The Truth Behind Discount Shopping: Real or Fake?


We all love to snag a good deal, especially during big sale events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or even public holidays. But how do we know if the discounts are real or fake? In this article, we'll uncover the truth behind discount shopping and how to protect ourselves from falling into the trap of fake discounts.

In 2013, the California District Court ruled that consumers may suffer material harm if they are led to believe that a particular commodity is being "discounted" when it's not. This ruling was made in a consumer case against US retail giant Kohl's, which highlighted the danger of leading consumers into thinking they are getting a good deal when they're actually not.

Some sellers use the tactic of high-priced labels but lower them to "normal" prices, calling it a "sale." This trick is either used to deceive buyers into thinking they're getting a lower price or to create a sense of urgency, making buyers think that the price might go up soon, so they should buy it now.

While there are legitimate sales with genuinely discounted prices, there are also fake ones. In my personal experience with online shopping, I have encountered several fake discounts on popular Malaysian e-commerce sites like Lazada and Shopee, as well as international giant Amazon.

So, how do we protect ourselves from fake discounts? One way is to do some research beforehand, checking prices on other websites or in physical stores. It's also a good idea to read reviews from other customers who have purchased the product before. And, most importantly, think twice before making a purchase. If the discount seems too good to be true, it probably is.

It's important to note that the aim of this article is not to discredit any specific online store like Amazon, Lazada, or Shopee. These stores have legitimate discounts too, and the goal is to provide you with valuable information to help you differentiate between real and fake deals.

In conclusion, when it comes to discount shopping, it's crucial to be vigilant and cautious. Don't fall for fake discounts that might lead you to pay more than you should. Do your research and take your time before making a purchase. Happy shopping!

Update: Since the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping has become more prevalent than ever before, with more people opting for online purchases instead of physical stores. As a result, the number of fake discounts has also increased, with some sellers taking advantage of the situation to scam buyers. Therefore, it's even more important now to be extra cautious and aware when shopping online.


"Kohl's False Advertising and Pricing Class Action Settlement." Class Action Rebates, 2021.
Krauss, Clifford. "Judge's Ruling on Kohl's Discounts Brings Some Clarity to 'Regular Prices'." The New York Times, 2013.
"Shopee, Lazada and 11street under scrutiny for fake discounts." The Star, 2019.


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