Retail Price Fluctuations Infuriate Me

The one thing I hate about the holiday season is the constant fluctuation in prices at retail stores. One day an item might be 20% off, the next day it’s full price, three days later the price is knocked down by $20. It’s nearly impossible to decide which day to buy.

On Cyber Monday I decided to buy some pants from Ann Taylor Loft. The website was offering 20% off plus free shipping. So I poked around the site and decided on a pair of corduroys. I purchased the pants for $54 plus 20% off. A total of $43.20. I liked the pants so much that I popped back onto the site a few days later to purchase another pair. To my surprise I found Ann Taylor had adjusted the price from $54 to $34.99.

That’s frustrating in and of itself, but the kicker is this, the pants aren’t just $8.21 cheaper. With a special promotion code I can actually purchase the pants online today for $34.99 plus 20% off, which means I can pay as little as $27.99. The difference between what I paid and today’s price is $15.21.

Ann Taylor does have a price adjustment policy. If you contact them within 14 days they will adjust the price of merchandise purchased at full-price, which has been marked down for the first time. But they will not offer a price adjustment on any items purchased with special promotions including %’s off. So my purchase is not eligible for adjustment.

So I am faced with a decision. Do I keep the pants and suck up the $15 difference? Do I return the pants out of spite for Ann Taylor’s return policy? Or do I return the pants I bought on Cyber Monday and purchase the pants again online at the cheaper price?

8 thoughts on “Retail Price Fluctuations Infuriate Me”

  1. Buy two pairs of the cheaper cords, so you can also save on shipping. Then return the others to the store. You don’t want to miss out in case they run out of your size/color when go to reorder online.

  2. If it were me, I would return them and then buy them again online at the cheaper price. If it were just $5 or so, I’d say, don’t even bother. But $15 bucks is a big enough difference — and I’m usually very lazy about stuff like that!

  3. Thanks for the comments. I took your advice and returned the pants and bought new ones online. I even refrained from buying an additional pair, which I initially considered doing with the money I saved.

  4. I first wrote: “I would return the pants you bought and purchase the pants again online at the cheaper price.” But it seems you did it already. I’m glad you resisted the urge to buy more!

  5. I say return the pants and buy them at the cheaper price. If the shipping cost for returns is a lot, then just keep them. I always buy clothes when they’re on the sale rack and obviously the last item of the kind left in the store. It’s a good way to know I’m getting a deal. Otherwise, if I really want something, I suck it up and buy it at full price.


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