Idiot Advertisers

So I’m driving to work this morning and I hear a commercial from one of the local mattress chains. (The name of the chain rhymes with “CREEPY’S”.) Here’s their pitch:

We’ll beat any of our competitor’s prices by 20% or WE’LL GIVE YOU THE MATTRESS FOR FREE!!

OK…let’s cut to a hypothetical scene:

Buyer: “I’ve found this mattress set you’ve listed at $1200 for only $1000 down the street. So according to your ad, I can buy it for only $800?”

Salesman: “I’m sorry, Mr. Smith, we can’t sell you that set for $800. Instead, you’ll have to just take it for nothing.”

Sure, that’s going to happen. :rolleyes:

So what’s the deal? Are the advisors just stupid, or do they think that their listeners are stupid?

Actually, now that I’ve written all this, I seem to remember something about the big mattress makers slapping different model designations for each of the major chains (for essentially identical mattresses), making it impossible for a customer to compare mattresses in the first place. Maybe that’s their game…


I think what they mean is: “We’re 20% cheaper than our competitors. If you find any item at one of our competitors for less than 120% (or less than 125%, depends on how you’re counting) of our listed price, we’ll give you the item for free”.

Right? Of course, there’s probably 2 pages of small print with caveats, but that should be the gist of it.

That’s the gist of it Coldie. In short, Robby the scenario is customer finds $1200 mattress for $1100 at a competitor’s (usually sales don’t count) you get your mattress for free.

It’s a gimmick to increase store traffic. Some retailers are serious about it (e.g. - Circuit City) and some are not.

They want you to come into the store or dial their phone number if you’re considering a mattress purchase. Realistically, no one gets their mattress for free. If 1-800-MATTRES is selling a mattress at $1,000 that Sleepy’s is selling for $1,200, you’ll get it for $800. Maybe.

A lot of stores do this, but they tend to load up the actual offer with so many caveats and such that it’s almost impossible to get them to match/beat competitor’s prices. They may say the offer doesn’t apply to sale or clearance items. They may say it can’t be an Internet offer and that it actually has to be published in the newspaper. They may try a number of different ways to weasel out of the deal. But if it comes to it, they’ll give you the mattress for $800.

I guess I was hearing the “We’ll” literally as “We will” [future tense].

i.e. We WILL either lower our price so as to beat any of our competitors by 20%, OR we will give the customer the product for free.

Seemed like a stupid choice to offer…

You folks think the pitch is that their CURRENT prices beat the competition by 20%. If a customer finds that this is not so, they get the product for free.

(I still don’t believe, it though…)