The so-called Discount Sales Act, which entered into force this year, obliges stores to announce the lowest price of a product in the last 30 days. By raising prices just before the start of the 30-day comparison period, impressively high discounts can be achieved.
The price comparison service Hintaopas says in its announcement that several stores raised the prices of their products before the start of the 30-day review period in order to make the Black Friday and Black Week discount percentages look as large as possible.
Since the stores have to announce the lowest price of each sale product during the previous 30 days, it is possible to tinker with the discounts in such a way that the price of the product is increased just before the start of the sale 30 days.
When the price of a product that normally sells for 100 euros is raised to 150 euros before the start of the 30-day review period and is dropped back to 100 euros when the sales start, the discount percentage is made to seem large, even though the product is sold at the same price as usual.
In the longer term, the discount may be non-existent
At the end of the article, you will find sample products listed by Hintaoppa, whose current discount percentage is large compared to the 30-day review period. In the longer term, however, the discount will be significantly smaller or even non-existent.
Price guide country manager Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett says in the release that based on the company’s data, average prices had risen in no less than 15 of the 20 most popular product categories in October compared to this year’s average prices.
However, Matinvesi-Bassett points out that this is not automatically a pricing tactic that stores are aware of.
– But the increasing frequency of price increases during October indicates that the operation is aimed at the highest possible discount percentages now in the hottest off-season of the year, he says.
Consumers are therefore offered attractive discounts compared to the previous 30 days, but compared to the longer-term price level, all Sale products are not necessarily cheaper at all.
Raising prices is not illegal
Matinvesi-Bassett tells Iltalehti that the prevalence of price gouging can only be seen properly after the Black Friday ruckus. The amendment to the Consumer Protection Act only entered into force this year, and now the worst off-season of the year is underway.
– Black Friday is overall the cheapest shopping day of the year, but it is also the day when so-called fake discounts are seen the most, Matinvesi-Bassett says in the press release.
In addition to Black Friday and Black Week, consumers should also be careful during the post-Christmas sales. However, price awareness is good all year round, because the same traps lurk in every discount sale.
However, Matinvesi-Bassett points out that there is nothing prohibited in raising prices before sales.
– Raising prices is not illegal. However, it is important for consumers to be aware that this kind of thing happens and to check the price level in the longer term.
In addition to the price guide, you can also use the sites Hintaseuranta.fi, Hintavahti.com, Hinta.fi and Vertaa.fi to compare prices.
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Source: Price tracker