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BS: Shopping in the USA: 'Rebate Pricing'

Ed. 17 May 03 - 06:43 AM
JohnInKansas 17 May 03 - 12:06 PM
GUEST 17 May 03 - 12:23 PM
Jim Dixon 17 May 03 - 04:10 PM
stevetheORC 17 May 03 - 06:21 PM

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Subject: BS: Shopping in the USA: 'Rebate Pricing'
From: Ed.
Date: 17 May 03 - 06:43 AM

I've seen the concept of 'rebate pricing' mentioned in a few threads. We don't (as far as I'm aware) have it here in the UK.

I've got a rough idea as to how it works, but am curious to know a bit more about it.

Is it widespread? Is it liked? Can you really save much?



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Subject: RE: BS: Shopping in the USA: 'Rebate Pricing'
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 17 May 03 - 12:06 PM

Rebate pricing is, hopefully, a fad embraced by overpriced ad writers, propagated by sellers who have learned that you almost never actually have to pay more than a small percentage of the rebates, and supported by consumers who are basically idiots.

Essentially it amounts to "overpricing" merchandise, and then offering to give back part of the price, maybe, if the purchaser can satisfy arbitrary, capricious, and often demeaning "conditions" that usually are unknown until you've paid the inflated "full price" and get the thing home so you can look inside the box. Recent industry reports indicate that less than 10 percent of rebates "offered" are ever paid, although there is some variation between specific markets.

Except for it being so widespread that it is virtually impossible to buy some things (specifically software and automobiles) at retail without dealing with "rebate offers," I would, and where possible have, informed retailers that I refuse to patronize anyone offering them. I wish more people would do the same.

Now if you want my honest opinion on this ....


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Subject: RE: BS: Shopping in the USA: 'Rebate Pricing'
Date: 17 May 03 - 12:23 PM

and then there are those idiots who sign up for isps for 21.95 a month when they buy a computer so they could get a couple of hundred back...but the catch is they have to stay with that isp for a year or two...or even more...or else pay a termination fee....which can be about 70 - 80 percent of the amount you have yet to pay on your contract....

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Subject: RE: BS: Shopping in the USA: 'Rebate Pricing'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 May 03 - 04:10 PM

There are a lot of marketing gimmicks we have in the US that you don't have in the UK.

Most of my experience was gained in pubs, so let's start there.

In America, you generally expect to get a better price, the more volume you buy. In bars, beer is available in several size glasses (the size varies from one bar to another), but you usually pay less per unit of volume if you buy the larger glass or mug. You can often buy beer by the pitcher--that's around a half-gallon--at around 20% less per unit than buying it by the glass.

In Britain, beer is only available by the pint or half-pint, and a pint costs exactly twice as much as a half-pint. Pitchers aren't available, but what would be the point of buying them anyway if you couldn't save any money?

In American bars, cheap food is often given away free. Popcorn (salty, not sweet) is probably the most common. In the more upscale bars, it might be peanuts or pretzels. The idea is that the salt makes you thirsty, and makes you order more drinks. It might also just be a way of making your bar more attractive than the competition.

I never got anything free in a British pub. You have to pay for every bag of crisps (potato chips) you eat.

American bars, particularly the ones located downtown (in the city center), often have "happy hours" in the early evening (not necessarily only one hour long) when drinks are half price, or two-for-one, and maybe more elaborate snacks are provided free--barbecued chicken wings, for example. The idea is to lure in business at a time when business would otherwise be slow--after the after-work crowd has gone home, but before the evening crowd has appeared. And hopefully, most of those customers will remain in the bar after the end of happy hour and order more drinks at full price.

I never heard of a "happy hour" in Britain, but that comes at a time when British pubs would be closed anyway. Are they still? (I heard some talk about liberalizing the hours.)

It makes economic sense for any business to lower its prices (or increase services) at times of lower demand, and raise them at times of peak demand, just as airlines and railroads do, but British small businesses rarely take advantage of this opportunity. I wonder why?

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Subject: RE: BS: Shopping in the USA: 'Rebate Pricing'
From: stevetheORC
Date: 17 May 03 - 06:21 PM

We have had Happy Hours over here for years and yes you can buy beer by the pitcher, as for free stuff bars have quite often provided free peanuts and even herrings and sandwiches, it's usualy in the more upclass or country pups that you find the free stuff. Our Railways on the other hand think that it is a good idea to put prices up regular then say that it is the passengerd fault ( either to many on a perticular train or not enough) you cant win.
there are a lot more cut price outlets over here now selling everything from designer clothes to basic crap, than there where 10 years ago.

DE Orc

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