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June 9, 2006 12:03 AM

Broken: 99 cent+ store

99cents_1From Jeffrey Veen's Flickr photostream:

GRAND OPENING - Everything 99 cents or above!


so, whats your point?

or am i just not getting it?

Posted by: myself at June 9, 2006 12:24 AM

man, save your money for the "50 cents and above" store, way better deals

And if you can't read it, that banner actually says "Grand Opening: 99 [cents] and over." Simply amazing.

Posted by: abcdario at June 9, 2006 12:51 AM

I guess they finally got rid of that annoying 99c- selection at the front registers, where you always seem to realize you want something AFTER everything's paid for. Seems like they'd lose money though.

Posted by: BlastYoBoots at June 9, 2006 01:00 AM

Wht is the broken part? That they sell things for 99 cents and over?

It looks foreign, so is the broken part the cents symbol?

Or is it broken because it is one of those stores you go into that magically charges 99+ "cents" as 99$, £,- don't get me started on euros...

Oh, I just got the broken part. ALL THESE CRAP STORES SELL...CRAP. Doesn't matter the price. What a bunch of junk.

Posted by: 99er at June 9, 2006 01:05 AM

Holy Crap!, thats my husband's red pickup! And what's he doing at that store, we never been there before. Someone's in big do-do tonight!

Posted by: Jane Doe at June 9, 2006 02:14 AM

Ever had one of these nights- Trying to get home after an allnighter, and the cops want to give you some kind of test?

Posted by: 5150 at June 9, 2006 02:19 AM

I think I missed the point here

Posted by: Gerrard Capashen at June 9, 2006 09:07 AM

99 cents or above? Isn't that... oh... PRETTY MUCH ANY OTHER STORE IN THE WORLD?

Posted by: Francois Tremblay at June 9, 2006 09:12 AM

I'm with a lot of the other commenters -- it's odd but not broken as far as I can tell. Assuming they don't have any items under 99 cents, the sign would appear to mean what it says.

Something that is broken: there's no "cent sign" in the ASCII character set. What's with that? EBCDIC forever.

Posted by: Steve at June 9, 2006 09:34 AM

Around here, we have a few of those "everything's a dollar" stores. The problem is that nothing they sell is actually worth a dollar. It was novel when I was a kid, but now I don't even bother.

This isn't necessarily broken, but it is slightly deceptive. It's a lot like those diet plans that "guarantee" that one will "lose up to 5 pounds or more in the first week". It's not really a guarantee of anything, but by placing a number in there, it makes people thing that the statement is authoritative. At least one knows going into this store that nothing will cost less than $0.99.

Posted by: eBob at June 9, 2006 09:38 AM

Usually, this is better understood as "From 99c"

as in:

Condos from $269,000


used cars from $5,000

It's saying, "if you have only this much, you can still get something, or course it won't be top-of-the-line"

It is kind of silly to apply it to a dollar store (or 'Loonie Bin' as we call them here in Canada).

P.S. Loonie Bins are great for items where quality isn't a factor: scotch tape, notepads, twine, etc.

Posted by: DaveC426913 at June 9, 2006 09:54 AM

I guess you could say this is slightly deceptive, since someone reading quickly might assume that everything is 99 cents. As for dollar-stores, yes most of what they sell is junk, but you can find some good deals, such as packs of AA batteries for a dollar.

Posted by: elbitapmocsdrawkcab at June 9, 2006 10:21 AM

"Something that is broken: there's no "cent sign" in the ASCII character set. What's with that?"


Yes, there is. It's character 0162, and looks like ¢.

Posted by: The ¢-master at June 9, 2006 10:47 AM

It's broken because the theme of the store is a minimum price, instead of a maximum.

If the theme of your store is "Everything costs 99 cents or less," you attract people on the basis of price. But the theme of this store is "Everything costs 99 cents or more." That doesn't say anything useful to the price-conscious consumer.

It's like a dry cleaner whose slogan is "24+ hour turnaround" or a weight loss program saying "Lose no more than 5 pounds!".

Posted by: mph at June 9, 2006 10:55 AM

What's broken is things always being 99¢ or $99 instead of 93.458¢ or $93.46. Then with tax it would round nicely to $1 or $100. I lived somewhere (I think it was Norway) where tax is included in prices.

(X + .07X = $1; 1.07X = $1; X = $1/1.07; X = $.934579439)

Posted by: hgjftyhfghj at June 9, 2006 11:45 AM

I'v hears of everything under a buck but...

i guess this store will not sell anything under a buck so its pritty wide open.

Posted by: huck at June 9, 2006 11:59 AM

Not broken.

Posted by: big_wang at June 9, 2006 12:09 PM

It's just a name, not that funny at all!


Posted by: Another guy named Alex B. at June 9, 2006 12:26 PM

These are the equivalent of what were "5 and Dime" stores, for example "Woolworths", when I was a kid back in the 40's and 50's. Isn't this a great example of our escalating cost of living.

But even then it was understood that lots of the merchandise cost more or less than a nickle or a dime.

When I opened my bookstore in 1990 there was a "99cent" store in the mall. Everything was under 99cents -- and yes it was pretty much junk. In 1998 or maybe 1999 they closed -- couldn't make it on 99cent items. The space was empty for a couple of years. Then a "99+" store was opened in that space -- same type of merchandise. After two years they changed the name to "Bargain Center". Still the same junk merchandise. Isn't this a great example of our escalating cost of living.

The stock in these types of stores is actually supplied by the same outfits that have done Mail Order Cataloges for so many years. The "Dollar Stores" chain actually seems to have a little better grade of merchandise.

Posted by: Bluie at June 9, 2006 12:51 PM

I agree that this is broken, but it certainly is not unique. I know a store that is called "Un Seul Prix" (only one price) that sells cheap merchandise ranging from over a hundred dollars to 5¢. I guess they mean they won't negotiate the price of an item.

The Dollarama chain used to sell everything in the store for 1$, 2/1$, 3/1$, ect... but the chocolate bar companies put pressure on them so chocolate bars are now 59¢. It still applies to everything else in the store though. The same people own the Dollarama chain and the Rossy chain. I have been told that most of their better deals come from bankruptcy sales or discontinued products. The rest of their merchandise is very cheap quality and seems to be mostly made in third world countries. Also many of their food products are not adequately labelled for selling in Québec (even though they sell them here anyways.

Despite all that I must admit I still shop there fairly often.

Posted by: Sean P at June 9, 2006 02:31 PM

This reminds me of World Market's former name...COST PLUS... well don't all stores, that stay in business, price their items as "cost + "

Posted by: Lexx at June 9, 2006 02:41 PM

Everything 99 cents plus? I could care less ;)

Posted by: Pat at June 9, 2006 03:32 PM

I knew it was too good to last. Two good posts about legitimate user experiences, and we're back to nit-picking about signs.

In the meantime, near the top of is this delicious gem of butchered English: E-mail us a picture of what's broken, and a message explaining why, in an e-mail (broken at

As opposed to what? E-mailing it in a brown-paper wrapped box?

Posted by: Downshift at June 9, 2006 03:46 PM

The sign might not be broken, but it would work well on the site called:

Posted by: that'll_do_pig at June 9, 2006 07:49 PM

umm maybe it's just "99 cents plus"

anybody think of that? it's just an added thing to make the store sound "cooler." not broken; ok?!

Posted by: yeah at June 9, 2006 08:27 PM

Are you crazy people? This place is totally broken. 99 cent and up store? What's the point of that? They might as well be saying "We sell stuff, except for really tiny things like single pieces of gum 'n stuff!"

Posted by: ElNacho at June 9, 2006 11:52 PM

I don't even get what the point of this picture is???? Um...Not broken.

Posted by: MaryUm at June 10, 2006 11:09 AM

actually, tiffany's is also a 99 cents plus store, as everything in there costs 99 cents. plus more. a lot more.

Posted by: mcwatters at June 10, 2006 11:13 AM

this is weird, but not actually that bad. Here in Reading, Pennsylvania, there is a store "YY 99c plus OR LESS Store" So... they can sell pretty much anything they want for any price.

Posted by: freedomlinux at June 10, 2006 12:53 PM

HOW DOES NO ONE SEE ANYTHING BROKEN ABOUT THIS??? It's obviously broken. The whole point of naming a store like this, like a "dollar store", is to imply that everything costs a dollar. But a >99cent store has no point. Like Francois Tremblay said, it's like every other store. I guess I'm alone and sane with him and mph.

Posted by: no one at June 10, 2006 01:30 PM

Ok, Ok, it's obviously a matter of opinion whether this sign is broken or not, let's all stop beating a dead horse and wait for tomorrow's post.

Posted by: lefty-chef at June 10, 2006 10:01 PM

I think it's one of those things that makes perfect sense if you've ever seen one of these stores before. "Dollar or more" stores aren't uncommon to me; they sell dollar-store-quality things, but some of them just can't get the price down to a dollar. So you might find, say, two-dollar gift bags, or five-dollar broom and dustpan sets. That sort of thing. One common one around here is "A Buck Or Two", where things are a buck, or two, or a few.

Posted by: rich at June 11, 2006 01:38 AM

QUOTE: The ¢-master

"Yes, there is. It's character 0162, and looks like ¢."

Actually, ASCII character #162, is ó and that doesn't look like a cent-symbol to me. Looks more like a o with an accent aigu (or acute)

That ¢ you posted is actually Unicode 00A2, but it's not in the ASCII character set.

Posted by: Trent Chernecki at June 11, 2006 04:10 PM

ASCII is a 7-bit encoding, and thus does not have a character 162. There are various codings for the top half of the character set, such as Latin-1 (ISO 8859-1).

Posted by: mph at June 12, 2006 01:44 PM

Dollar Plus store usually represents a store that sells your normal "Dollar Store" fare, "Plus" a selection of other knick-nacks (plant pots, gift-shop fare, etc.) that are more than a dollar.

The 99 cent + is very likely the store's NAME, and is a convenient and visible way to identify the store on the limited space afforded to it by the awning.

This is not broken.

Posted by: MinkOWar at June 12, 2006 04:15 PM

It's an advertising scheme. People look at the sign and ask themselves, "I wonder how much things in there cost?" They go inside and end up finding something they like and then buying it.

Posted by: joe at June 13, 2006 02:13 PM

oi, this is NOT broken, in chicago there is "dollar plus" stores all over, all items are atleast 1 dollar(ironically, u can still buy a pack of gum for less)

Posted by: frogz at June 17, 2006 03:11 AM

It's a "99( or more) cent store.

and the "grand opening sale" is: "99 (or more) cents"

Gee the lat time i checke every store in my area, they said when they have a sale, prices would be LOWER!!!!!!!!! (not the same as original)


Posted by: me at June 17, 2006 09:07 AM



Posted by: SPAM at July 15, 2006 10:55 PM


Posted by: GAMBLOR at July 15, 2006 10:57 PM

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