Why “Buy one, get one free” isn’t a great deal

Why “Buy one, get one free” isn’t a great deal


This is a coupon for Burger King’s Croissan’wich,
and it’s promoting a buy one get one deal. Buy one breakfast sandwich at full price get
a second. But one customer found that something was off about the deal:
when she was charged two different prices for the sandwich. When she ordered a single
sandwich, the price was $2.16. But when she ordered two sandwiches and used
the BOGO coupon the price of each sandwich was $3.19, more than a
dollar more. This went on for years before Burger King
was sued for overcharging customers. BOGO is so appealing that it’s hard for consumers
to see it for what it is. Buy one, get one. It’s a thinly veiled attempt to convince a
customer to buy more than one item at a time. For a thrifty shopper, BOGO can sound like the best way to get more
bang for their buck, but often it’s simply not as good a deal as it appears. Consumers perceive the quality of a bargain
based on the price they pay compared to the original list price. Take this food processor on Amazon for example. The price on sale is $35, an amazing 52%
off the $75 dollar list price. The problem is that Cuisinart doesn’t list
the item for Amazon’s regular price and based on an analysis of tracked prices over time,
Amazon has never sold it for more than $40 in the past 10 years. The cheating that goes on is rampant. Retailers are guilty, often, of distorting the
regular price, raising the regular price. And several companies have been caught distorting
prices in conjunction with BOGO offers. The suit accuses Visionworks of inflating
the price of the first pair of glasses to partly cover the costs of the second, supposedly
free pair, making it not actually free. It can be hard for consumers to tell whether
BOGO is fair or deceptive and often their judgment is clouded by one four letter word: Free. I mean, free is a tremendous motivational trigger
and they like the opportunity to expand the deal by buying more than one of an item. Very often consumers don’t do the math. Buying more than one item means consumers spend more money than they intended. Not less. For example, say you want to buy a sweater
that’s normally $80. Sweater A is listed at a 20% discount. Sweater B is listed
at full price, but has a buy one, get one free deal. While the second option may get you two
sweaters, you’ve just spent more in total than if you
just focused on the 20% discount. Let’s say those sweaters are on a buy one
get one 50% off deal. Option one you buy one sweater for $80 dollars. Option
two, the first sweater would be $80 dollars and the second would be half off. Translated
into a straight discount, the total saved from the BOGO deal would be
the same as a 25% off deal, but the amount of money you spend in store has grown,
because you bought two items. Some BOGO deals only apply to items with lesser value. For example if you buy that same sweater and
a $10 dollar pair of socks you still pay $80 for your total purchase. If you decide to get a sweater and $150
coat, the sweater would be counted as the free item and you’d still be shelling out $150. For most deals, you’re better off waiting for the one item
you wanted to go on sale rather than purchasing it through a BOGO deal. Customers… I won’t say “fall for it,” but they go
for it nonetheless. BOGO disguises the fact that, unless you already
intended to buy two items, it really isn’t all that big of a discount. So BOGO deals can be fantastic if you’re a
shopper looking to buy in bulk and stretch your dollar. But for most of us, free isn’t always the best
option. Well, just do the math. If it looks too good to be true it’s too good
to be true.

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100 Replies to “Why “Buy one, get one free” isn’t a great deal”

  1. In my country i see everyone is walking in the shops with a calculator and even sometimes a scale to verify they are not cheated

  2. 0:48 "More bang for their buck" … if you are looking for "bang", why bother with LaCroix????

  3. that's the way I've always looked at it. unless it's 50% off from the beginning to me it's not a deal.

  4. Buy a product that's 10 dollars and 2 dollar shipping, Nah

    Buy a product that's 12 dollars and with free shipping. Hell yes

  5. On day when i went to buy a cookie for 1$ at my local starbucks and sit with my friend a worker told me if you pay 50 cents more we will give 2 more cookies and of course i accepted the deal!

  6. But the price per item is glossed over. So long as it's a legitimate buy one get one, two sweaters at $40 each is a better deal that the one on sale for $65. So long as you have the money and will use both the BOGO isn't a scam

  7. That's why I love to use honey for Amazon, it tracks how Amazon has changed their pricing on that item in the past, and if it's at a high price now you can choose to have it notify you when it goes back down!

  8. Never encountered inflated prices like that in Toronto. I make sure to see how much I’m getting charged before.

  9. So this should be titled "why BOGO is not a good deal IF you are charged more than regular price". As it is, the title is extremely misleading.

  10. I dont understand the argument, Bogo isnt a good deal because you're spending more money? But I'm getting more product for my money in most cases.

  11. what kind of scam is this? only in america? I know the prices of the things i like in Mcdonalds. And if i have a coupon, i get more for less money. Normally i'd buy a menü+ a smaller burger(a cheese burger for example), but if the menü contains two large burgers(instead of one), without extra cost, i won't buy the extra cheeseburger. The coupon season in germany, is very profitable for Mcdonalds, bc people just go more often, or tend to go there! But it's not like you are getting scammed, you still get one item for free, and a meal you would have eaten anyways(even if not in mcdonalds).
    If it's only about Bogo, you still pay less. I love the veggie burger, but it's pricy. I get a coupon, bogo is marketed as 50% off(it's a coupon containing two burgers). Which means you pay for half, which means for only one burger. I can't see a problem in that. At least not in germany.

  12. Any sale is only good if you were planning on getting that thing anyways. If you're spending money that you otherwise wouldn't have spent, the company wins.

  13. At mcd and some retails you pay for the most expensive item and get the cheaper one free… I didnt think that was a bad idea….

  14. I like English muffins. Normal price $4.29/pack. BOGO twice a month lets me get twice as much for the same price. A pack today lasts me one week. 2 packs lasts me two. Why would I buy it this week for full price to go one week and not say the next week where i can buy more and make it last another week?

    Not all BOGO deals are worthwhile. But consumables like produce and groceries I specifically wait to purchase and stock up to maximize the deal. I'm not paying $4.29 for 6 damn muffins. But for 12, sure.

  15. You're not really very good at this convincing people of your point thing. If I'm going to a store to find a pair of pants and I see a pair of pants that's $50 and a pair that's $60 but bogo I'm going to take up the bogo deal. Rather than spend $50 for one I just spent $30 for one. And I'm going to wear the pants. And $10 Is nothing. It would hardly register on my balance sheet. But getting two pairs of pants (of two different colors) would really make a difference to my wardrobe

  16. This is so true! When I go to Whataburger they have coupons for buy one breakfast taquito and get one free but everytime I use the coupon I noticed the price is about a dollar and some change more!

  17. This happens with items where you can buy one get one free but the discount is across multiple items, say you buy 2 books (one is £10 the other is £5) you will always get the £5 one of free and pay for the most expensive item, however the mind doesnt think of this as quickly as we see FREE

  18. I recently purchased 2 pairs of Adidas original sneakers for the price of 1. It was certainly one of the best deals of my life and totally worth it.

  19. Ity`s funny that these practises are only possible in the US, here in the EU not only companies don`t even think about doing it, but if they ever did that, they would be caught right away.

  20. I only fall for bogo deals if I know I use the product regularly or i know I need more than one. But they're right its running up my bill and I should be buying less items. period.

  21. Don't customers become smarter over time ? Since BOGO has been going on for so long, we should have become smarter by now.

  22. I use to work at Payless and we had the BOGO deal buy a pair of shoes and getting the second ones (of less price) half off. THE THING IS…..the prices during BOGO would go up and sometimes up to regular price …..so honestly the worst time to buy shoes was during BOGO : /

  23. No bargain is ever a bargain unless you need the item(s).
    Two for one also leads to consumers spending more time shopping (esp clothing items) which can & probably leads to other purchases (distractions). It is smart & effective marketing for the gullibly impulsive shopper. No retailer is out to do any consumer any favors, business is business.

  24. That amazon cuisinart appliance deal really wouldn’t affect me cause I never look at list prices lol. I’d just think “hmm I can spend $35 on that, seems reasonable enough for what it is”

  25. Retailers cheating the public?!? 😳🙄🤦🏻‍♀️ NOTHING IS FOR FREE! NEVER EVER!!! Amazon is never cheaper, it’s merely more convenient especially if you’re a Prime Member. (You also get to use their App for some pretty cool TV series and movies.)

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