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Irate shopper calls out Nordstrom Rack for deceptive price tag: 'Ignore the before prices and percentages'

"I think outlet stores are configured to try and nicely mislead most people."

Price tag, Nordstrom Rack

Photo Credit: u/Slavic_Dusa / Reddit

We all love finding a great markdown deal when shopping, but are those red discount stickers really the deal they promise? 

A recent Reddit thread shows how easy it is to be duped by markdown stickers at retailers like Nordstrom Rack.

In the post, titled "Liar Liar price on fire," an image clearly shows a Nordstrom Rack price tag on a button-down shirt with a red markdown sticker atop the original price tag.

Photo Credit: u/Slavic_Dusa / Reddit

The red discount tag also says the new price, $44.96, is a 50% markdown from the original price. But the original price is still visible under the sticker, showing it was listed at $59.97. That makes the discount 25% off, not 50%. At 50% off, the garment would be $29.99. And the UPC codes on both stickers match.

"In my opinion, this is basically a fraud," the original poster writes.

While the markdown price may have been added to the garment by mistake, the Reddit thread underscores that buyers should beware when deep discounts are advertised. 

One Redditor points out that stores like Nordstrom Rack, the outlet version of luxury retailer Nordstrom, have an even bigger problem. 

"Outlet stores used to be clothes that didn't sell from the original store," the user writes. "Now, they're mostly just filled with cheaper versions and clothing lines specifically made for outlet stores."

In a 2016 interview with CBC, Mark Ellwood, a New York City-based shopping expert and author of Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World, expressed similar concerns about the near fast-fashion quality that even luxury outlets peddle to their customers. 

"I think outlet stores are configured to try and nicely mislead most people into thinking they're getting amazing overruns, amazing bargains," Ellwood said. "When you walk into an outlet store, you have to think, this stuff was made to be cheaper."

So while you could be getting a good deal on a luxury item at an outlet store, you may also just be buying a low-quality garment that was produced to go straight to the outlet. 

"The quality of products at outlets varies widely," Ellwood said. "Remember, this stuff was largely made just to be sold cheaply. So they're going to cut corners."

Another Redditor offers a different perspective, saying people need to "ignore the before prices and percentage" discounts at outlets and make a value judgment based on their actual need for the product. 

"Look at the item. Is it worth the money they're asking for it or not?" the user writes

One surefire way to snag quality goods at a steep discount is to check out your local thrift shop and peep the options on resale sites like Depop, thredUP, Thrilling, and The RealReal

These sites are packed full of pre-loved vintage options that can help you spice up your wardrobe at a fraction of the cost, all while keeping clothing from ending up in a landfill. 

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