This Kroger Price Tag 'Deception' Had TikTok Fuming

Many people believe the thrill of searching for a great deal — such as scoring a really nice $225 knife for only $60 — is one of the greatest feelings while shopping. "People like the fact they can hunt and find a bargain [that] maybe somebody else hasn't found," University of Auckland Business School associate professor Karen Fernandez told

Not convinced? Consider back in 2012 when J.C. Penney decided to stop having sales and coupons in order to lower prices all the time. This caused the department store chain's sales to actually drop 20%, reports TIME. "If I don't get a special discount, it's not worth the trip," one shopper told the Associated Press (via TIME).

However, artificially inflated prices that result in the illusion of big sales aren't so great. Stores like J.C. Penney, Kohl's, and Macy's are notorious for these "fake" sales, to the point of facing lawsuits for "false reference pricing schemes" (via NBC News). If you think an on-sale price looks really good compared to the original, keep in mind that the item might have never been sold at the original dollar amount in the first place. 

These "fake" sales may not be just for department stores — they can allegedly also pop up in grocery stores, which have many other ways of getting customers to spend more. Case in point: A lot of people became enraged at supermarket chain Kroger when a TikTok went viral with more than 140,000 likes.

TikTok alleges 'fake' sales extend to groceries

In the video posted by @kekm_, the employee removes a $2.49 price sticker and replaces it with a sale sticker — on which the sale price is the same $2.49 number and the original price is now listed as $2.99 — while a voice overlay says "this should be illegal." Some viewers think the video makes it appear that this is another "false reference pricing scheme" — that the store never sold the item for $2.99 and it only wants you to think you're getting a good deal. For example, one commenter, @beymaster, writes "it LITERALLY IS ILLEGAL stores can get sued for doing it," apparently referencing lawsuits like the ones NBC News reported.

However, some commenters also defend the action in the video. @jennifermoore8 writes that "no, that just means the price has increased on that item. the next time the tag gets changed it'll be $2.99. prices on almost everything have went up." Similarly, @joffrey123 explains that "This is simply a price change happens all the time. When it goes off ad the new price will be 2.99."

Many more comments on the video were understandably polarized and it remains to be seen whether Kroger will face charges for deceptive pricing. The Daily Dot also expresses doubt that this video is enough to warrant a lawsuit. Whether legal action happens or not, more than 2,200 commenters have opinions about it.