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Hypothesis: retail chains that produce their own clothes inflate their catalogs with lesser quality clothes before the holiday season and specifically mark down the clothes causing the consumer to think they are getting a good deal.

Ex. Each year Vineyard Vines does a 20-30% off holiday sale (to clear out last year’s inventory). As part of the sale are always items that seem to have never been in their catalog until that sale (and definitely never offered at the non-discount price).

@jplock to test this theory, I could build a script to crawl their catalogs and capture the date and current price. Leading up the holiday, if the number of items never before seen goes up, that would indicate that they are indeed adding discount only items to just attract buyers with lower quality clothes.

@jplock Some similar psychology goes on at JCPenney, Loft, and Kohl's. In those cases prices are inflated and "sales" are perpetual. The amount "saved" is emphasized in advertising and on the sales receipt. In the end a $10 shirt marked $20 at 40% off with $2 Kohl's cash is a $12 shirt with a $2 hook. "You saved $8 on a $20 shirt and got $2 Kohl's cash for free!!!!"

@bxw11 I wonder how they can get away with putting fake non-discounted prices on things. I know it’s not advertising, but feels misleading.

@jplock What would be helpful is an index of the "all in" cost of goods to compare against. These days Amazon is often used as a benchmark. Exclusive merchandise brands and model numbers can make discerning a benchmark more difficult.

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