money puzzle missing pieces

Q: When is a bonus deal not a bonus deal? A: When it turns out you actually aren’t getting any extra added value.

We all love a good bargain or a freebie. It gives us that rush, that feeling of getting something that we shouldn’t be entitled to but we’ve found a way to beat the system! Woohoo!

However bonus deals aren’t always what they appear at face value, if you will pardon the pun. To be able to assess whether a bonus deal is deceptive or not, you’ll need to put on your detective hat and dig a little deeper. Sometimes that’s reading into the terms and conditions, or other times looking at product history and competitors.

Today we’ll take a look at some of the deceptive bonus deal tactics that you’ll see employed that try to snare customers – without returning much (if any) extra value to you at all. Let’s dig in.

Product two for one bonus deals

When you stroll the aisles of the supermarket, you’ll often spot some two for one deals on display. These can be a great way to stock up on some of your favourite products at once.

Here are some checks you can do to see whether that two for one deal you spotted in the M&S sale is a bargain or not.

  • Quickly take a look at competitor pricing for the item. Is it significantly lower? If it is, and you have zero need to buy in bulk, you might be better off waiting to shop.
  • Assess the use-by date. If products expire soon, you may not be able to use them in time which will just result in further landfill.
  • Look at the cost of the same item in a larger size, for instance 1L of yoghurt versus 100ml pots. You may find the cost of a larger size is cheap than multiples of the smaller size, even with an extra one for free.
  • Is a competitor brand a lot cheaper? If you don’t have a brand preference, then you may not be getting the best deal with the two for one.

These same checks also apply to extra % bonus deals, for instance if your 1L of yoghurt came with 20% extra free.

Whipping out the calculator in your phone and doing some quick checks can make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck when it comes to supermarket shopping.

Free bonus money at online casinos

Online casinos have some seemingly great deals up front, such as $50 free all without any deposit necessary. However with these bonus deals you really need to have an extra hard look at the fine print. The terms for no deposit bonuses vary wildly between different gaming houses. Take a look at these catches to see whether you think it will be worth your while or just used for practice instead of wins.

  • Check the games the free money applies to. The range will be limited. For instance, if you just want to play Blackjack, you probably won’t be able to use this money to do so.
  • Look for the play through requirements to see when you can cash out. It may be the case that you have to play the amount through a given slot machine up to 50 times before you are allowed to cash out. The chances of having winnings from doing this would likely be slim.
  • Check that you are legally allowed to cash out in your country. You don’t want to play all that time only to find you can’t withdraw any winnings.

Bonus item with purchase

This type of deal is particularly pervasive when it comes to makeup and skincare products, for example if you spend over $70 with Lancome you might get a set of miniatures of their new line of skincare.

  • While it’s great to get freebies like this, consider the following to see if you’re really getting good value.
  • Would you spend the designated amount usually on this brand? If you are upping your regular spend just to get a freebie it may not be worth it.
  • Does the brand do free samplers anyway? Are those freebie sachets or minis already free and you’re just getting them in some pretty packaging? That’s not a deal.
  • Will you even use the free item/s? While something like a tote bag can be very handy, if you’re receiving something like foundation in the wrong shade, it’s not of much use to you anyway.

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