2010

In this case the product was sold cheaply, but the supposed discount was not as great as it would first appear.  Two major retailers (Dick Smith and Noel Leeming) had regular retails prices well below the Why Pay rate.

Anyway, it’s a pity, since many of the 1-day prices are quite good and are below retail, it’s just they are not THAT much below retail at times, and unless you know the regular price you might be included to grab it now (they push the “stock running low” thing a lot) when there wasn’t that much of  saving in the first place.

So the moral of the story is don’t believe everything you see online, and do your own checking (Google does a great job of that) to check prices.  In face in New Zealand pricespy also has a great search function for certain products (mainly electronic) so you can compare prices for a product at almost every major retailer in NZ.

Here are some other useful limited super special sites in New Zealand:

Black and White Version: Be aware of inflated prices to show discounts that aren’t there.  Do your homework before buying anything.

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