Is it Really a Sale if You Have to Buy 8 of Them?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

In finishing up my Christmas shopping yesterday, I visited Bath & Body Works to get a couple of lotions to stuff inside another present. Now I admit that I'm an infrequent customer; I like their products, but their sales model annoys the (insert the hot place of your choice here) out of me. This visit only reinforced my opinion of them.

Kanani, I love coupons, and I have one for $10 off a $30 purchase. I figure I can buy my gifts and maybe a little something for me. But then I start looking at the prices. I remember pulling an $8 price sticker off a bottle of lotion to use as a gift I mailed off last month (I bought the lotion a while ago, on sale, but still). Now that same lotion is listed at $10.50. My favorite body butter used to be $9, and now it lists at $14! I know inflation is hurting everyone, but I fail to see how this improves business. Next to the overpriced signature collection, there is a promotional sign: "Sale! 7 for $35". I only need two or three bottles, but at $10.50 each, it's obviously "cheaper" to buy seven. I suppose I can stock up for future gifts and for the all of next year. I pick seven of my favorites.

At the register, the clerk informs me that the body butters and washes are not part of the promotion, even though they are on the same display :-(. I go back and have another look; the sign does say that, but in very small, faint print. Guess I'll stock up on still more lotion. I also find a cute, tinted lip gloss, so I add it to the armload and head back to the register.

When I reach the counter, I can't find my coupon! I see a stack of $10 off coupons sitting right next to the clerk at the register.

"I have a $10 off $30 purchase coupon, but I can't find it," I say. I drop my bags and dig through my purse full of receipts, gum wrappers, and tic tacs. I find some fruit snacks and an unopened sucker from Halloween, but no coupon. Maybe if I bribe her, she'll give me one from her stack.

She is just standing there, looking at me. I can't believe she isn't going to offer me one of her coupons sitting just inches from my hand!

"Guess I'll have to come back after I find my coupon," I say. I close my purse and gather up the other shopping bags.

She finally caves, "Actually, today, we're giving out $10 off coupons with every purchase. If you buy just the lip gloss, I can give you a coupon to use on the lotions."

"Okay." I smile and hand her the gloss. She rings it up, then hands me the coupon. I half expect her to ask me if I want a bag for that! As she rings up the seven bottles of lotion, she adds, "Would you like another bottle of lotion. With this promotion, it's buy 7, get 1 free."

Of course I want my free one. Now I have eight bottles of lotion for $27.70, including tax. If I get invited to a gift swap this holiday season, I'm ready. Oh, and I found another $10 off a $30 purchase coupon in the bottom of my shopping bag; I might have to go back for some Fredric Fekkai.


khepworth said...

They get you every time don't they! It totally stinks that they raised their price on the body butter.

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