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Target Has Been Ripping Off Customers With Horrible Pricing Scheme, Is Now Claiming “Glitch”

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A nationwide glitch in Target‘s pricing system is costing shoppers money.

It’s not uncommon for stores to sell dually-located items. Target sells children’s medicine in both the baby and healthcare aisles. While many people might not think to check both areas to compare prices, they should.

Baby aisle items labeled at higher cost

While shopping undercover, investigators with sister station KSHB in Kansas City purchased infant’s Tylenol and two different kinds of Motrin from the baby aisle. The same items were picked out near the pharmacy in the healthcare section.

When checking out, the three products from the baby aisle cost $1.60 more without tax.


Other products like Gripe Water and Motrin both cost a dollar more when bought from the baby aisle. In addition, sticker barcodes were pasted over the original barcodes on items found in the baby aisle.

Target manager shocked by price difference

While still undercover, investigators questioned a manager about the markups. He said he had no idea it was happening.

“Wow, that’s crazy. I buy stuff here,” he said. “I usually go to the pharmacy part, which one is cheaper do you think?”

Parents also had no clue they were spending more when buying these items from the baby aisle.

“I’m irritated because my kids go through that stuff like it’s water,” one mom said. “That’s crazy.”

Another mother said she never would have checked both aisles, under the assumption that one would be charging more for the same items.

“I guess I won’t be going back to the baby aisle,” she said.

Target refunded the investigators under it’s price-matching policy and refunded the difference.

Target finds glitch with pricing system

After being notified of the issues, Target spokeswoman Kristy Welker later told investigators that the store had found an error in its pricing system. The store issued the following statement.

Accurate pricing is important to Target, and we value the trust that our guests place in us. We researched this issue and found an error in our pricing system affecting these four products.

We apologize for this inadvertent error and the confusion it has caused. Once we were made aware of the issue, we updated the pricing systems to reflect accurate and consistent pricing of these dually-located items. The consistent, revised pricing is now displayed in our store.

Guests who bought these items within the baby department can bring their receipt to Guest Service at their local Target store, and the price difference will be refunded.

Welker told investigators that Target‘s computer system is supposed to send an alert when dually-located items are not priced the same. In this case, she said the system failed.

Welker said the prices of the products found the baby aisle will be lowered to match the prices on the items in the healthcare aisle.

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  1. I hate how popular deals you and other deal sites post such as, buy two sunscreens get a $5 gift card, will only be found at some of the Targets. I’ve had 4-5 Experiences where I’ve driven 45 minutes to Target only to find that store doesn’t have those deals, while others do. It drives me crazy spend the time printing, clipping, planning a trip taking kids all to find the Targets are inconsistent on deals. I’ve cut down shopping there dramatically!! But this isle to isle price “glitch,” is a whole other level. And that’s on top of men Being able to use the women’s bathroom controversy!

    • We actually don’t post those types of deals for that very reason. We only post stuff that is available to the masses.

  2. This doesn’t just happen at Target. I saw something similar at a Walmart buying Aquaphor. The ‘baby’ aquaphor was like $5 bucks more a few isles from the ‘normal’ aquaphor and it’s the exact same product, just with BABY written on the package.

    • Yes, I have seen this same thing! Products with “baby” labels do cost more even when there is no difference in the product.

    • That is usually price difference on the manufacturer’s part, not the store. If it is labeled differently (specifically says baby), those do have different SKU numbers and are considered different products. This is an issue with the exact same product being priced differently just because of the aisle it is on, and Target apparently putting new bar codes on the items to allow this to happen.

      But yes, compare those items that are labeled differently and if the ingredients are the same you can get the same product for cheaper. Excedrin does this with Excedrin Migraine – it is the exact same medication as regular Excedrin, but by labeling it “Migraine” they are luring customers to pay more thinking it is a different/better/stronger medication.

  3. They do this with category and general sales too. For example their ad and signs will say “all aveeno products 20% off” with no exceptions listed but the items from the baby isle don’t ring up with the discounts. I always make the cashier get a manager to honor the price since the fine print doesn’t have any exceptions but sometimes the managers are rude about it saying that the didn’t put the sign in the baby isle so I should have known. It’s really frustrating.

  4. It’s not just baby items they do it in. There was a shampoo I needed and in the pharmacy section it was one price and in the normal shampoo section it was another. The absolute only difference was they had put a printed label over the original barcode. They can claim glitch all they want, but they lie.

  5. You’ll find similar price differences between men’s and women’s products. I shopped my local Walmart store and picked up a shower scrubbies for women that was $2. Literally four feet away, identical scrubbies labeled as men’s were $1. I’m much more vigilant about ripoffs now!

  6. If Target wasn’t interested in ripping off customers by jacking their prices up, they wouldn’t have jacked up the price of the Libbey 16pc assorted glass tumbler set in mocha. Six months ago, you could buy that set for about $18. Six weeks ago I went to their website to buy two sets and found it was not longer on their website. I assumed Libbey was discontinuing it, and I still believe that might be the case. The very next week I looked for the set again (on the off chance I had somehow missed it the week before) and lo & behold, there it was. Now priced at around $44! I was livid and wrote & submitted a scathing review on it. My review was never published, but if you price the glass set now, you’ll find it priced at $32.49. How the heck does a set of 16 glasses go from $18 to $32.49 in six months time? A bigger damn ripoff I have never seen!


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