If There is No Price Tag, it's Not Free!

Mark Gordon BrownStarred Page By Mark Gordon Brown, 21st Aug 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1-kvp7x4/
Posted in Wikinut>Money>Shopping

If you work in retail you most likely have heard the phrase “I cannot see the Price, it must be free!”. Why do retail workers hate this expression so much? Read further and find out why.

It Happens All the Time

I work in a retail gift store and daily I am asked all manner of questions about the products. Some of these questions are valid and some are ridiculous. People will ask if something that is quite apparently not meant to go outside can be left outside over winter. People ask for discounts on items that are clearly marked “No further discounts will be applied”.

One time a person came back with a puzzle that they already solved, told me they solved it, and asked if they could exchange it for the demo puzzle from the same product line that had a different picture. Thus being able to solve two puzzles for the price of one. The most tedious question that I am asked working in retail is the dreaded “Is it free?”, that is always followed by an idiotic laugh, if a customer can not find the price of the item.

Missing Price Tags

It seems that this matter of folks assuming something is free because it lacks a price tag is a universal problem faced by many retail employees as a local radio station asked the question “what is the most annoying thing people say to you at your workplace” and two back to back callers responded “Is it free?”.

This question might not be as annoying as it is if it were not followed by the same stupid giggle by everyone who poses it. Does it not occur to them that if something were actually being give away for free that it would have a sign on it that says “Take one they're free!”. After all when people are giving away things for free they usually put it out there in a grander way than when they are selling them. Price tags are usually small and discreet. Signs saying something is being given away for free are usually big and gaudy as they are meant to be noticed so that the thing can be gotten rid of quickly.

photo source

It is NOT Free Just because You Cannot Find the Price Tag

Now that we have established that if something is really being given away for free it will have a large sign saying it is free no one ever needs to bother another retail employee with the ridiculous phrase “It must be Free!” if they can not find a price tag. But that will not happen because as soon as someone finds an item where they can not find the price tag they get this feeling deep at the core of their being that drives them to think they have to rush to the nearest retail sales staff to make a funny.

Customers will rush to ask that question “Is it free?” even if they have no intention of buying the product that they can not find the price tag on. They just want to find that sales person as fast as they can to make their little funny as if no one else in the world had ever thought of saying “Is it free?” to a sales person before in the history of man or woman kind.

I find that in my personal experience that customers are in such a rush to make this tedious little funny to the store's sales staff that they fail to see the price tag on the corner of the item and I end up having to rain on their little comedic parade by pointing to the price tag and saying “It's $29.99.”.

photo source

Summary and Links

So, please, try not to be clever, or original, you're not. Sales staff have heard this many times and are not amused. Simply inform the employee that the price tag must have fallen off and you are wondering how much an item is priced at.


Can You Retire on a Million Dollars?

The Subconcious Mind Cannot Understand Don't

Join Wikinut and Get Paid to Write Articles


Annoying, Clever, Consumer, Customer, Gift Store, Humor, Items, Joke, Missing, Price, Price Tag, Prices, Retail, Shop, Store, Unpriced

Meet the author

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
Raised in Michigan, I have a son who recently joined the Military. I am living in Canada with my wife where we have a hobby farm.

Share this page

moderator johnnydod moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar Pinkchic18
21st Sep 2010 (#)

Ugh - yes, how incredibly frustrating. Thanks for hopefully enlightening a few consumers :)

Reply to this comment

author avatar Denise O
17th Oct 2010 (#)

UGH! Is right.
My father did it and now his son, my hubby does it.
UGH! You darn toot'in!
Great read! Congrats on the star page, it was well deserved.
Thank you for sharing.:)

Reply to this comment

author avatar Shaun d
5th May 2011 (#)

So can you tel me where i stand...or what can i do about the fact that there is no price tags on any item in my local shop....when i go to purchace the same item from the same shop an get it for cheaper from one member of staff....its like i have to pay what ever the person who is serving me feels its worth....i do not shop here any more but it winds me up that he is taking advantage of other people....especially when he has for eg; fresh bread out the back and he will not give it to you,,,but instead he will sell you the bread that goes out of date the fallowing day at full price of 1.50,,,,,might be a bit of a silly question to you but i really hate the fact that he is basically robbing people,,,and most of his custom is elderly

Reply to this comment

author avatar Mknomad
1st Jun 2011 (#)

Ah. Now that I know it is indeed often frustrating to retail employees to hear this often used quip, I shall now use it every chance I get. The "no price tag" phenomenon is a far reaching, entrenched epidemic. And it is very disingenuous to write it off as some isolated incidents. It's systemic. Being able to compare prices between products is something a customer ought to be entitled to expect from a seller. I'm amazed that this article only takes the side of retail employees. I would think they would understand the level of incompetence that is obvious, and rampant, in ensuring price tags are maintenanced and managed thoroughly and reponsibly.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?