black Friday mathematically challenged young lady

Messages
25,100
Location
PNW
Originally Posted by Joe1
The "promotion" of the day was 70% off the inflated MSRP tag plus "an additional 20% off" on select items.
I can see how the wording could be taken wrong.
 

djb

Messages
776
Location
Los Gatos CA
Step back and look at the situation differently. You are cynical, and wise in the ways of the misleading advertising. You don't even realize that you are accepting a twisted, pessimistic reading as the one that will be applied. (BTW, every time I think that I've thought that I was cynical enough to correctly interpret advertising, I'm proven wrong.)
 
Messages
2,169
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
I worked in retail when we had a cash box for a "till" and did almost $2 million a year, mostly cash and checks, not much revolving credit, maybe 20% was VISA and what was it called then ... Oh, yeah, MasterCharge ... four sales staff, everything we sold was at a discount and you were giving ballpark figures all day. For a quote or a sale we'd use a calculator and make it to the penny, but even then, you had to know if the number was funny. If you couldn't do math, you couldn't work in cash or retail, pure and simple. They'd fire you. But that's not Algebra. All you needed was primary school Math, 6th grade stuff. It was a little before my time, by the time I was of age you needed a College Degree, but not my oldest sister's ... in the 60's IBM was still hiring High School grads. Her husband was teaching new hires with Electrical Engineering College Degrees at the Telephone company with his Gr12 Diploma. Of course at least in Canada those 60's grads needed Latin to get a HS Diploma. I had a second language in HS but it wasn't mandatory by the time I went, although it was still mandatory to have a second language to get a College Degree. That's gone now too. Kids today don't even know that; the till can give out a number that is pure Science Fiction and they just dole out the amount from the cash drawer, none the wiser. I often wonder what they think of us old geezers who go, "No, that can't be right". My guess is they just think of us as people who hold up the line. I know that's what I would probably think to myself, putting on my teenage hat and remembering how it was to see the world as us and them.
 
Messages
1,434
Location
Ohio
It's not just kids though. Years ago, my first job was at Radio Shack. Had a guy raise all kinds of stink because he was returning something and exchanging it for something else. His beef was the receipt showed the negative price of the item he was returning, but he paid sales tax on it so it should show the negative price with the sales tax already applied. I tried explaining that tax is calculated based on the subtotal, so a negative price will have negative tax factored in. He wouldn't believe me, and insisted he was a math teacher LOL. I said that if he was a math teacher, then he should recognize the distributive property of mathematics: (a-b) * c = a*c - b*c. Finally, my manager had to show him with pencil, paper, and calculator that no, we are not short changing him. I'm still not sure he was convinced when he left the store.
 
Last edited:
Messages
4,259
Location
SW Ohio
Originally Posted by Joe1
The "promotion" of the day was 70% off the inflated MSRP tag plus "an additional 20% off" on select items. I overheard a young woman who was proudly sporting a sweatshirt of a prestigious University crow to her mother "mom, this 300 dollar purse will only cost 30 dollars after the 70% and 20% discounts".
On that "select item", one could interpret it to mean it's a 90% discount (I know that it almost never works that way though) and at a 90% discount, her math was correct. Yet people disparage her seeming lack of math skills when that's not the case. She simply misunderstood the wording (open to interpretation) of the discounts.
 
Messages
2,154
Location
Juno Beach FL
The stores do this on purpose. They could just as easily have had the sign read the more accurate discount of 76% off. But they figured they would catch a few buyers who either didn't think about it much, or did not have the math skills to realize that the discounts were multiplicative, not additive. A slowdown of the cashier's line and possibly turning away their shoppers from future sales due to either the confusion in the pricing, or the long lines is the price they pay. But, retail is a tough business and anything that will add a few dollars in the cash register today at the possible expense of future cash is a strategy that is often used now. Its not just a new thing, stupid things took place when I was in retail 40 years ago.
 
Messages
5,020
Location
NJ
Originally Posted by Snagglefoot
The biggest problem is why does a $300 purse exist?
They're plenty over $3000 at upscale mall stores.
 
Messages
2,963
Location
Chicago Area
Originally Posted by Dave Sherman
It's not just kids though...
Sad but true. I see it a lot at work and the scary part is that my department basically does statistical reporting. I had to explain how percentages work to a coworker last week. Some would say that since I have 15 years doing this specific job I have an advantage and I need to be understanding of those with less experience, but you don't need my experience to catch an error along the lines of reporting that 1600% of the records on the file had a missing identifier...and we're talking only one field per record here. crzy
 
Messages
3,016
Location
America
It depends how you interpret "70% off plus additional 20% off" without reading the fine print. I'm cynical enough to interpret like the OP but it's possible the young lady is still optimistic about the world.
 
Messages
4,259
Location
SW Ohio
In reality, percentage discounts are never added together and then applied but the way it's written, it's easy to see how some might interpret it that way.
 
Messages
3,275
Location
On another site
Originally Posted by Srt20
HAHA I was actually at a Coach store here on Black Friday as well. My wife didnt find any in 20% off clearance section, so I only got 70% off, instead of the 20 and the 70. First time Id ever been in one of those stores. I knew they were terribly overpriced products, but I wasnt aware it was that bad on the MSRP's.
"Terribly overpriced" is an understatement. Even with a 90% discount....I mean 70% then 20% LOL they are making a good bit of profit.
 
Messages
9,456
Location
MA
Originally Posted by JLTD
Originally Posted by Srt20
HAHA I was actually at a Coach store here on Black Friday as well. My wife didnt find any in 20% off clearance section, so I only got 70% off, instead of the 20 and the 70. First time Id ever been in one of those stores. I knew they were terribly overpriced products, but I wasnt aware it was that bad on the MSRP's.
"Terribly overpriced" is an understatement. Even with a 90% discount....I mean 70% then 20% LOL they are making a good bit of profit.
I'm not sure why everyone assumes that whatever price it sells at is a profit. Sometimes a clearance is just a lost and a way to get rid of inventory that isn't selling. Or if you make a good profit on 90% of inventory, then you can sell the other 10% at a loss.
 

Joe1

Thread starter
Messages
689
Location
USA
Originally Posted by Alfred_B
It depends how you interpret "70% off plus additional 20% off" without reading the fine print. I'm cynical enough to interpret like the OP but it's possible the young lady is still optimistic about the world.
I'm not absolutely certain what wording was used, but l believe it said "take an additional 20% off the discounted price". I lament the fact that the young woman did not have the wherewithal or presence of mind to raise a red flag as something that is too good to be true usually is. I expect someone advertising to the world that they attend a prestigious University to be able to walk the walk and not talk the talk.
 
Last edited:
Messages
9,456
Location
MA
Originally Posted by Joe1
Originally Posted by Alfred_B
It depends how you interpret "70% off plus additional 20% off" without reading the fine print. I'm cynical enough to interpret like the OP but it's possible the young lady is still optimistic about the world.
I'm not absolutely certain what wording was used, but l believe it said "take an additional 20% off the discounted price". I lament the fact that the young woman did not have the wherewithal or presence of mind to raise a red flag as something that is too good to be true usually is. I expect someone advertising to the world that they attend a prestigious University to be able to walk the walk and not talk the talk.
Maybe she was a legacy or had a weak math score.
 
Messages
1,104
Location
PA,US
Originally Posted by Alfred_B
It depends how you interpret "70% off plus additional 20% off" without reading the fine print. I'm cynical enough to interpret like the OP but it's possible the young lady is still optimistic about the world.
I would see it this way. Its not a mistake that someone would add it up the way they did. A ton of time and research goes into trying trick people. After it happens once or twice, they'll probably learn. They'll learn the world sucks and everyone is out to get you. Most younger people are optimistic and naive. A bit of time in the world will show them everyone and everything is horrible LOL
 
Messages
9,456
Location
MA
Originally Posted by HemiHawk
Originally Posted by Alfred_B
It depends how you interpret "70% off plus additional 20% off" without reading the fine print. I'm cynical enough to interpret like the OP but it's possible the young lady is still optimistic about the world.
I would see it this way. Its not a mistake that someone would add it up the way they did. A ton of time and research goes into trying trick people. After it happens once or twice, they'll probably learn. They'll learn the world sucks and everyone is out to get you. Most younger people are optimistic and naive. A bit of time in the world will show them everyone and everything is horrible LOL
I think I learned about fractions in the 4th grade. I've run into this in the stores, some people would claim 90% off, but then I pointed out that you have to do the math first and it's actually less than that and then they agreed, they were just too sloppy with the math but it's not like they didn't know about it. Not knowing about it completely is a failure in math. I just did a purchase where it was 25% off, then a special 15% off and then on top of that another 20%. Total of 49% off instead of 60%. A lot harder to figure out the final price in your head though.
 
Messages
5,795
Location
Atlanta
I hope the young lady tied the manager and cashier up long enough that some folks left and had a bad sales day, maybe they will think twice the next time they want to be shady...
 
Top