Interesting how so many stores are touting “Buy One Get one 50% Off” these days. It sounds unbelievably tempting but ultimately what is the true percentage off? Given that many consumers have to stretch a buck or two (including myself) I decided to undertake the task of figuring this out, just to determine whether it really is such a great deal. I follow with an example below.
Buying Two Items of The Same Value
For the sake of a concrete example, I use shoe buying. A sale of 50% OFF is great – in and of itself – especially if you are buying a pair of shoes for $50 that would normally cost you a hundred dollars. But what about those sales that make you buy one at regular price and another of equal or lesser value to get the sale? If you need to buy that first pair of shoes for $100 just to get the next pair for 50% off, you may have to watch out. If you decide to purchase a second pair that originally goes for $100 you would end up paying $150 for both ($100 for the first pair plus $50 on sale for the second). That equals a savings of 25 percent. (Does not sound as amazing as 50% off, I know).
Buying Second Item of Lesser Value
The savings are even less when you decide to purchase the second pair of shoes at a lesser value. Let’s say the original price of the second pair is $80 so 50% off that would be $40. Assuming you love the first pair at $100 and still purchase them, you end up paying $140 for both shoes ($100 for the first pair plus $40 for the second) – or 22% savings. Not so thrilling. Continuing on, let’s say you buy that same first pair of shoes for $100 and want to get a second pair for $30 (originally priced at $60) … you spend a total of $130 and saved yourself $30 … believe it or not, this transaction will only render you only a 19% savings. A real eye-opener! (Click on the image to the right of my headline to view a chart of these figures).
So How Much Do I Really Save?
As one can see from this example, the most you can ever save in a buy one get one 50% off is 25 percent! If you really want to go for the gusto and indulge in a sale like this just keep in mind that the closer both items are in price the “better” the savings. Retailers could simply say today’s sale is 25% off but why do that when 50% sounds so much more enticing? Next time you go out to the mall (or even to the grocery store) remember that all these “sales” could just be a tactic to fool you into believing you are saving more than you really are!