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Don’t Get Tricked! How to Spot the Best BOGO Deals

  • Post author:Bob Haegele
  • Post last modified:March 29, 2024

BOGO deals are available from various retailers and can be a great way to save money. They are very popular with shoppers and retailers, as they can benefit both.

Of course, the retailer’s goal is to get you to spend more money, but you can use BOGO deals to your advantage. Using the tips we cover here, you can find BOGO deals that allow you to spend less money, not more.

We’ll discuss some of the best BOGO deals, how to find them, and how to spend less money as a result.

BOGO Deals: What Are They?

BOGO (buy one, get one) deals are sales strategies retailers and marketers use to incentivize consumers to spend more money. They typically offer a second item significantly cheaper, like free or 50% off, after buying the first item.

For consumers, BOGO has an obvious appeal. It allows them to get much more for their money — as much as double, depending on the deal. This gives people at least the perception of a smart financial decision, as they may get two items for the price of one.

BOGO can also be good for retailers, as it can allow them to clear out old inventory while attracting new customers.

However, the real benefit for retailers is the potential increase in sales volume. Increasing sales can offset the cost of free or discounted items, and retailers can even increase their overall profit if their margins are high enough.

Types of BOGO Deals

You might associate BOGO with a particular type of deal like BOGO free. However, there can be many types of BOGO deals. Here are some of the most common types.

BOGO Free

BOGO free offers a second item for free after you buy the first one. This is the most straightforward and appealing BOGO deal since you get a second item at no additional cost.

However, consumers should be aware that there are multiple reasons retailers might offer BOGO free deals. In some cases, they might do this to move large volumes of stock or introduce new products. This is where you can likely benefit from some great deals.

In other cases, retailers might do this to encourage customers to purchase high-margin items. Depending on the item, the retailer might still be making a big profit, so it’s not as great a deal as it first seems.

BOGO Percentage Off

Some BOGO deals give you a percentage off your second item after purchasing the first one. The most common deal here is a 50% discount on the second item.

This is obviously less appealing than getting the second item for free, but it can still lead to significant savings.

While BOGO free often gives you two of the same item, BOGO 50% off might let you purchase something different for your second item. This can make it a good way to save money, especially if you don’t want two of the same item.

These sales can be beneficial for retailers because they allow stores to offer a deal while having better margins than a BOGO free sale. It can be more sustainable for higher-cost items or premium brands.

Conditional BOGO

An even more complex version of the BOGO deal is conditional BOGO. With these sales, you can take advantage of a BOGO deal by purchasing a particular item, buying a certain quantity, or reaching a spending threshold.

For instance, there might be a sale where you buy two pairs of jeans to get a third one free. In this example, there’s no benefit to buying one pair of jeans, but if you buy a second pair, you get another pair for free.

It’s easy to see how this would encourage consumers to spend more since buying just one pair doesn’t result in a BOGO deal. For retailers, this is beneficial as it enables them to sell more inventory.

How to Find BOGO Deals

BOGO deals can lead to serious savings if you know where to find them, but that may not be obvious at first. Here are some of the simplest and most straightforward ways to find BOGO specials.

In-Store Promotions

One of the simplest ways to find BOGO deals is to look for in-store promotions. Stores sometimes have signs posted indicating a BOGO sale. You might find signs in checkout areas or on end caps.

Specific stores often have BOGO deals. For instance, this is one of the ways to get free Starbucks.

Another way to find store-specific promotions is with their weekly fliers and ads. Keep an eye out for these if you receive weekly mail from any stores you frequent. Or you might find information about BOGO deals at the store’s entrance.

Online Retailers

Some online retailers might have BOGO deals regularly. E-commerce websites, in particular, often have information about these deals on their homepages or on banner promos.

Another place to look is on dedicated deals pages. Some websites have these linked in their menus at the top of the page. If not, you can sometimes find them via Google search.

Finally, consider subscribing to newsletters, especially for any online retailers where you normally shop frequently. Since you will likely be spending your money there anyway, it’s best to subscribe, as these weekly newsletters can sometimes contain BOGO deals.

Coupon Websites and Apps

There are several coupons websites and coupon apps available, and you can often find information on BOGO deals on them. Sites or apps like RetailMeNot, Groupon, or PayPal Honey may have BOGO offers or other discounts from retailers.

Brand Newsletters and Social Media

You can also sign up for newsletters for your favorite brands, which might include BOGO deals or discounts. In addition, you can follow some of your favorite brands on social media. Companies often announce special BOGO deals to their social media followers.

Loyalty Programs

Another way you might gain access to BOGO deals is with loyalty programs. Many stores and brands have these, and shopping at the store regularly can unlock exclusive deals and discounts. Yes, these might even include BOGO deals.

One way this might be possible is with loyalty points. In some cases, earning enough loyalty points might allow you to unlock BOGO offers.

Tips for Maximizing BOGO Deals

Sure, BOGO deals can be a great way to save money. But that doesn’t mean saving money is a given. These tips will allow you to get the best value of BOGO discounts to make your money go farther.

Compare Value and Prices

Just because there is a BOGO offer doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good value. One of the easiest way to know if it’s a good deal is to compare the “deal” price to regular prices at other stores.

I put “deal” in quotes because retailers sometimes use deceptive practices to make items seem like a good deal, even though they are similar to if not the same as the normal price.

You should also evaluate whether both items in the BOGO deal are of equal value. Also consider whether you actually want the second item.

Because if you don’t want the second item, is the sale really making your life better? It’s an important question to ask.

Understanding Terms and Conditions

No one likes to read the fine print (I’m definitely guilty of his one). However, it’s important to do, as this may reveal important restrictions or limitations to the program.

For instance, the deal may have restrictions like limited selection, expiration dates, and quantity limits. All these can affect the deal’s value.

You should also keep an eye out for additional requirements, such as being part of the brand’s loyalty program or making an additional purchase to qualify. Ensure you meet all the criteria before attempting to take advantage of the deal.

Planning Purchases

Last but certainly not least is to plan your purchases carefully. Sure, a BOGO deal might seem too good to pass up, but that doesn’t meant it is. If you buy something simply because it’s part of a BOGO deal, you’ll probably end up spending more money in the long run, not less.

To avoid this, be sure to plan your purchases in advance. Specifically, plan them around BOGO deals on items you were planning to buy anyway.

You can also use BOGO deals to stock up on non-perishable items you normally buy. This might include household goods, personal care items, or pantry items.

Pitfalls to Avoid

As mentioned, BOGO deals aren’t always a good, well, deal. They can be a great way to save money, but only if you avoid these common pitfalls.

Overspending

One of the biggest pitfalls you may fall into with BOGO deals is overspending. Sure, it can be tempting and even gratifying to get a BOGO discount, but this can quickly lead to buying items you don’t need.

This temptation can encourage consumers to stretch or even exceed their budgets, especially if they’re worried the deal may not be available later. Or, if the deal requires you to buy more items than you planned to buy, it could lead to overspending.

As we said before, it’s better to plan your purchases are BOGO deals on items you would have bought anyway. This way, you’ll be less tempted to buy things you don’t need.

Falling for Marketing Gimmicks

BOGO deals can sometimes have marketing gimmicks swirling around them. Remember, selling more is often the retailer’s goal, and they might use gimmicky tactics to increase sales.

For instance, retailers and marketers may use limited-time deals to create a sense of urgency or say that supplies are limited. This pushes consumers to make the purchase now (even if they don’t need it), since the deal may not be available later.

Another tactic they may use is to overestimate potential savings. This effect might be even greater if the consumer has to buy expensive items to qualify for a free or discounted product.

Bottom Line

BOGO deals can be a great way to save money. In some cases, these deals give you a free item or sometimes you may get one for 50% off. In other cases, you might need to buy multiple items to get one free.

There are many places you can find BOGO deals, such as with in-store promotions, newsletters, or on coupon apps and sites. Make sure you compare prices with other retailers and avoid pitfalls like falling for marketing gimmicks.

Plan your purchases around BOGO deals on items you normally buy anyway. This will help you maximize savings while avoiding overspending.

Hey there. My name is Bob Haegele and I'm a personal finance writer who has been freelancing since 2018. Since then, I've built a six-figure career as a freelance writer. My work has been featured in Business Insider, Forbes Advisor, TIME.com, USA Today, and many other outlets. Interested in starting a blog of your own? Check out my post on starting a blog.

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