Deceptive deals or real savings? 51% of consumers say brands regularly float fake discounts
May 17th, 2024, Lesley Simeon

Deceptive deals or real savings? 51% of consumers say brands regularly float fake discounts

A fake or false discount can be understood as when a company artificially increases the price of a product before offering a discount, making it seem that the later price reduction is genuine. Consumers have called out several brands for offering, what they deemed to be, false discounts

A recent YouGov survey asked consumers across 17 international markets how often they think brands use the ‘fake discount’ tactic when offering discounts. The results reveal that more than half (51%) of all consumers across markets think businesses resort to the tactic regularly, while three in ten (30%) say brands do so occasionally. Less than one in ten (8%) consumers say brands float fake discounts rarely, while just 2% say they never do so.

Demographic data shows that more women than men say that brands offer fake discounts regularly (54% vs. 49%).

Britons are the most likely across markets (66%) to say brands regularly indulge in fake discount tactics. Mexicans (62%), Swedes (60%) and Spanish (60%) are also high on the list. In the US, more than half (52%) of all consumers say brands regularly offer fake discounts.

Last year, a French consumer association had alerted consumers about dubious discounts offered by brands during Black Friday.  In France, 56% of consumers think businesses regularly offer phony discounts and nearly a quarter (24%) think this happens occasionally.

Equal proportions of consumers in India (32%) and UAE (32%) also say brands regularly offer fake discounts. Consumers from both these markets (43% in the UAE, 40% in India) are the most likely to say businesses occasionally offer false discounts.

Nearly one in five (19%) Hong Kongers aren’t as suspicious of offers and discounts - they account for the largest proportion of consumers who say brands rarely offer fake discounts.

But 4% of consumers in both Indonesia and India see no harm done by brands, as far as discounts go. They say businesses never indulge in tactics like fake or false discounts.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from
nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 500 and 2002 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in February 2024. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash