It's no surprise that marketing ads are quite maisleading. You may recall those "free" America Online discs that plagued the checkout at the grocery store. If you recall, they offered 1,000 free Internet hours for 45 days! They make it sound so wonderful, but there are only 1,080 hours available in 45 days- so you would have to literally be online day and night to use the 1,000 hour offer. Basically, you get a 45 day free trial, but doesn't 1,000 Free Hours sound like so much more!
Which ad would you prefer to see on an item?
- Buy 1, Get 1 Free!
- Buy 2, get 50% Off
They're the same thing. Chances are, your first impulse was to say, I want Buy one get one Free, because, well, it's FREE!
Or this one:
- 90% Lean
- 10 % Fat
Same thing, but most people would pick the 90% Lean, It's a psychological game of numbers. Grocers frequently use sales pitches like 10 for $10, but you're less likely to see $1/1. People instinctively purchase the advertised amount, spending more than they had anticipated and lining the grocers pockets.
People naturally have an aversion to loss and respond better to sales pitches that take on the appearance of a gain. If you feel like you're getting a deal, you'll buy it.
Example: When car sales plummeted, Our local automotive dealer offered a car for $18,000- 0% financing for 3 years. The fine print at the bottom said, if you pay cash for the car, you'll receive a $3,000 Rebate Check.
Essentially, the car was for sale for $15,000. The 0% financing option was simply a marketing tactic to force the consumer to pay the finance charge up front.
Consumers were duped into believing they saved money, when it fact, they paid for it up front.
What you can do?
Check the fine print of the sales flyer, are you required to purchase the quantity advertised to take advantage of the deal? Most stores will allow you to purchase lesser amounts, whilst taking advantage of the sale price.