If the following scenario happened to you, how would you react?  Your honest opinion is appreciated.

Say you are driving by a retail shopping complex (strip mall type) and you see two signs that say:

“Moving Sale  50 – 70% off”

And you decide to go check out this sale.  You pull into the parking lot and start looking around at the different stores to see which one it is that is having the moving sale.  But there are NO SIGNS indicating a moving sale ON any of the stores.

Then, you see someone unlocking the door of one of the stores, and you ask them which store is having the moving sale.  They tell you which store it was, but that as far as they knew the sale ended two days ago.  You peek into the windows (because no one is there and the door is locked) and see that the place is pretty much stripped BARE.  How do you feel about that?  How would you react????

EDITED TO ADD: But there IS a small hand written sign in the window of said store directiong you to their new location, “two doors down”.

I would really, REALLY appreciate your honest input on this.  I’d love to see at least a dozen comments so that I can get a good feel for how most people might feel about such a situation.


Published in: on February 28, 2008 at 6:58 am  Comments (11)  

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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I would be irritated. I would probably go in the store that is supposedly having the sale, ask if they are still having the sale and tell them they need to take their signs down if the sale is over. Of course this reaction would all depend on my mood and the time of month it is, etc. However, I do try to give people grace and realize that everyone is flawed, including me!

  2. Since I avoid confrontation at ALL costs…….I’d probably just get back in my car without entering any of the stores. BUT, even though I didn’t actually confront the store, I’d probably hold a grudge (’cause I’m real mature that way) and wouldn’t go back, or if they really moved, I wouldn’t patronize the store at it’s new location either.

  3. Hi all! I would go into the shop and look around. If I found anything I wanted to purchase, I would ask for the moving sale percent off. If they declined to give me the sale price, I would not patronize their shop again and tell them to take the sign down.

  4. Signs that are not accurate drive me crazy, so I would be irritated. If it was a shop I frequented, I would probably mention it to them, and if they had a good reason for the error (illness, emergency, etc.), I would just forget about it. However, if it was a new shop for me, I probably wouldn’t care to check it out any further – first impressions do tend to last. If the signs stayed up for several more days, I would tend to think the shop owners must be lazy, and again, wouldn’t care to shop there. Being a shop owner myself, I realize mistakes happen, but that is a rather big one isn’t it!

  5. My first thot would be that if they had a moving sale and it was over they’d be in the process of moving or have already moved. Sure I’d be unhappy I missed a good sale but I also know that moving a store is more than a little stressful. I don’t like “stale” signs any better than anyone, in fact get quite irate at old yard sale signs. However moving a store is right off the scale of stress. How do I know this? Because I had the pleasure of moving my store 3 times! Not a of fun but it was good for busines so ya do what you have to. So maybe whoever was supposed to take the signs down forgot. It’s not that big a deal.

    I never left signs up but if I had I would hope that no one would get too twisted over it. No one is perfect.

  6. I would think moving a store is no small task and they forgot about their signs. I would cut them some slack.

  7. I would probably go in the store to see if they would still honour the sale. If not, I wouldn’t be shopping there or in the new location. I, too, get annoyed at false advertising, and poor customer service. I work hard for my money and while I don’t expect stores to jump through hoops I do think customers should be treated with respect. If the store owner is too lazy to take down the sign or just trying to draw people in with a “mistake”, it’s not a place I would patronize.

  8. I would be frustrated that I got out for nothing. Then I would think it was a selling scam.

    By the way I LOVE your ideas and blog. It’s my new love.

  9. I’d be irritated and assume there was an element of scam to the whole enterprise.

    Irritated that they left the sign up after the sale is over, which is illegal in most municipalities.

    Second, although they may indeed have wanted to clean out a lot of items, a moving sale when they’re only going two doors down is a little misleading.

    If it was a place I shopped regularly and planned to return to, I’d probably go tell the store how irritating and misleading it was for them not to have taken down their sign. Depending on their reaction, I might mention to to the mall management. After all, I’d already wasted this much time, might as well see if it couldn’t be made productive.

    If it was a place I never expected to shop again, I’d probably just leave and have a bad taste in my mouth.

    There’s a large place near me that always advertises things they don’t have at great prices.

    And about once a year I’ll get so tempted by an ad, I’ll gife in and go there to buy one, but invariably, they’re out and they don’t have rainchecks.

    It does no good to say anything. The employees don’t care, it’s not their problem and they didn’t cause it. The managers’ eyes glaze over if you try to talk to them.

    It’s clearly their business model to do false advertising just to get people in the store. I don’t see how they don’t alienate all their potential customers, or maybe I’m just the only one who consistently wants the items they didn’t really have for sale.

  10. Thanks so much to all of you who have taken the time to share your feelings on this. I really appreciate your input.

    Happy shopping and good bargains to you all!


  11. Hi, hope I’m not too late with my input….I’ve been thinking this over. I have two thoughts: first, I chalk it up to the ‘false advertising’ genre. We have a store in San Diego that I swear has been having a “going out of business sale” for about 20 years now! So I’ve become kind of numb to this kind of ‘advertising.’ Perhaps that is the type of thing this store tried to pull off — to lure people in knowing those kinds of signs attract business. But, I’m also of the ‘give-people-a-break’ frame of mind, because, truly, the store owner may have been so overwhelmed by the move that they simply ‘forgot’ to pull down the signs in a timely manner. Whether I would do business with the store? Well, it depends. If it was a really great store (like yours!) I would give the owner the benefit of the doubt and shop there. I think people sense true sincerity. If I went into the ‘new’ location and didn’t feel welcomed, I’d feel that the owner was definitely showing his/her true colors, and I wouldn’t frequent a place like that. To me, life is short, so I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but I don’t like being taken advantage of for my niceness, so I take things on a case-by-case basis. Anyway, keep on doing the ‘right’ thing, AJ, because the business world needs people who care about doing the ethical thing!

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