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A Word About Sales

WHEN IS A SALE REALLY A SALE?

Article by Brian Johnson

Photography by Marsha Johnson

As a consumer, I often wonder if I’m really getting that killer deal at a sale. I hit the outlet malls at Lincoln City with the fam, and I see all those 40-70% sale signs in the windows. The fleece I want is an intergalactic steal at $24.99, because it’s “regularly” $59.99! But is it ever actually $59.99, and what’s the average daily going price?

           I can’t tell you about the clothing business, but I am happy to report that at least in the appliance industry, sales are legit. For the most part, the major appliance manufacturers control advertised pricing. Acronyms like MAP (Minimum Advertised Price), and PLAP (Promotional Lowest Advertised Price) are common terms for appliance dealers.

           Basically, what this means for us is that if we advertise product below MAP or PLAP, we get in trouble with the manufacturer (this applies to the big box stores as well). What it means for the consumer is that promotional (i.e., sale) pricing is truly lower than it is in non-promotional periods. The major sales in the appliance world are typically built around Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and Black Friday. During those times, dealers are given buy-in periods when they can actually secure product at lower pricing. That savings is passed on to the buyer. Digital price tags (in stores that have them) are automatically updated to reflect the sale prices.

           Of course, your washer isn’t necessarily going to breathe its last during a major sale event. What then? Well, that’s where good old American free enterprise serves the consumer well. You get to choose where you buy, and that means dealers must compete for your business. Armed with your smart phone and the internet, you can quickly determine what the going market price is. Dealers like Johnson Brothers will have price match guarantees of some sort which are put in place to ensure the buyer that he or she is getting the best deal.

           Savvy consumers will also know that the best deals at any time (sale or no sale) will be scratch-n-dent specials or floor model discounts. Ask your local dealer about display models, discontinued models and old inventory. They can’t keep everything in stock indefinitely. It has to move! You might walk out with a useful, stylish product that cost you less than the dealer paid! 

           The bottom line is: it’s often possible to pay less than full retail price for the kitchen or laundry appliance you need!

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