A Macy’s Typo Lets a $1500 Necklace Go for $47
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The Fiscal Times
April 1, 2013

Think there aren’t any good bargains anymore? Macy’s (NYSE: M) had one, although the retail giant didn’t plan to discount a $1500 necklace 97 percent.    

The sterling silver and 14-karat gold necklace was mistakenly listed at the sale price of $47 in Macy’s current 44-page catalog, which was mailed out across the nation. The necklace should have been listed at $479.

The missing ‘9’ must have fallen into the great bargain-basement ether, along with the copywriter, who was fired. 

The necklace “Super Buy” became the rage, especially at the Macy’s in the Collin Creek Mall in Plano, Texas. The store saw its entire inventory fly out the door before the Macy’s management realized the error.

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Robert Bernard, a customer who received the catalog at home and then rushed to the mall to try to buy two necklaces for his wife, was out of the luck by the time he got to the cash register. But still he tried. When he couldn’t purchase the necklaces at the brick-and-mortar store, he tried ordering them online.

But according to UPI, Macy’s realized the mistake and an employee left this message on Bernard’s answering machine: “This item has the wrong piece for $47. The correct price is $479 and because of that pricing error, your order has been cancelled and I apologize.”

Those lucky-devil customers who were able to purchase the necklace before the typo was discovered were called “fortunate” by a Macy’s spokesperson.

Macy’s locations promptly posted signs to make customers aware of the error and that, no, they were not still selling a $1500 necklace for less than 50 bucks.

Did Macy’s lose a lot because of the error? 

Or, in one of those retail twists of fate, will the store gain in the end, as shoppers pay closer attention to future catalogs, hoping the proofreader is on vacation? 

Managing Editor Maureen Mackey oversees scheduling and work flow and also writes and edits features and reports on a wide array of subjects. She spent more than 20 years as a senior book and features editor at Reader’s Digest.