Much of the time the term “glitch deal” is used way too liberally. This article’s purpose is to explain the difference and how to tell if you’re getting a super amazing clearance deal or a glitch deal.
The definition of “glitch” is “a sudden, usually temporary malfunction or irregularity of equipment.” I think I’d be safe to say most glitch deals tend to happen online.
Here’s a rundown of the most often seen glitches:
- Math doesn’t add up right. Say a Promo is spend $35 get something free. The items you add to your cart happen to be on sale – BUT the spend $35 is tracking using the regular price on all the items. You spend less than $35 and get the free item. This happens often with Victoria’s Secret.
- An entire case of items is listed for the price of 1 item. This is a common error on Walmart.com
- BOGO online sales — more expensive items come off as free
- Overlapping promo codes — most stores will not allow you to get 2 free items with a purchase, you would have to meet each requirement separately.
- A total malfunction of a website will occasionally price expensive items (think electronics) for practically nothing. A great example of this happened at Walmart.com in the holiday shopping season of 2013. Shoppers excitedly snapped up TV’s, computer monitors and projecters for as low as $8. For more on this, you check out the video of the national news story at the end of this post.
A glitch is NOT:
- Using a manufacturer coupon on a different item than intended. That is FRAUD. End of story, don’t do it.
- A Clearance deal. If it’s marked online or in store as clearance (even the real high percentages off like 90%) — not a glitch. Great deal, but not a glitch. Remember a store has thousands of items to go through and manually mark. Often it may be marked one price, say $3.00 but rings up for a $1.00. Not a glitch, it’s clearance.
Here’s a couple of real-life examples of glitch deals we have posted. You’ll see they all have some of the same points in common. All the examples are all dead deals so don’t waste your time trying them out, they are over. ;-)
This picture above shows my order from American Eagle. They were having a buy one get one free on all clearance items. We all know with any store a BOGO sale gives you the least expensive item free. In this case, the sale was glitching and giving the most expensive item free. A key point to a glitch is a code not acting the way the store intended it to.
Spend Threshold Glitch:
Here’s another deal where a code was not acting how it was supposed to:
This online promo at Victoria’s Secret was spend $50, get a free beach cooler. The spend $50 threshold was taking into account the $10.50 for the panty. There was another promo code available that gave Victoria’s Secret Cardholders a free panty.
2 FREEBIE Glitch
Here’s another glitch that happened at Victoria’s Secret. When you bought 2 bras, you got a Reward card (like a gift card) for your next purchase. The 2 bras you bought also qualified you to get a free body suit worth $58. It is believed their intention was for the customer to have to purchase 4 bras (2 for the body suit, two for the Reward Card.). Two bras got you both and saved you over $100 on this order!
Now, let’s switch gears and talk about clearance! Walmart typically has some amazing clearance deals! The items aren’t always marked or put in the “clearance” section. You can keep your fingers on the pulse of what’s happening it the clearance world by joining out Walmart Clearance Group on Facebook.
Reasons for Clearance:
- End of season. Think of items like sleds, snow gear, shovels, etc in the springtime. Summer and outdoor toys at the start of fall.
- Seasonal/Holiday items. Watch for deep clearance (up to 90% off) right after a holiday has past. Obviously, watch expiration dates on food but decorations and gifts feel free to stockpile for next year!
- Changes in packaging. Manufacturers often change up packaging to be visually appealing and catch your eye. If the package changes, it’s very common to see the old packages marked down to move them out.
- Damaged packaging/online order returns. I see this often at Target. Someone will buy something online, and return it to the store. It often gets a nice discounted price and stuck on the shelf.
- Expiration dates on food. Remember you can use manufacturer coupons on clearance items! With a great markdown and high value coupon, you are treading into freebie county.
Tips for Clearance Hunting:
- Take a picture of the UPC/barcode on your Smart Phone then head to your store’s price scanner. This saves your back and muscles from lugging things back and forth. This is handy with large items or toys. ;-)
- Remember not everything is stuck under a big yellow sign with CLEARANCE. If you see anything seasonal, or especially an item buzzed about in our Walmart Clearance Hunters group, go scan it!
Remember that crazy electronics glitch I mentioned? Check out this story that was featured on national news when it happened:
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