Report: JCPenney hiking prices again for bigger discounts

Don't Waste Your Money

Plan on buying your loved ones jewelry for Valentine's Day? 

A new report claims JCPenney may once again be raising and lowering prices, to make sales appear bigger than they really are.

Last May, WCPO went through some JCPenney stores and found what would soon become a national issue.

Original WCPO Investigation Finds Markups

Our hidden cameras found the troubled retailer marking up prices, just to mark them down again.

We went to two JCPenney stores in the Cincinnati area and found items with new, higher priced stickers covering up lower prices.

Example: An $18 dollar sticker covering up an old $13 price on a kid's swim suit.

We found a Nike T-shirt marked at $25 that had originally been $15 under the sticker.

We purchased a men's short sleeve shirt on sale for $13.99, marked down from $20 making it appear to be a great deal.

But outside the store, we removed the $20 sticker on our purchase to learn it was originally just $10. 

Even with the sale, we paid 30 percent more than if we bought it before the price change.

Almost a Year Later, Similar Complaints

Now, 9 months later, the New York Post reports JCPenney is doing it again in advance of Valentine's Day.

It claims JCPenney is "propping up margins" by changing prices: raising prices on jewelry and other items, then marking them down by 40 percent to 60 percent.

The Post report claims a pair of gold earrings were $200 during the Christmas shopping season, but were recently raised to $449 before a markdown brought the price down again.

JCPenney is not commenting on this latest report, though last year a spokesperson told us it was not doing anything that other retailers don't do on a regular basis.

But this is information that's just good to keep in mind when you are Valentine's Day shopping, so you don't waste your money.

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