What does an Up To 90% Off Sale really mean?

If you walk around the shopping districts in Melbourne you are struck by the plethora of stores that promise up to 70% and even 90% discount. Now I don’t mind 90% discount if that’s what the stores are delivering. But what really gets my goat is when the words “UP To” are stuck in front of the promised saving in small or feint letters.

It makes you feel that the stores think you are an idiot by including just one single item which is discounted by 90% while the rest of the sale gives much smaller discounts. Of course, I realise that it’s a come-on. It’s meant to bring you into the store, but it’s definitely counter-productive and it’s putting me off.

I now give those stores a miss because they annoy me. I really don’t appreciate being manipulated in this way. Wouldn’t it be preferable if they offered at least 30% off all the sale stock? At least that is ethical.

And I wonder if “Up To” can include zero? Isn’t zero part of “up to” or am I wrong?

And if only one item has to be discounted by the promised amount then why not then offer “UP To 100% OFF”? Surely this can be achieved by offering some dud product for free and then charging regular prices for the rest.

It’s as ridiculous as those ads that inform us of “UP To 32%” improvement in our complexion if we buy that miracle cream. Surely it can also mean that there was zero improvement.

Perhaps these cosmetic companies should actually disclose the proportion of bullshit in their advertising. If they did that, then the BS content would reach that magical 90%. Not Up To, but AT Least 90% and that’s a promise.


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