Woman says she caught 99 Cents store overcharging when cashier was checking her out

@singawayangel/TikTok Around the World Photos/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Everything was rounding up’: Woman says she caught 99 Cents Only store overcharging when cashier was checking her out

'I'm not the only one they're doing this to.'


Stacy Fernandez


Posted on Feb 29, 2024   Updated on Feb 29, 2024, 9:47 am CST

A woman threatened to sue a 99 Cents Only location for overcharging her by one penny on each item. Turns out they’ve been legally doing this for years.

It used to be that nearly every single item at the 99-cent store legitimately cost that: $0.99. But over the last several years 99-cent stores started raising the price of certain items to price tags like $1.29 or $1.49.

They’ve also introduced higher price point items—like pots and pans, frozen foods, clothes, beauty items, and toys—that can cost anywhere from a few bucks to $10 or $15 (or rather $9.99 and $14.99 respectively).

But this customer noticed a new price hike that she thinks is deceptive.

“I just finished shopping at the 99-cent store and I think there’s a lawsuit waiting to be had,” Liz says in her trending TikTok video.

Liz explains that she doesn’t normally shop at this 99 Cents Only store, but she just moved and needed to buy some cheap storage items.

As the cashier is ringing her up, she notices that every item is rounding up by a cent to the nearest dollar, so an item that is 99 cents rings up as $1, and an item that’s $2.99 rings up as $3.

Giving them the benefit of the doubt, she thinks that maybe those extra cents will be automatically taken off at the end of the transaction and be reflected on the receipt.

Not only does the receipt not reflect the price Liz expected to see, but she also says the “receipt’s actually more deceitful.” It doesn’t reflect the rounded-up price tag—instead showing each item at its original price tag ending in $.99—but the grand total does.

Liz adds that she purchased 21 items and her total came out to an even $106 when she says it technically should have been $105 and some change.

“This clearly would be like a huge lawsuit, because I’m not the only one they’re doing this to. This is everybody,” Liz says.

Liz also shares that while she can afford the extra cost, it’s about the principle of the matter and that they’re doing this to every person on every item.

Well, turns out the store can legally do that, and 99 Cents Only has a pricing policy on its website that details this pricing structure, why the company implemented it, and how it works.

The site states that they’ve been rounding items up that cost $0.99 by a cent since 2008 and made this same change to items that cost more than $1 in July 2022. Here’s how the company explained it:

“One change came in 2008 when the Company added a charge of .99 cents (99/100 of one cent) to merchandise with a base unit price of 99 cents.  In almost all instances, this price rounded up to one dollar at the register and since that time, that is the amount a customer will be charged for merchandise at this price point. The overall impact of this pricing change was to increase prices for this merchandise by one penny,” the website reads.

So the items that Liz thought were, for example, $1.99 were actually listed at $1.9999 which is why it rang up as $2 at the cash register and in the total, but reflected as $1.99 on the receipt.

“Put simply, the total price that appears on the register is the total price we are charging, after rounding and with applicable tax added, for the items a customer has selected.  If a customer completes the transaction and pays this price, he or she is agreeing to this price for the items selected and presented for purchase,” the website reads.

@singawayangel I caught them stealing from us 😱 #99centsonlystore #legaltiktok #legaladvice #helpstopthefraud ♬ original sound – Liz Taylor

Liz’s outraged video has more than 200,000 views and hundreds of comments.

“Everyone is so ready to sue,” a top comment read.

“If you look at the prices it shows 4.99 and then it has an small 99 cents which means the item is round to 5 dollars,” a person pointed out.

“I have been seeing this I just and now just realizing it now that you mention it I thought it was ok but it’s really not,” another wrote.

The Daily Dot reached out to Liz for comment via TikTok direct message.

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*First Published: Feb 29, 2024, 1:00 pm CST