How much do you save with Halfords' half price deals?

6 January 2009

Sales are great, because not only can you save bags of money, they validate spending what little you had in the first place. Kids going hungry? Never mind, you've bought a new bathroom suite! Red letters worrying the doormat? Don't worry, there's a plasma television mounted on the living room wall!

Not all sales are born equal, however, and not all sales are as breathtaking as they may first appear. Bitterwallet reader Ducky contacted us to enquire about the Halfords sale, with particular regards to two products on offer in "the "better than half price sale", or the "sale with better than half price deals", depending how you read their rather confusing graphics.

The two items in question are the Navigon 1200 and Navigon 2200 sat nav units:

Quite a deal, you'll agree; those prices would mean savings of £80 and £110 respectively. Except both units were on sale in Halfords during December for just £10 more than their current sale price; the Navigon 1200 cost just £69.99 and the Navigon 2200 was £99.99 immediately before the sale began, as stated in reviews by PC Advisor and Pocket Lint and subsequently confirmed to us by Halfords themselves.

So what's going on? Halford's are comparing the current sale prices to the product prices in October and November. Since both products were sold at the higher prices for 28 consecutive days within the last six months, there's no breaking of consumer law according to Consumer Direct. That doesn't stop the price comparison being unclear to customers - you might be led to think the substantial savings are a direct result of the sale, which is untrue since the sale reduced the immediate price of each product by just £10, not £80 or £110.

So it looks like a massive saving, so long as you don't take into account the prices immediately before the sale began. Oh, and you if don't know about the manufacturer's RRP for the products when launched in August:

To summarise, then; Halfords charged up to a third more than the manufacturer's RRP on these two items, then reduced them significantly to cash in on the pre-Christmas market, and have now reduced both items by just £10 in the sale. Despite this minimal reduction the items are being advertised as "better than half price" deals by comparing them to the original prices that were up to a third higher than the manufacturer's RRP. Phew.

Consumer Direct advised us this was within their guidelines and when we contacted Halfords they stated that the small print of insert ads notes this is compared to the "was price".

Them's the facts, kids. What say you?


  • halflife
    Should read Halfrauds!
  • Bob
    Is it Argos that actually state on their website "this item has previously been on sale at " and then a price generally about 3p more expensive than the sale price which negates their rrp quote? I'd look myself but frankly I couldn't give a toss.
  • Juan K.
    They've been doing this for years. Very dodgy but legal. They do the same with their shitty own-brand Apollo bikes which they "reduce" from £200 to £100 every year.
  • Paulro
    Yes, lots of companies practice this con. Carpet and furniture retailers in particular, price establish goods, in order to have seasonal sales. Avoid falling for the promotional hype, by simply shopping around and using price comparison websites. Whenever I've looked for bikes, Halfords have rarely been the most competatively priced. (Unless you're after the dubious quality of a Shockwave)
  • Will
    They'll go bust soon I recon. I know the manager in our local Halfords and apparently sales have hit rock bottom and there are a lot of people running around like headless chickens. A company maintained by a bunch of 'wanna get out of here' students IMO.
  • ODB
    I hope Halfords go...what a shit company full of idiots who havent a clue! Their prices are ridiculous too eg Oil...went in t'oher day 5L oil - £37.50 (on offer!!)...same exact Oil in Tesco £18 STANDARD PRICE!!!
  • Joff
    This is how sales work people! The margins aren't there for most retailers to slash all their prices by over 50% without making losses so careful manipulation of prices is in order. It's no different to Tesco setting the price of wines higher at a perceived value only to allow them to appear to offer genuine savings a month later. People all too often get caught up in the sales mindset and just buy any crap as long as they think they're getting a deal - just look at the vultures raiding Woolworths for the last of it's tat.
  • Anon
    fuck them......all.
  • ad
    another bit of fun is there advertising the higher price inj a few select stores then posting thelower ``sale `` price across thefeckin world with pride , lower than a snakes hardon i recon
  • janaltus
    Just visited Halfrauds to get a new car battery. I checked out prices at other sites then checked Halfrauds. They said - on their webshite - "better than half price" and "look for discounts in the basket". Turns out there was no discount in the online basked AND they were charging DOUBLE the price of other retailers. What a waste of time that was! I'll give them a wide berth in future.
  • Tim
    \Yes in the credit crunch, a poor service means the shop will go, and the students in our local one stand around chatting
  • Jim b.
    The fact is Halfords are selling these items far below the rrp you get a bargain, if you dont compare prices before you buy then your a fool. All sales should be taken with a pinch of salt. But these are good prices for good sat navs.
  • The B.
    [...] warned you earlier in the week about how prices of goods can be manipulated in sales. Halfords provided the example of a price [...]
  • WWFC
    ODB I hope Halfords go… You are some kind of Idiot posting something like that. How could you possibly make such a statement in the current climate. You are some kind of imbecile to wish more people out of work. I know people are allowed to their own opinions but surely Halfords could not of upset you that much. You are entitled to take your custom elsewhere without hoping a company goes. Have you ever thought of becoming an MP? With statements like that you would fit right in with all the other inbreds. Hope you have a pleasant life
  • Kal-el
    I love Halfords
  • Andy
    I agree with WWFC that you, ODB, are a complete moron to wish Halfords to go out of business.
  • Stuart888
    What this report doesn't mention, is that the tickets for the items do state the 'intrim' prices between the dates of the last price ammendment, and the current price. This is in full view of the customer, and is up to the customer to read. It's called marketing!! Without it, how many units would've been sold? These examples are what's known in the business as footfall drivers, simply put, getting customers into the store, then trading up to a better (and more expensive) model. This is totaly legal, and practiced in shops all over the country. and OBD, sort your life out you fool, you just see how long your car lasts on Tesco oil!
  • pigeon f.
    ODB=knob Halfords is like all other retailers...u get the good stores and the bad ones, but as a company id say they were shit hot. tesco oil....hahhahahahahaha....hope ur not running a decent car on that.
  • Jim b.
    always rememebr what tesco did to peoples cars with their petrol
  • B&Q B.
    [...] recent investigations into the real value of sale prices, in particular those at Halfords and Argos, the Independent has also been busy exposing how retailers plan their sales so they can [...]
  • Bed B.
    [...] covered plenty of dubious selling practices on Bitterwallet in the past, from sales where the prices of items increase to outrageous postal charges for items marketed as free. What a wonderful world it would be if [...]
  • Paul G.
    This half price hype has to stop across the board, just give us one decent price, companies would reep the benefit by being honest!
  • Mike R.
    The guy only "hoped" Halfords went out of business....... I found it rather amusing..... It's not like he actually invested in stocks, destabilised Halfords and then sold his assets before the company crashed...... Stop getting so stressed out people...... He is entitled to his opinion, right?-you wouldn't want us to be like Nazi Germany or Clockwork Orange, unable to express our opinions, would you? I hope all their staff die....there you go, I said it! of cancer which cannot be cured and which their children inherit and i hope Halfords are there, to reclaim the unopened, paid for xmas presents and recondition them and resell them to make the profit all over again..... and i hope the directors attend the funerals and lavish themselves with free champagne and chocolates and f*k the widows and daughters during their bereavement IT WONT ACTUALLY HAPPEN COS I SAID IT
  • chopper
    You are all a bunch of moaning cunts
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  • Online R.
    Wow! In the end I got a blog from where I know how to genuinely take useful facts regarding my study and knowledge.

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