Monday, May 18, 2009

The Staples Clearance Sections

I'm going to vent just a bit. I find myself in Staples way too often picking up certificates, labels, presentation folders, special mailing envelopes, etc. One thing I've noticed over the past year or so is that they've devoted more and more space for big fancy CLEARANCE sections throughout the entire store. Nothing attracts bargain savvy customers like a CLEARANCE section.

The universally accepted idea of a CLEARANCE section (and I'm not sure why I'm still spelling it with all capital letters, but why change it now?) is that you put items there that you want to get rid of...and you drop the price so as to facilitate the process. You all get that, right? In fact, some of you have probably worked in retail and you understand that this is how it works.

But Staples either doesn't get the concept or they're hoping that people are retarded enough to buy a 2009 desk calendar in the middle of May marked down to just $18.99 when you can buy similar calendars (or even better ones) for the same price or less in the non CLEARANCE areas. It doesn't matter what item you find in the Staples CLEARANCE section, IT WILL NOT BE A BARGAIN. For instance, leather and leatherette laptop cases are in the front of the store on a CLEARANCE table starting at just...$79.99! Discontinued markers are ON CLEARANCE for just $5.99. Who pays $5.99 for a marker?

The Staples definition of CLEARANCE is...

"Let's see how much we can get someone to pay for this if we put it in a CLEARANCE section."
So, I challenge you all. The next time you're out, stop into a Staples and tell me what you see.


My Thoughts Exactly said...

Wal-Mart does the same thing. They put an item in the CLEARANCE section and mark it with a red tag with the same price as it was previously. Sly little devils. My husband thinks that as long as they advertise 50% off, they can increase the price by 45% and women will still show up because it's on "SALE".

Randy said...


I'm a regular Staples customer. You are so on target. (Well, that's another company, ha.) But, really, those clearance sections really aren't the best deals. I wonder how many really know they are not really getting a bargain?

Good post.


hunnybeemay said...

I've noticed more stores doing so-called BIG SALE's lately. A grocery store in our area is having their BIG RELEIF sale and I was checking out the sale ad. I normally don't shop there because the prices are high. I looked at their ad and then my most recent Aldi receipt and the other store's sale prices were double the Aldi price on some items. Most of their sale prices were the same or more than Aldi regular price. It's easy to get sucked in sometimes, but if you try and be objective you can see through the marketing and really find the best deals.

hunnybeemay said...

Of course....your previous post takes "marketing scams" to a whole new level! ;)