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One Way Stores Trick You Into Spending Extra Money
Let’s face it – subliminal marketing is everywhere. We are constantly bombarded with advertisements whether we are browsing the internet, watching TV, or driving down the road. Businesses hope that if you see enough of their messages, then you will eventually buy their product…and you will probably even think it was your idea.
There are so many advertising tricks out there that sometimes we aren’t sure what is actually a good deal and what isn’t. I really want to start busting some of these tricks! Retail psychology is an incredibly interesting topic for me, and I plan to write more on other advertising tricks in the future.
However, today I am going to highlight one of the most popular advertising tricks that I have seen retailer’s use. I bet you have fallen for it at least once – I know I have!
Drum roll please…
It’s the old Buy One Get One trick!
I know you must be thinking, “Woah woah! Getting something for free is saving money not making me spend extra!” Are you sure about that?
One of the oldest advertising tricks in the book
Just the other day, I was on my way to work when a retailer’s sign caught my eye. It was an eye wear store promoting their “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” special.
At first, I was pleasantly surprised at this seemingly great offer since we were looking for new glasses for my husband at the time. However, upon visiting the store and further investigation, we found out at this great BOGO deal wasn’t that much of a deal at all.
After finding out more of the specifics on this “deal”, here is what we figured out:
Almost all the items were marked all the way back up to full retail prices.
This meant that I was still going to pay top dollar for the frames. Even at sale prices, the retail store is making a huge profit margin on each pair they sell. This means that they can easily still make money giving us two pairs of frames for the full price of one frame. When you cut that full price you’re paying for that first pair of frames in half, it typically ends up being the same price everyday price you would usually see in the store. Therefore, it’s not really a deal at all! Most all retailers will mark up their prices before having what it seems like a “fantastic sale.” See how these advertising tricks get us so easily?
The item that you get “free” must be of equal or lesser value than the item that you buy.
Naturally, you have heard of this stipulation in pretty much any BOGO deal that you discover. It just covers the retailer to make sure that you aren’t buying the least expensive item and choosing the most expensive item for free. Remember the retailer is usually just protecting their own interests (making money).
Higher-end brands are excluded from this deal.
As with many BOGO deals, retailers do not want you to cut too deeply into their profit margin. So they put restrictions on the brands you can get these deals on. For the eyewear store, brands like Rayban and Oakley were not included in the BOGO deal. This is because the more expensive brands do not get marked down near as much as the less expensive brands. Giving you a BOGO deal on expensive brands would be a fantastic deal for us as the consumers but bad business practice for retailers!
You must buy a complete pair of glasses to qualify for this deal.
What do they mean by “complete” pair of glasses? This includes the frames, lenses, and any special features added to the lenses. Each of these things has its own price tag and can add up pretty quick, which can be a big shock to someone who has never bought glasses before.
Most all BOGO deals operate the same
So even though my examples above were primarily focused on eye wear stores, the same principles are true for other retailers as well. Another big example that stands out in my mind are shoe stores.
Ever seen a “Buy 1 Get 2 Free” boot store?
STAY AWAY! I know it sounds great (I was fooled once too!) I thought it was incredible that I could get three pairs of boots for the price of one. However, all the boots were way overpriced and of course the two free pairs had to be the same price (or less) than the pair that you bought. Because of this, even if I found a fairly reasonably priced pair, it was impossible to find two other pairs that matched the price or were cheaper.
In the end, I paid around $275 for three pairs of boots. That comes out to a little over $90 each! In my eyes, that is NOT a deal! (Besides, who needs to buy 3 pairs of boots at one time anyways!) If I had shopped around, waited for sales, and used a coupon I could have gotten a comparable pair of boots for at least 30% less. Here is an example of my potential savings:
Assuming I wait until the shoes I want are on sale and/or I use coupons, I can get those same pairs of shoes for $185 instead of $275. That’s a savings of $90!
One of the ways that I save a ton of money on my purchases is by using Ebates. Ebates gives you cash back for purchases made online and in some select stores. It’s awesome! You can sign up here for free and get $10 to start you off!
Be a smart shopper. Don’t like advertising tricks like “Buy One Get One Free” get you to spend more money! Before you blindly rush to buy, crunch the numbers to see if you are actually getting a good deal.
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