If you’ve watched television for any length of time, you’re well aware of the “2nd one free” offers that come with almost every gadget advertised. It’s a ploy used by many companies to build value in the minds of consumers, but does it really work? And are you getting a deal by getting that second item, or being scammed even further?
Most products sold on TV these days follow a cookie cutter template. Step one is to show the aggravation of not having the product. Step two is to show as many uses for the product as possible, and step three is to up the ante by throwing in a second set free. This should put the viewer into a rabid buying state and lead to a sale.
There are some pretty clever tactics involved in these ads, but none more so than the 2nd one free offer. By thinly disguising additional shipping charges on the second item, these sellers successfully increase the total revenues made on the transaction. Some people might wonder how these businesses can offer an entire second product without charging for it, but many times their mark-up is so high they have plenty of room to work in.
The claim is that you’re getting the 2nd one free. This implies that you are getting something for nothing, or that it isn’t costing you anything to receive the second item.
The goal of any product that is sold through television advertising is to hype up the product. Throwing in a 2nd one free is often enough to tip someone from being on the fence, to going through with the purchase.
The cost of the 2nd item is usually in the form of paying separate shipping and handling. Once you receive the package, you’ll easily notice that it didn’t cost them nearly as much to ship the product as you paid. The company keeps the difference as added income, and therefore doesn’t lose any money by giving you a second item.
Quite the contrary, this is pure profit for them. In many instances these gadgets are made overseas in a developing Asian nation, and cost only a few pennies to manufacture, assemble, and ship back to the States. So anything above the few dollars per product that the company has in overhead, everything else is profit that can go into more TV spots, creating a successful sales cycle.
Many manufacturers will not sell you a single item, and will force you into taking the second one free. In many instances it’s the only way you can make a purchase. This by itself shows that the 2nd one free offer is totally bogus. They are selling a set of two for a fixed price, or else you should be able to buy an item singly.
A true 2nd one free offer will not require you to pay an extra shipping charge for the second item.
It’s important to realize that you are not getting one up on the company, you are not technically getting anything for free. Obviously they aren’t going broke by giving things away, and they’ve made their calculations to determine that they’ll make even more money by sending you a second product.
Do 2nd One Free Offers Really Work?
If you find it useful that they are including a second item, and the price seems reasonable, then a buy one get a second free promo can work to your advantage, or can sweeten the deal enough to make it worthwhile.
You have to evaluate the individual product on its own merits, and not let the fact that you get two of them be the basis of your decision. If you were ready to buy the product without the 2nd one free offer and it’s just a happy bonus, then you should go ahead with the purchase.
If the company won’t let you order just one item, and forces you into paying a second shipping charge, you should not go through with the transaction, and look for the item at places like eBay or Amazon, where you can score a single item without paying extra for an additional, unneeded one.