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Too Many Conditions Can Spoil the Offer

David Smith
If an offer is too good without all the conditions, it’s a lousy offer.

Almost all retailers constantly are trying to think up ways to get more people into their stores. And it gets harder and harder to come up with new ploys.

But occasionally they come up with an offer so good that it scares them. So the retailer starts adding conditions to make the offer less costly to the store.

Listen to this offer from Staples: a coupon worth twenty dollars off an in-store purchase of twenty dollars or more. One day only at the Memphis store only.  

Just for the heck of it, I looked at the back of the coupon. In addition to the normal caveats about minimum purchase, tax exclusions, et cetera, small type informs you that the coupon is no good on desktop or laptop computers, tablets, netbooks or Beats Audio. Amazon Kindle, Nook Color or HP or Epson Ink and toner. Custom on-line printing orders, gift cards, cell phones or cell phone service, tech services, depot repair and parts, phone cards or postage stamps.

Most people do not read that small print. I wonder how many got to checkout with the twenty-dollar coupon and forbidden merchandise. Too many conditions on such an offer defeat the purpose.

If a retailer really wants to build traffic, lose the conditions. If the offer is too good without all the conditions, it is a lousy offer.


John Malmo is a marketing consultant who concentrates on helping business owners grow their businesses with effective marketing. To reach Mr. Malmo, hear and read more of his commentaries, or to ask him your own marketing question, go to http://askmalmo.com.