The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

December 10, 2007

Promotional Pricing Gone Awry

Filed under: Food, Random Stuff, shopping — Tags: , , — Brian Lutz @ 11:48 pm

A few weeks ago over at, there was a discussion about supermarket promotions, and the phenomenon of “nine-for-fourteen dollar sales” and other such promotions confused to sell items by confusing customers.  Around here, the most common form of this is probably the “10 for $10” sale, which is easy enough to figure out, but it isn’t uncommon to see some more convoluted versions like 3 for $7, or 4 for $11 on some items.  The theory behind this is that if you advertise something as being 3 for $5 (or something to that effect,) people will buy 3 of that item, rather than try to figure out the indivifual cost of each one, counting on the fact that people will assume that less than three of the item would be regular price.  This is rarely the case, and if it was, the sign would reflect this fact.  Since being single doesn’t makes stocking up on things impractical a lot of the time, I just buy however many I need and let the cash register figure it out for me, After all, isn’t that what the things were designed for?

 While doing some late-night shopping at the local QFC (one of the two local permutations of the Vast Kroger Empire found in the Seattle area) a couple of evenings ago, I came across what may be the most ridiculous example of this type of pricing that I’ve seen:


So let me get this straight.  If you buy 1 bottle of this stuff, you can get a $2 rebate by mail.  Buy 2 bottles, you can get $4 back, and so on.  Of course, how many people are going to go through the trouble of filling out the form, getting whatever proof of purchase is required off the bottle and sending the whole thing in just to get $2 back per bottle?

On the other hand, the fine folks at Gnarly Head provide a bonus incentive here.  For those who are willing to buy in bulk, you can get a $30 rebate from a dozen bottles, which is an amount someone might actually go through all that effort for.  Of course, to get that $30 back, that means you have to buy 12 bottles of the stuff all at once.  At the listed price of $10.99 a bottle, that means that you’re going to be spending $131.88 (plus tax), which to most people is a pretty significant chunk of change, not to mention the fact that unless you were planning on either a big party or a really wild bender, you’re going to have to store all of that stuff somewhere.  Of course, you can get $30 of that back in 4-6 weeks, but when all is said and done, you can either save $2 per bottle (if you’re willing to actually send in the rebate,) or you can spend a whole bunch of money on the stuff at once and save $2.50 per bottle, or a total of $6.  Seems like a whole lot of hassle, doesn’t it? 

I hope you all took notes, there will be a quiz on this later.  Oh, and by the way, you might want to be careful about that particular brand of wine, as it seems that drinking it apparently comes with a slight risk of eternal damnation

 (Note:  This is a crosspost from an item I originally posted at, with some additional comments added.)

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: