GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Mike Barz was looking for some good deals for a good cause, but what he found instead were some questionable prices.
“I was going to Younkers because we're having a golf outing that benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation and I thought maybe we could get some good deals on some items for the silent auction," Barz, of Zeeland, explained.
In the middle of a going-out-of-business sale, the department store Younkers has been advertising merchandise at 50 percent and 75 percent off. Barz headed there and was quickly drawn to a NuWave 6-quart Air Fryer. With no tag on the item, he asked an employee how much it cost and was surprised at the price. It was $125, listed as 50 percent off the original price of $250.
That sounded high to Barz, so he checked the price, and the prices of other items, with the ShopSavvyapp on his phone.
“I found that the 50 percent off prices were higher than I could buy them online or at local stores,” he told Target 8.
He asked the Younkers employee why the original price for the fryer was listed as $250 when all the other stores he could find were selling it for much less.
“She says, 'Well, that's just the way the liquidation company is working it.' She has no control over that," he recalled. “I was thinking that there's something not right here. I hate to say the word rip-off, but that's what went through my mind.”
Frustrated, he went home and called Target 8.
Target 8 looked online and visited the Younkers stores in Holland and Grandville. All three listed the original price of the NuWave 6-quart Air Fryer as $250. That is significantly more than every other area store our team could fine.
Target and Bed Bath & Beyond sell the same fryer at full price for $129.99 — just $5 more than the price Younkers is charging at "half off." Kohl’s and Walmart sell the same fryer for $149.99, $100 less than Younkers’ original price.
Other items were also priced significantly higher than competitors. One Cuisinart coffee maker is listed at Younkers with an original price of $165 and half off at $82.50. But just down the road at Home Depot, the same coffee maker was for sale at full price for $80.99.
“If you can buy something at full price online or at local stores for less money than you can buy it at half price at a liquidation sale, then there's got to be some type of fraud involved in that," Barz said.
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