Some stores design retail experiences that throngs of consumers find so enjoyable that they want to spend their money. There are even awards for this sort of thing, with some truly awe-inspiring layouts featured in this Gensler article.
And while the popular retailer Target isn't featured in that list, there are more than a few people who will probably confess to being addicted to plucking items from the Minnesota-based retailer's home goods section.
As any of these self-proclaimed Targetaholics will tell you: these bills can rack up. That's where TikToker Penny Gsell (@penninphilly) comes in and the money-saving game she heard about on the popular social media platform which she actively played in a Target store in real time.
She begins her clip with an explanation of the game's rules: "I saw this one couple on TikTok and if they want something they have to guess the price, if it's less then that they can get it, but if it's more they have to put it back so I'm gonna practice that today in Target because I'm not really in the market for anything but I know put out all their winter things, so let's see what I go home with."
Penny continues to stroll through the store to embark on her price-guessing journey to see if she's going to come back home with some items. First up: a white and green minimalist pine tree design pillow.
"I'm gonna guess that they are $15 and if they are that means they're mine," she says while setting her camera down as she grabs the pillow to check its price tag.
Upon taking a gander at the ticket, she flashes a crestfallen look to the camera, "$20, okay they stay here for now," she states, mirthlessly putting the pillow back on the shelf.
Next up was a Christmas-ey centerpiece she was hoping to put on her TV stand: "I'm also going to guess again that it's $15 because why would it be any more."
She checks the bottom of the decorative vase filled with what appears to be artificial holly and gives the same disappointed look into the camera.
It, too, was $20, a reveal that Penny was not happy with. She grunts on camera before uttering, "I just wanna go home with something!"
Now, it wouldn't be a trip to Target's Home Goods section without taking a little whiff and sniff of the candles on display.
She went and hovered her nose over a few of the store's offerings until she found a scent that she liked. After finding a winner, a candle about the size of a hefty newborn baby or a very generous burrito restaurant's offerings, she guessed that it cost $20 because she knows how pricey candles can get.
It turns out she was 1 for 3: the candle cost exactly $20, and although the rules of the game stipulates she could've most certainly purchased the candle, she found herself flirting with doubt: "Is $20 too much for a candle?"
She decided it was: "I could probably get it at Marshall's for like $11.99," she said in between big whiffs of the scented wax.
"But it smells so nice..." she says, enchanted by the $20 candle's aroma, which ultimately prompted her to buy it since she guessed its price correctly.
However, she immediately reveals as she continues to walk through the store that she ended up putting the candle back as she found one that she not only liked better, but that it was cheaper to boot.
Towards the end of the video, she breaks down her Target run damage, shocked at how much everything cost: "You guys, tell me how all I got was that candle, some floss, shampoo, conditioner, and three pairs of stockings and I still managed to spend $80."
She takes a moment to collect herself and reflect on the price of the aforementioned items: "When did Target get this expensive?" Penny muses before the video ultimately cuts out.
One viewer who responded to Penny's video found a slight exploit in the Target "guess the price" game's rule set: gas lighting. "Ok but I’d just over guess on everything so I can buy it…"
Others highlighted how the object of the game isn't to try and correctly guess the prices of items so you get to spend your cash and go home with a bunch of stuff, but to be honest with yourself on what you would feel comfortable spending on the products that tickle your fancy.
"It’s not guessing how much. It’s a 'what’s the max I’d pay for this' because if I’m guessing, I’m gonna overprice bc I know target," one commenter remarked.
And there were other people who seemed to agree with Penny's assessment of Target's increased prices, which is more than likely a casualty of the USA's inflation and cost of living rates spiking ever since 2021: "It’s all going up. Why I avoid Target as much as I can. But tbh, it’s still better than Walmart," one user on the app said.
Do you think that the Target price game is a good way to ensure you aren't overspending on things you absolutely don't need, but would only want to buy for a certain price?