One shop's April Fool's day joke...what do you think of it?

So an online shop that I really like just posted that all their large bags are 50% off for the weekend. They also posted that the bags were coming with hot guys inside and showed two bags with good looking men, (actors, I think) photoshopped into the bags.

I’ve been wanting one of these bags, but they are expensive. I figured the joke was the guys coming with the bags. That’s fine, Ha ha! I don’t need a guy in my bag. :smiley: But for 50% off, I can afford a bag.

Instead, after clicking on their link, I noticed that the bags are all priced quite a bit more than normal. Turns out the April Fool’s Day joke is that they aren’t really 50% off, they are 50% off the new temporarily high price. So as to effectively make the bags 20% off. In small print, this disclaimer:

(YES, WE TEMPORARILY UPPED THE PRICE ~ THIS SALE IS ACTUALLY 20% OFF WHICH IS STILL $20 OFF- SO GIVE US A BREAK ALREADY! IT’S APRIL FOOLS WEEKEND AND WE GET TO LIE ABOUT STUFF AS MUCH AS WE WANT…THAT’S HOW IT WORKS RIGHT?).

I mean, they’re right, they can do what they want. It just seems like the kind of joke that will irritate more customers than make them laugh. Customers usually prefer to find out they are getting a better deal than expected, not a worse one.

Does anyone else think this is a good strategy, or that it will backfire?

Aren’t there regulations, at least in some more enlightened jurisdictions, that retailers can’t go jacking up prices just to jack them back down again and advertise that it’s a “Sale!!!” ? If so, I doubt that any such regs would recognize or make special exceptions for April Fool’s Day. Regulations are always sticks in the mud like that.

I don’t think messing around with the price counts as an April Fool’s joke.

In the UK such behavior would be blatantly illegal, no matter what day it was. The practice of doubling the “price” and then advertising it as “50% off” was banned for obvious reasons - it’s misleading to the point of being fraudulent.

Not sure what local regs apply where you are, but legal or no it’s a terrible strategy and I wouldn’t shop there if other options were available.

They are possibly violating laws and definitely assholes.

No.

It might backfire a small amount, I would think a lot of customers would be annoyed, I certainly would be. But since it’s just a one day deal (presumably), and a lot of people expect stupid stuff online on April Fool’s, I don’t think it would backfire a huge amount.

If I was doing the sale, I would have the posts say that they come with the hot guys, and then you click on it and go the shopping cart and it says “OK the bag doesn’t come with this hot guy, but it does come with 20% off!”. Then it’s a cute joke, and you get some word of mouth of people going “hey go to CoolBags. com today, they have a good sale!” instead of “ugh I’m so annoyed by CoolBags. com, I thought I was going to get a good deal but it was a lie.”

This is exactly the tack I think they should’ve taken. The “hot guys” joke, with a “sorry, it’s just an april fool’s joke but we can give you 20% off for one day only! wink wink” at checkout. That would’ve been a win for everybody. This way they just seem like conniving jerks.

Can you buy the hot guys without the bags?

So…did you, an actual customer interest in purchasing a bag, leave a comment on their web site?

Because that’s what you should have done. Told them you came there to purchase, were delighted with the discount, appalled to be tricked on price, and left without purchasing, not wanting to reward ridiculous and ill considered bad marketing.

I’m going to guess you’re not the only one who feels this way. And I’m going to guess the marketing genius who came up with this lame idea will defend it by discounting a ‘few’ bad responses as cranks. But a number of very similar complaints, will indeed reinforce the complaint and, possibly, get through to them!

It’s not like they are hiding the fact they raised the price and then discounted it. They are pretty transparent about the fact that it is a true 20% discount. Some people just look for something to complain about.

It’s not funny, and their “we get to lie about stuff as much as we want” tag is stupid. It’s an “April Fools Joke,” not a lie. I’m all for April Fools jokes, but only if they’re clever. If they’re not, they’re generally annoying. In this case, the men in the bags is jokey, but the lie about the 50% discount is shitty.

Without seeing for sure the way it was presented there’s a possibility that the 50% could be written off as an obvious April Fool. However unless it was very blatant and the OP missed it this is jerkish behaviour indeed.

These bags very popular in the Ravelry knitting community and their advertisement was on the forum message board. The initial advertisement made no mention of the inflated prices. It said simply “50% off Boyfriend Bags!” and then in tiny print “Boyfriend not included. Boyfriends are suggestions only.” It was not until you clicked on the link to take you to their actual website that they told you it wasn’t really 50% off. If it had said in the ad before clicking to their website, I might have felt differently.

I did indeed leave a comment. I love their bags and have a couple of the smaller, less expensive ones. They are designed to hold knitting projects and are great. This won’t stop me from buying from them again, but it was disappointing.

April is the cruellest month.

That strikes me as a clear case of false advertising. It wouldn’t surprise me if some state’s Attorney General goes after them.

Apparently they don’t know the difference between a clever/funny prank and a cruel lie.

Ears perk up

Ravelry? Ravelry, you say? Why, of course I need another knitting bag! Can’t have too many! —Dashes off

I think the ill will it generates makes it not worth it.

Here’s my response to their ad:

*The boyfriend part was funny. I loved that!

Instead of pretending things were 50% off when they weren’t, perhaps saying, “April Fools! You won’t get a boyfriend, but you will get 20% off!”

20% off is awesome! 20% off when you think you’re getting 50% off is just…disappointing.

Anyway, just giving you my feed back in case it matters.*