Secrets that retailers don’t want you to know


All retailers, have secrets that they don’t want the general public to know.  If you’re a chronic shopper, you might have picked up on some of these things.  Take a look at this list so that you can be a more wise, informed consumer the next time you step into a store.

Vector illustration of girl with shopping bags on the sales

-You’re not really getting a discount at outlet stores: i.e. The Federal Trade Commission reports that diffusion stores like Nordstrom Rack will stock only a small percentage of actual clearance from Nordstrom; the rest comes from merchandise specifically bought to sell at outlets.  That discount you’re getting isn’t really a discount, and stores have actually gotten in trouble for falsely advertising that its retail price is actually slashed down from a fictional inflated price.

-They’re not asking for your zip code because they want to: According to Forbes, if you’re shopping with a credit card, stores will easily be able to cross match your zip code with an existing consider database & learn your address, phone number, & shopping history.  That’s why you might suddenly start receiving catalogs you never signed up for.


-Made in Italy doesn’t necessarily mean that it was made there: There are certain manufacturing regions in the world that have great reputations for producing high-quality products: Italy, the United States, Japan, and Germany all are stamps of approval when you’re buying something. But sometimes, brands are generous with what they consider as “made in.” If a handbag is entirely produced in another country and finished up in Italy, it might have the label. According to Italian label Gelni, sometimes brands are owned by Italian firms but have products that are 100% made outside the country, but those origin tags still get used.  An origin tag or sticker is not a guarantee for high quality or sound ethics.

-There’s a reason why the clearance section is always a mess:  There’s a reason: Retailers want to deter you from shopping there when there is full-priced merchandise just a few feet away. According to the now-defunct sales shopping app Hukkster, most merchandise at mass retailers will go on sale at some point. It’s in the stores’ best interest to make that option as undesirable as possible.

-Stores use code words to talk about problem shoppers:  Zara was recently in the headlines when The Center for Popular Democracy polled its employees and discovered that there were “code words” that existed to surreptitiously identify shoplifters (what got the retailer in trouble, though, was that customers’ ethnicity was one of the main factors in determining who might be at a higher risk for shoplifting).  They do this because..

-It’s really easy to shoplift: Or, rather, it’s really hard for stores to stop someone from shoplifting. To avoid lawsuits, store employees literally have to catch you in the act of stealing for them to have a case against you; in a flagrant display of exploiting this blind spot, there are entire online communities dedicated to talking about the best ways to steal, while bragging about their conquests. In the U.S., shoplifting accounts for a $35 million annual loss.

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