For generations, Tupperware has been one of the most iconic and trusted brand names in food storage containers. But it seems even reputable companies are not immune to questionable business practices. In this post, I seek to shed light on Big W Tupperware scam and help consumers make informed choices.
Background of the Big W Tupperware Scam
It all started a few months ago when customers began noticing something odd about Big W’s Tupperware sale. The retail giant was advertising a “half-price” sale on various Tupperware sets and containers. However, many savvy shoppers noticed the original marked prices seemed inflated compared to typical retail values.
Upon inspecting the products more closely, some also found the Tupperware labels had partially peeled away, revealing older dates underneath the supposed “original” pricing stickers.
This led many to believe Big W had simply re-stickered old stock with fake higher costs, only to mark them down to the usual selling price but make it seem like a great “half-off” deal.
Naturally, customers took to social media to express their suspicions. Word of the alleged scam quickly spread online, with photos as evidence. Major news outlets then picked up the story, putting Big W on the defensive to address growing consumer outrage over the questionable marketing tactics.
Big W Defence and Customer Persistence
When confronted by reporters, Big W representatives claimed it was all just an “unfortunate labelling error” and insisted they had conducted an internal investigation confirming no intent to deceive customers. They blamed a few “rogue labels” slipping through quality control but maintained pricing was done above board to clear stock.
However, skeptic shoppers remained unconvinced by these weak denials. Through crowdsourcing information on Facebook groups and community forums dedicated to exposing retail deception, they amassed a significant cache of photos proving it was more than just an isolated mishap. The evidence overwhelmingly showed a systemic pattern of relabeling not just a few items but entire product lines.
With sustained consumer pressure and media scrutiny, Big W’s initial story became less and less tenable as new findings kept emerging. Critics argued they were simply covering their backs with a PR statement but the facts on the ground told a different story about a coordinated effort to mislead through artificial price inflation and half-off trickery.
Big W’s half-hearted mea culpa failed to quell doubts or repair damaged trust in the brand. And so, the saga continued with no satisfactory resolution from the retailer’s side, leaving shoppers rightfully questioning Big W’s true intentions behind the so-called “Tupperware scam.”
How Else Could Big W Profit From Relabeling?
Setting aside Big W’s doubtful denial, let’s examine the financial incentives and potential ways they could have profited from this alleged scam even if just through opportunistic price manipulation. Here are a few possibilities:
Clear aging inventory: By relabeling older stock, Big W was able to move slow-selling products and avoid deep discounting that signals a sale. The fake “half-price” deal achieved the same effect more deceptively.
Increase profit margins: With rebranded higher prices, Big W pocketed the difference between the supposed original and fake sale cost. Even at the normal lower cost, profits were greater than just marking straight to clearance value.
Buoy sluggish sales: The psychology of feeling like you’re getting a great 50% discount, even if artificially constructed, leads more people to impulse purchases who may not buy at true prices. This temporarily boosts revenues on lackluster products.
Deflect from constant discounting: By portraying a special limited-time sale instead of regular promotions, Big W maintains an illusion of value and premium pricing for the brand, important for protecting profitability long-term.
Mislead competing buyers: Unwitting customers don’t realize the true pricing and take cues from false original tags when making relative value assessments versus other stores without rebranded stickering scams.
So in summary, misleading relabeling opens doors for Big W to profit both directly through inflated margins and indirectly by psychologically manipulating shopper behaviors through perception of deep discounts
– all while clearing unwanted inventory. The financial incentives were clearly there, consistent with actual labeling practices reported.
FTC Action Against Similar Retailer Scams
Unfortunately, Big W is not alone in resorting to deceptive discounting tactics. In fact, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has actively cracked down on retailers engaging in effectively the same Tupperware scam through artificial reference pricing.
A prime example is J.C. Penney’s failed “Fair and Square” no-nonsense pricing strategy of 2012. After abandoning false sales and coupons, revenues tanked as customers felt prices seemed higher without the perception of discounts.
The FTC then accused the company of systematically inflating prices ahead of phony markdowns to give the illusion of savings.
Electronics retailers like J&R Music World and Lenovo USA also got into hot water with regulators for using manipulated list prices to advertise phony percentage discount savings. Both companies were ordered to pay millions in penalties for misleading pricing schemes designed to manipulate consumer psychology.
As the independent Consumer watchdog, the FTC takes deceptive discount advertising very seriously to protect people from retail tactics that undermine informed free choice.
This underscores how Big W’s Tupperware pricing actions, if proven intentional, could similarly face legal scrutiny and repercussions. At minimum, it damages consumer trust severely.
The Lesson for Consumers Going Forward
Whether Big W’s Tupperware scam was predatory or just opportunistic, the takeaway is that savvy shopping requires a discerning eye for questionable deals and sales pitches – even from reputable chain retailers. Some tips to consider:
- Verify alleged “original” prices by comparing to other sellers or price tracking sites before fixating on the discount amount.
- Carefully inspect labels for tampering, peeling, or signs of inconsistent dates that reveal rebranded stock.
- Consider overall brand and item reputation rather than temporary sale hype that may just be trickery.
- Check clearance sections first before assuming sale pricing means genuine savings over regular costs.
- Consult independent consumer groups for alerts on potentially deceptive retailer practices in your area.
- Remember, if a deal sounds too good to be true through inflated or arbitrary reference pricing, it probably is just trickery, not a true bargain.
In the end, informed and skeptical shopping is the best policy to avoid falling for questionable sales gimmicks, while still finding genuine discounts. As for Big W and their supposed “Tupperware scam,” the jury remains out on intentions, but the evidence suggests consumer suspicions were rightly justified.
Between the financial motivations, damning on-the-ground evidence from shoppers, FTC crackdowns on equivalent scams, and Big W’s less-than-credible denial narrative, the likelihood is high some deception indeed occurred here through rebranded pricing.
Whether opportunistic or predatory, the retailer has lost credibility in the eyes of many former customers.
While Tupperware may still be a reputable brand, this saga presents a cautionary reminder that even very popular name-brand products sold through major national chains are not immune from potentially misleading marketing practices seeking to manipulate shopper psychology.
With the Big W story continuing to unfold, hopefully regulators and consumer groups can apply further scrutiny and pressure for accountability.
And consumers walking away can feel empowered to make wiser purchasing choices moving forward based on principles of value, quality and trust – rather than empty discounts that may just be an elaborate pricing scam like that of Big W’s alleged Tupperware deception.
FAQ: Common Questions About the Big W Tupperware Scam
Why did Big W target Tupperware products?
Tupperware is a well-known premium brand, so inflating the perceived value of their products through fake original prices creates a strong illusion of savings. The durable goods also tend to collect dust on shelves if overstocked, incentivizing moves to clear inventory this way.
Did Tupperware itself have any involvement?
No, there is no evidence the brand partnered with or endorsed Big W’s actions. As the victim of potential deception here too, Tupperware rightly wants to maintain its reputation for quality which such discounting scams could damage.
How can I confirm the true retail prices?
Cross-checking prices on Tupperware’s official site or other major retailers like Kmart provides a baseline. You can also find historical pricing data online to gauge outliers. Just be wary stores also sometimes manipulate prices cyclically too.
Should I still shop for discounted Tupperware at Big W?
It’s a personal choice. Some may choose to shop elsewhere for peace of mind. Others see value if genuine clearance prices exist. Just scrutinize labels closely and confirm elsewhere if sale seems too good to be true based on typical market values. Caveat emptor.
Could legal action be taken against Big W?
Possibly, if authorities find evidence of intentional deception. But individual lawsuits would be difficult – regulators carry more weight. The damage is arguably to brand/consumer trust more than direct financial harm in this case.
What other retailers should I watch out for?
Major retailers globally have all likely tested similar discounting psychology at some point. Just apply skepticism uniformly and sanity checks on reference valuations shown by any seller, especially for non-perishable goods prone to stock accumulation