5 Dishonest Pricing Gimmicks That Need to Die

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Wouldn't it be nice if you could just trust the price on the price tag?

Unfortunately there's a lot of marketing that goes into that price, and much of it is less than honest. Sales offering big discounts aren't what they seem. Low subscription prices evaporate after a given amount of time. And many prices you see have been artificially inflated so that they can be discounted at a later date.

These and other marketing tricks take what should be a simple piece of information -- the fair value of a piece of merchandise -- and turn it into a mystery. And consumers shouldn't have to play Sherlock Holmes to figure out if they're getting a good deal.

Unfortunately, many of these gimmicks are so entrenched in the retail industry that it's unlikely they'll be going away anytime soon. Still, we can imagine a perfect world of honest prices. Here are a few pricing gimmicks that we'd love to see go extinct.

Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.

Originally published