99 Cents Only Stores
In 2008, 99¢ Only Stores added a charge of .99 cents (99/100 of one cent) to the base unit price for our merchandise. As a result, currently, the most common price point for items in the store is 99.99 cents, and in almost all instances, this price will round up to one dollar at the register and that is the amount you will be charged. In other words, the overall impact of this pricing change was to increase prices for our merchandise by one penny. However, at a certain quantity (as set forth below), the incremental price of a given “extra” item will round down by a penny rather than increasing and rounding up by a penny. But, for the vast majority of items purchased, the price will round up to the nearest cent.
At the outset, we want to emphasize the price we charge for the items we sell will appear in total form on the register display before the purchase is made. This is the price that will be charged for the total purchase. If our customers do not believe this price is correct, or do not wish to pay it, they do not have to complete the transaction. We are committed to making sure no transaction is completed unless and until the price is acceptable to our customers. When the final price is tallied and displayed on the register, please know you have the opportunity not to complete the transaction. Once the purchase is made, you have agreed to the purchase price and so it is important that customers with any concerns or questions not proceed before the transaction is made, i.e., before payment is made.
Put simply, the total price that appears on the register is the total price we are charging, with applicable tax added, for the items you have selected; if you complete the transaction and pay this price, you are agreeing to this price for the items selected and presented for purchase.
Please review the following pricing policy through which we clarify (1) how our 99/100 of a cent pricing works; and (2) when items will cost 99.99 cents (subject to rounding and therefore usually one dollar) as opposed to another (sometimes higher) price.
1. How 99.99 Cents Pricing and the Associated Rounding Works
OVERVIEW OF ROUNDING AND ASSOCIATED EXAMPLES
--If the base price of an item is 99.99 cents (as it is for all of our merchandise items unless otherwise stated), then the purchase price, after rounding, will be $1.00 if no other purchases are made at the same time. This sample transaction shows the point:
Single Item Purchase
List price: 99.99 cents
Actual Purchase Price: $1.00
--In some instances, this base price is applied to multiple items. As an example, there may be a situation where two candy bars are priced at the single price of 99.99 cents for the two bars. In this case, the purchase price for these two candy bars would be $1.00 after the rounding, assuming no other purchases at that time as follows:
Single Purchase of Items Grouped for Sale at Base Price (for example., 2 candy bars for 99.99 cents)
List price: 99.99 cents for two candy bars
Actual Purchase Price: $1.00 for the two candy bars
--Purchases of a single item will round up to the nearest penny. An item at 39.99 cents will round to 40 cents; an item at 79.99 cents will round to 80 cents, and so forth.
--However, because purchases that result in a subtotal (before tax) less than .5 cent round down and those that result in .5 cent or more round up, at a certain quantity, the fractional pricing will result in downward rounding for the one item resulting in this tipping point.
--Here are some examples to show this point:
Single Purchase of Multiple Items at One Base Price (100 items at 99.99 cents per individual item)
List price: 99.99 cents per item
Actual Purchase Price: $1.00 per item except for the 51st item (and only the 51st item), which will cost 99 cents. So, for example, 51 items at base price of 99.99 cents would yield an aggregate subtotal of $50.99)
Single Purchase of Multiple Items at Different Base Price (90 items at 99.99 cents per individual item and 10 items at 79.99 cents per item)
List prices: 99.99 cents for 90 items and 79.99 cents for 10 items
Actual Purchase Price: $1.00 per item except for the 51st item (and only the 51st item), which will cost 99 cents, and 80 cents for the remaining ten items. So, for example, 90 items at base price of 99.99 cents and ten items at a base price of 79.99 cents would yield an aggregate subtotal of $97.99)
ROUNDING FOR ITEMS SOLD BY WEIGHT, I.E., ITEMS SOLD AT A SET PRICE PER POUND
99¢ Only Stores does sell some items on the basis of weight, such as produce that is sold at a certain price per pound. In these instances, the price will normally not include a fractional price, such as a price with the added charge of .99 cents (99/100 of one cent). Instead, the per weight (i.e., per pound or per ounce) price of these items will be prices such as 49 cents per pound, 69 cents per pound, etc.
Because the actual weight of these items will vary, the prices charged for these items will usually contain fractions and require associated rounding. In these situations, the price will initially be calculated to the fourth decimal place and then rounded to two decimal places per standard rounding principles. That item price will be displayed on the video screen visible to the customer as the per item price, prior to the calculation of the final subtotal. However, there are instances where the purchase of multiple weighted items will cause the final subtotal to be slightly more or slightly less than the sum of the individual (rounded) prices displayed on the video screen. This is because our system retains the prices calculated to the fourth decimal place for purposes of subtotal calculation, and it uses those figures in the subtotal calculation. Of course, in these instances, the final subtotal to be charged (as well as the total including sales tax) will be displayed on the video screen before the purchase is made.
Some examples for price per weight item pricing are:
FINAL PURCHASE PRICE AND APPLICATION OF SALES TAX
The rounding procedures described above will be used to determine the final subtotal price, which is the price prior to the application of any applicable sales or other taxes. Per the procedures above, the subtotal will be calculated and stated to the second decimal point on the video screen, i.e., $9.40 or $55.99. The sales tax will be applied to this subtotal.
Because many sales taxes rates are expressed to the fourth decimal point, however, the application of the pertinent tax rate to the subtotal may once again need to be rounded to the second decimal point, i.e., the nearest cent (not any fractions of a cent). Once this rounding is complete, the final sales price (including tax) will be calculated and expressed on the video screen prior to the completion of the transaction.
2. What Items in the Stores Are Priced at 99.99 Cents and What Items Cost More or Less.
Most items in the store are priced at 99.99 cents, and if a different price is not stated on either (i) a specific label on the individual item in question; or (ii) a shelf label for the items on the shelf where the item and others like it are available; or (iii) a display where the item and others like it have been put out for selection, then the item is priced at 99.99 cents. Put differently, 99.99 cents is the default price for most items in the store, and unless there is a specific label on the item with a different price stated or a shelf label or display with a different price listed, then item is priced at 99.99 cents.
We do offer some items (or groups of items) at prices lower than 99.99 cents. Generally, these items will have shelf labels or other displays stating their price.
We also offer items at prices above 99.99 cents. Generally, these items (including , just for example, milk, costumes, motor oil) will have their own individual price labels, or there will be a shelf label or display where these items are put out for selection, and these labels or displays will state the price.
Once again, at the cash register, the price charged for item selected will appear on the display screen before the purchase is made. That is the price you are being charged. If you do not wish to purchase an item after seeing the price displayed on the screen, simply inform the cashier that you do not wish to purchase the item, and it will be removed from your purchase.