From Annoyed To Happy: Always Run Your Numbers

We recently went to Kohl’s and went on a fairly extensive shopping spree.  My wife has gotten pretty good at identifying the real deals available at Kohl’s from the non-deals (where they mark up items higher than other stores, than offer a ‘discount’).

We had two coupons that we wanted to use, one was a 30% off your entire purchase coupon (the ones where you get the mail item and it can be either 15%, 20%, or 30%) as well as a $10 off $30 spent on men’s clothing.

We came out with a fairly decent assortment of goods.  The items that sparked my interest were those which qualified for the $10 off $30 spent on mens clothes.  Our plan was to purchase between $30 and $33.33 and apply the coupon, since this would actually provide a better deal than the 30% off coupon.

One of the things we picked up was a pair of shorts, and we rounded up the $29.99 to $30.

When we went to the register, we initially were going to do that transaction seperate, thinking it would give us the best deal and eliminate any chance of not getting the best deal.  The cashier talked us into just ringing it all up at once.

We didn’t really notice that we had undercounted the shorts by a penny, until we looked later and found that the $10 had been spread across two items: the $29.99 shorts and a $14.99 shirt.  So, the $44.98 items got $10 taken off.

When I first looked at the receipt after we got home, I was mad.  I read it that we got $10 off $45 (rounding back up), or only 22.2%.  I surmised that we could have gotten a better deal had they NOT applied the coupon, as the 30% would have taken $13.50.

I stewed for awhile and debated whether to go back to Kohl’s or just give up the $3.50.  The issue with going back is that our purchase qualified us for Kohl’s cash, where you get $10 in spending power on a future purchase for every $50 spent.  We had just crossed the threshold, and even taking the $3.50 off would take $10 in Kohl’s cash away.  Still, I thought that I should at least be given the opportunity to buy something else to get us back over the limit.

Then, I looked closer.

I found that the 30% was taken off at the bottom of the receipt.  At first, I thought it was taken off for every item, but this wasn’t the case.  Being at the bottom, it took 30% off every item….INCLUDING the remaining balance of the two items that had been reduced in price by the $10 coupon.

So, in essence, the sorts went from $29.99 to $23.32 from the coupon, and 30% was taken off that number!

Kohl’s not only didn’t blow it, they actually gave us a better deal than I had ever imagined.

Had I run the numbers the first time, I would have seen that and saved myself some time where I had been aggravated.

I guess I was lucky that I didn’t actually take the time to go back to Kohl’s.  Had I been at the customer service desk and had them point out that they in fact had given me a great deal, I would have felt really, really embarrassed.

All told, our shopping trip included (with prices that include 6% state sales tax):

  • Shorts for me – Original: $50, Marked: $29.99, Final: $17.30
  • Designer t-shirt for me – Original:$30, Marked: $14.99, Final: $8.65
  • New sunglasses for me – Original: $28, Marked: $14.99, Final: $11.86
  • Two new pillows (total cost) – Original: $23.98, Marked: $9.98, Final: $7.41
  • Two rugs (for camper) – Original: $59.98, Marked: $35.98, Final: $26.70
  • Toaster (for camper) – Original: $39.99, Marked: $19.99, Final: $14.83
  • Sweater for my wife – Original: $44, Marked: $17.60, Final: $13.06
  • Spring coat for my wife – Original: $70, Marked: $45.50, Final: $33.76
  • Gift – picture frame – Original: $16.99, Marked: $8.49, Final: $6.30
  • Gift – scarf for wife’s friend – Original:: $28, Marked: $15.99, Final $11.86
  • Two shirts for our daughter (total cost) – Original: $24, Marked: $10.80, Final: $8.01

Now, none of the stuff was worth anywhere near the original price, but their marked down price less the various discounts, we deemed as good deals.  Not a bad shopping day.

Readers, have you ever felt ripped off by a store only to find that your numbers were the problem?