Most of the time when we hear the phrase “buyer incentives,” it’s related to large purchases such as a house or a car. For those bigger investments, you sometimes can get a tax break, a special deal on your loan or some sort of cash back reward for making payments early. But flip through retail ads today and you’ll see that stores are offering buyer incentives on just about anything.
Sometimes, however, it means the buyer spends more upfront.
I don’t know anyone who would argue with a sale price. But when it comes to having to buy a product to save in the long run, things get tricky.
Kohl’s offers Kohl’s Cash throughout the year when shoppers spend a certain amount. After the cash is earned, shoppers can return at a later date to use the “cash” on future purchases.
CVS has a similar deal. Shoppers earn Extra Bucks for spending a certain amount on selected products each week. These “bucks” can be used in future shopping trips.
If you are a regular shopper at a store that offers these incentives, they can be very rewarding. I’m in a cycle of shopping at CVS because I prefer to make short shopping trips when what I need is on sale as opposed to big Walmart trips. Even though the normal prices at CVS are higher than those at Walmart, I save 50 percent to 75 percent on each shopping trip thanks to my coupons and Extra Bucks.
However, if you’re enticed to pick up a product at one of these stores because of the rewards you receive with a purchase even though you rarely shop there, think twice. For retailers, part of the appeal of these incentives is that many shoppers will forget to use their rewards or not bother to return. Then you really haven’t gotten a deal at all.
Similar promotions also can be found at Target, which regularly offers free gift cards with selected purchases. The plus side to receiving a gift card with purchase is that it won’t expire like store “cash,” which usually is valid for only a month or less.
Then there is the best kind of incentive, which most of us see as an old-fashioned sale. For many shoppers, there’s not much better than a sign that reads “buy one, get one free.” The free product is indeed an incentive, but the reward is immediate.
Similar deals include “buy one at regular price, get one for a dollar,” or “buy one, get one half-off.” You may not have thought of these purchases as incentives in the past, but it’s important to start doing so to really see the value in what you’re buying.
Do you have a preference when shopping? Are you often enticed by rewards after purchase, or have you been burned by them in the past?