Author Topic: Coupons for FREE stuff - what do you do?  (Read 3247 times)

G-dog

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Coupons for FREE stuff - what do you do?
« on: April 06, 2016, 08:57:54 AM »
A Natural Grocery just opened here and is sending coupons for free items (no purchase necessary). Also, Panera is offering a free bagel per day for every day in April. Various other free giveaways happen throughout the year around the country.

Do you redeem the coupon without buying anything else?

So far, I always buy at least one other item, just out of guilt or fear of what others may think. Financially, etc., this is stupid (unless I would buy it there anyway), but sociologically, it feels 'wrong' to walk in, get the items, and walk out paying nothing....

FerrumB5

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Re: Coupons for FREE stuff - what do you do?
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2016, 09:23:06 AM »
I just used an "introductory" coupon for free large Aurelio's pizza with no shame. I tipped them though

Axecleaver

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Re: Coupons for FREE stuff - what do you do?
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2016, 09:44:03 AM »
Ah, the old reciprocity effect trick! Don't feel bad about just taking the freebie, it's part of their marketing expense. The idea is to get you into their new store and see how awesome and clean it is, so you buy other stuff with higher margins. Just showing up is holding up your end of the bargain.

The reciprocity effect
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reciprocity_(social_psychology)

The psychology of "free"
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/10/the-psychology-behind-costcos-free-samples/380969/





G-dog

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Re: Coupons for FREE stuff - what do you do?
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2016, 10:37:20 AM »
Ah, the old reciprocity effect trick! Don't feel bad about just taking the freebie, it's part of their marketing expense. The idea is to get you into their new store and see how awesome and clean it is, so you buy other stuff with higher margins. Just showing up is holding up your end of the bargain.

The reciprocity effect
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reciprocity_(social_psychology)

The psychology of "free"
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/10/the-psychology-behind-costcos-free-samples/380969/

Ah, I know, I am trying to get past this.

I am past the the charity solicitations in the mail that send you a little gift to create a sense of obligation. Free samples in Costco, etc., don't work on me either - it is just a sample. But the face-to-face scenario for full-sized product has been a tougher nut to crack...

This week I got a loaf of whole heat bread, 1 lb of almond butter, and 12 oz of honey from Natural Grocers - pretty significant amount of loot. I bought some yogurt we needed - but I costs more than Costco or Trader Joe's where I would usually get it (but saved a trip as those are further away).


Runrooster

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Re: Coupons for FREE stuff - what do you do?
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2016, 12:06:51 PM »
Nice haul, almond butter and honey are both expensive!  I would chat up my neighbors and ask what they thought of the new store and if they didn't want their coupons.  Hey, I'm helping them create buzz.

I don't think I was raised with the reciprocity instinct.  If anything, I think my parents look down on a place that has to give something away.  There must be something wrong with it.  I volunteer with a variety of arts organizations, and I often get performance tickets or discounts in kind, subject to availability.  I used to give these out to my friends, but it was generally a hassle to coordinate.  Almost no one felt the need to reciprocate.  If anything they would complain the seat wasn't ideal or I didn't give enough notice. Usually it's midrange.  One time I got someone what I think were the best seats in the house and he still complained, and took a seat elsewhere.  Another time I told my sister I wouild get tickets for her family but she had to use them or I would look bad. An hour after I confirmed the number, she let my nephew off the hook, when he was sitting in the room for the whole discussion.

I was using the free/discount tickets as a gateway drug, hoping my family would enjoy attending and learn how to get around and then would choose to attend at a higher price point. Unfortunately the kids have a "eat your vegetables" reaction to the arts that they have had the "misfortune" to be forced to attend.

G-dog

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Re: Coupons for FREE stuff - what do you do?
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2016, 01:35:51 PM »
Wow @Runrooster - that's pretty ballsy of folks to complain about what is essentially a gift. Maybe they viewed you as an insider that should be able to always give out free tickets, backstage passes, dinner with the stars, etc.


I've heard that missionaries used to give away Bibles, then were shocked when they were tossed by the side of the road or otherwise abused. They eventually figured out that people don't value things they get for free - it essentially sets the value at zero in their minds.

I just used up the honey on a batch of granola! Two days ago I enjoyed almond butter and apricot jam on wthe whole wheat bread. I think this was close to $18-$20 of free stuff. And thus is not the only coupon I've used! I've thought about checking with the neighbors for unwanted coupons! I have yet to go get a free bagel though....

Runrooster

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Re: Coupons for FREE stuff - what do you do?
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2016, 04:47:53 PM »
I think the key to giving out free passes is to make it rare.  Also, if I set some nominal price, even $5, then people are likely to decide for sure they want to go and how many.  I also had to explain to them that just because the tickets are free, that does not mean you can act like it's a picnic, show up late, talk, eat in the theater, leave early.  If anything, you should be on your best behavior. I finally decided I would only give out tickets to people who had earned it by going to smaller brand theaters, even free, and showed they understood the etiquette.  Plus there's so much on the internet now.  Do you sit down and listen to a 45 minute symphony at home, then you get to graduate to the live event.  Are you bored after ten minutes of Giselle, then a live version probably isn't going to hold your attention either.

By and large, I would say a lot of people just wanted to be able to say they had gone, kind of like bragging about overseas travel. 

Kaikou

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Re: Coupons for FREE stuff - what do you do?
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2016, 09:53:46 AM »
Yes I do. BTW Panera bagels are cheap and nasty. I won't be wasting the gas anymore.

redbird

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Re: Coupons for FREE stuff - what do you do?
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2016, 04:29:12 PM »
I went to IHOP on the day they were offering the free short stack of pancakes. I did not pay for anything. I even had water for my drink. I did leave a tip for the waitress, so I suppose you could argue I paid for something in that sense. But that was it.

I've had coupons for free burgers from McDonalds before and paid them zero.

Most of the time I won't bother to buy anything if it's zero purchase required. Grocery stores are an exception though, since I generally need other things too at the time.

G-dog

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Re: Coupons for FREE stuff - what do you do?
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2016, 08:47:00 PM »
I went to IHOP on the day they were offering the free short stack of pancakes. I did not pay for anything. I even had water for my drink. I did leave a tip for the waitress, so I suppose you could argue I paid for something in that sense. But that was it.

I've had coupons for free burgers from McDonalds before and paid them zero.

Most of the time I won't bother to buy anything if it's zero purchase required. Grocery stores are an exception though, since I generally need other things too at the time.

I have never gone to one of the free food days. Partly because the food offered hasn't been that enticing, partly laziness, and while working - it seemed so cheap to be making my salary and going for the free food (others need it more). Not that I expected to see anyone I knew.

So far, I am the only one with this 'problem'. Work in progress....

G-dog

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Re: Coupons for FREE stuff - what do you do?
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2016, 08:50:14 PM »
Yes I do. BTW Panera bagels are cheap and nasty. I won't be wasting the gas anymore.

I like Panera's bagels just fine. I've had way worse, but also believe there are better as well. If your point is that you would not get things you don't like just because it is free - then I agree. Heck, I like Panera's bagels, but so far not enough to get get my free ones yet this month even though one is very close by.