Bargains That Aren't What They Seem

The economic downturn is hurting just about everyone, and retailers are scrambling to figure out how to profit when times are tight. You’ve probably noticed that you’re being bombarded with special “deals” and “discounts” more than ever, but not all the bargains are what they seem. On Thursday’s show, Carmen and Kimberly Palmer, senior editor at U.S. News & World Report, did some fact checking to separate the “buys” from the “buh-byes.”

First up was Wal-Mart, which is currently offering free shipping on back-to-school items right now. The catch? The free shipping doesn’t actually get any of the items to your door, only to the nearest Wal-Mart. The verdict? Buh-Bye!

Target is running a similar free shipping deal on a host of items including computers, kitchen supplies and furniture. And the company will ship it to you for free, for real. The verdict? Buy – but do it quick because the deal ends this Sunday.

The new site MyGallons.comoffers an intriguing deal on gas, promising that you can prepay gasoline by locking in today’s price in your area if you expect the cost of a gallon to go up. It sounds great, but the truth is that the logistics aren’t all ironed out yet, and the Better Business Bureau has even issued a bulletin expressing concern over the site’s advertising practices. That’s all Carmen needed to hear. Buh-bye!