Cotton On shopper unearths little-known 'price-match' rule: 'No signage'

The unspoken rule is something many Cotton On shoppers weren't aware of but is applied in many retail stores around the country.

A Queensland mum has revealed a helpful savings tip she discovered when shopping at Cotton On — advice likely to help ease everyday cost-of-living pressures.

Deciding to get some clothes for her son, Brisbane woman Tenielle Hamlin had a browse online before going into the store and was pleased to see some items she was after were on sale. However when she went in to the store, there was no signage to suggest the clothes were on sale.

A photo of Brisbane mum, Tenielle Hamlin. A photo of Cotton On in Brisbane.
Brisbane mum Tenielle Hamlin recently discovered that Cotton On staff can honour an online sale if you want to buy an item in store. Source: TikTok/Getty file image

"If you shop at Cotton On, I have a bit of information you might be interested in," she said on TikTok last week in a now viral video.

"I noticed they had 30 per cent off online but in store there was no signage around saying anything was on sale. I took the items to the counter and said to the lady, 'Oh I saw these were on sale online, I'm just checking they are 30 per cent off here as well?'"

"She said they weren't actually on sale but as soon as you mention that you've seen the sale online, they can price-match."

The mum said she ended up getting the items for the price listed online and encouraged everyone else to speak up and take advantage of this "great" tip if they want to "try things on [in store] and "save" some money.

"If I hadn't said anything, I would've ended up paying full price," she said.

'Most retail stores in Australia do this'

The unspoken rule Tenielle mentioned in her video was something many people didn't know about.

"Omg not me just buying something full price," one said. "ohhhh seriously! shall remember that. Went into Cotton On for shoes my daughter wanted, not on sale in store but online, we got them online," another said.

Some Cotton On employees also confirmed the policy in the comments on the video, saying the customer should show staff "the sale is active" on the items they want to purchase. While employees from other stores confirmed it's something "most retail stores in Australia do".

"The company I work for does this, even if it says 'online only,' one person said. "People don’t read that so we have to price match to not lose the sale."

Yahoo News Australia reached out to Cotton On for clarification.

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