(WTOL) - Now that the holidays are over, many of us are bargain shopping for the things Santa didn't bring us.
Have you noticed that many of the things we want the most are still not on sale. In fact, they've never been on sale.
The stores are screaming Sale, Sale, Sale... until you try to buy the newest version of Guitar Hero. It's the same price everywhere.
Isn't price fixing illegal? Yes, but this is not price fixing.
Rather, it's something called 'minimum advertised pricing,' which allows manufacturers to set a 'floor' for price.
If a store runs a sale, the company will cut off advertising money, or worse, stop sending merchandise to the store. The Wall Street Journal says items with minimum prices include:
- Guitar Hero World Tour
- Rock Band 2
- Play Station 3
- Many Leap Frog game systems
John Matarese's advice is to purchase a used version online for less or buy an earlier version, like the original Guitar Hero. That one can be marked down.
Doesn't That Stink?
From the 'Doesn't That Stink' file is the fact that it's not just video games. If you've shopped for a big-ticket appliance lately, you might have asked "Doesn't that stink?"
It turns out 'minimum advertised price' also applies to high end washing machines and refrigerators. The result is the same price at every store for that front loader washing machine.
Items that never, ever go on sale... that really stinks.