Strike Through Pricing Awareness Training

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Introduction to strike-through-pricing scams

The unique characteristics of the internet with its digital environment, have made it a fertile ground for deception. Entire web pages can be built to encourage and discourage, force choices or create pressure to purchase certain products. One of the most used commercial levers in e-commerce is that of promotions. Despite being born in America, Black Friday for example is an event used all over the world to offer products at discounted prices in a given period of time (such as a flash sale). Up to 70% of online consumers buy during promotion periods because they believe that the offer is truly advantageous.

Description and consequences of strike-through-pricing

A discounted product is often presented with a starting price strike-through, a universal code that indicates that the promotion is  put in place. We all know how to recognize when a product is on offer, but we are not always sure about the legitimacy of this discount. A misleading price can mislead consumers and influence their behavior on the services offered for sale. 

Strike-through pricing is sometimes not a deceptive practice because retailers must list the current price at a discount to the original price of the product. Therefore the original price of the product must always be the full and effective price normally used on the store. 

However, this practice can still be misleading and deceptive when the original price is changed to generate a higher discount.

In addition, promotions are usually limited and temporary with a duration well determined by the origin. When we find very long-term promotions on a store, it can be deduced that it is possibly a fake promotion or that the crossed out price of some of these products was never an actual price the store would normally charge buyers.

Why we fall for strike-through-pricing 

Since the user has a particular interest in discounted products, the incorrect use of this technique can lead buyers to prefer certain products that have false discounts. 

In fact, 77% of consumers declare that discounts can be decisive in guiding their purchasing choices and one in two users admits that a discount has accelerated their purchase decision.

Prevention (how to not fall for strike-through-pricing)


How can you avoid falling into this kind of deception?

  1. Monitor the price of a product over time: before, during and after the promotion is published.
  2. Check the duration: promotions that are too long over time tend to hide a misleading practice.
  3. Check the discount percentage applied, if it is too high (for example 70%), it could mean that the original price has been previously increased according to the promotion period.
  4. Make sure that the duration of the promotions is respected and is not subsequently extended.

How to avoid retailers using this deceptive practice?

We cannot give you any certainty about the legitimacy of the promotions put in place on websites, but by following these simple tips you will have more tools to protect yourself:

  1. You should be wary of retailers who have excessive discounts most of the year.
  2. Research the purchase of products by viewing and studying them before any promotions are activated.


So in conclusion, don't rush to buy discounted products, be more aware of what seemingly amazing offers can hide!

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