‘Sitewide’ Discounts That Aren’t Really Sitewide

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The promotion says everything is discounted. Everything, that is, except for a long list of excluded brands, styles, and special items. Which means that not everything is discounted.

A Buxr post highlights the annoying, sometimes large number of exclusions that apply to various “sitewide” discounts. Many retailers offer coupon codes or host special sales with what seem like comprehensive percentage-off or dollars-off discounts—Buxr specializes in highlighting these deals—and consumers find out about the exclusions only by scrolling down to the fine print or when they’re frustratingly trying to check out and can’t understand why the discount isn’t being applied.

Sometimes, the number of exclusions is quite long:

At eBags … percent-off and dollars-off discounts are never applicable to certain brands or collections within certain brands. Their exclusion list contains 71 items!

Bed, Bath and Beyond has 24 brands on their coupon exclusions list, while the Sports Authority list excludes 61 brands. Shoes.com may occasionally offer a promotion on some restricted brands individually, but for sitewide discounts their posted exclusion list contains wallets, bags, and 34 shoe styles.

The moral is that sometimes “sitewide” doesn’t really mean sitewide, and sometimes a “deal” isn’t a deal. While a headline is what grabs your attention, a discount is only as good as its fine print.