Thursday, September 25, 2008

Walgreens Caveats

The point is that you beat the system. All I can figure Walgreens has realized is:
1. If we tout stuff as free, people will come into our stores and buy all kinds of other (overpriced) stuff in addition to the free stuff, so we'll still make money selling light bulbs and greeting cards and whatever to folks who think they're getting great deals, but they really care more about one-stop shopping.
2. If we tout stuff as free, people will buy it and then continue to buy it (here, hopefully) when it's not free
3. If we tout stuff as free, people will buy it and then forget to request the rebate. Then we'll sell them all kinds of things they never would have bought if they weren't "free."

That's my theory, anyway. But even if I'm wrong, doing the 3 things above will ruin the deals. By all means, use drugstore coupons and sales to get stuff that's not free but really turn out to be good deals to combine with your rebate or rewards stuff and so cut down on your grocery or WalMart bills (as I've done). But here are my rules: If I don't need it, I won't get it even if it's $0.15, unless it helps me get a better deal on something else. If it's free, and I don't need it, I'll think very carefully about buying it from somewhere that doesn't tack on 10%. Because, why pay even 6% of the price of something I will never use or even find someone to give it to? Kay? I'd suggest keeping track somehow of what you spend, and what they give you back and what you have to show for it. That way, you can have a big picture in several months of whether this game is saving you money or slowly using up funds on stuff you never would have bought without the Easy Saver Rebate program.

So keep good records each week. Which won't be hard, because it's really fun to tell people exactly what you paid for a trunk-full of goods and then inform them of what you'll be getting back.

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