Your Money and careers writer for the NZ Herald

Diana Clement: Telling shoppers to 'bogof' can put smiles on their faces

Buy-one-get-one-free deals are great. Photo / Thinkstock
Buy-one-get-one-free deals are great. Photo / Thinkstock

If there's one way to make this writer happy, it's by telling me to "bogof". That's an acronym for "buy one get one free".

I love buy one get one free deals. This coming week, The Warehouse has 500ml bottles of Pantene shampoo and conditioner on a bogof deal for $10.99.

By coincidence, I recently bought two smaller bottles of the stuff on sale at New World. The equivalent amount of shampoo to The Warehouse deal was $14.25 at New World.

The Warehouse deal is definitely better if, like me, you have families to keep clean who will use that amount of shampoo and conditioner.

The why behind the buy is always interesting with marketing ploys such as bogof.

It's a pricing tactic that makes us think: "What an amazing offer. I can't turn that down". The marketers are playing on our greed.

Unlike me, lots of people hate bogof deals with a vengeance.

They begrudge being forced to buy more of a product than they may otherwise need and want retailers to offer 50 per cent off instead. But when did you last see a popular shampoo brand at 50 per cent off - unless it was a clearance of old stock or lines?

If I really can't envisage using the second bogof item I simply walk by. It's no big deal. On the other hand, the best bogof offers are for something you would buy anyway and I always stock up.

Farmers has bogof deals until Wednesday on a range of kitchen and dining items. If you need to update your dinnerware, serveware, mugs, cutlery, bakeware or Baccarat brand pots then leg it to your nearest Farmers store.

Most of these items are something we have more than one of in our homes anyway. One cutlery set is never enough for the average-size family.

Bond & Bond has a bogof offer this weekend for Philips, Sony, Sennheiser, Marley, Skullcandy and Endeavour headphones. Buy one set for you and get one for your partner - or one for home and another for sports. Offer excludes Apple products.

This week, I searched Trade Me for bogof deals and found a few.

I spent some time ruminating hypothetically over bogof deals on engraved pet tags. In the end I decided, "who needs two tags?"

Be careful with bogof deals that the RRP (recommended retail price) isn't jacked up.

It's unlikely that the supermarkets or large retailers play this game. But it would be easy for smaller retailers to do it. Our focus is on the item we're getting for "free" when we see a bogof deal and it's easy to be conned.

Another common bogof ploy is to offer the cheaper of two items free. If you want to buy two that are identical, that's fine. My local artisan bakery does that in the afternoons and I'm always checking the second item is of comparable price.

More deals

• SeaLink Great Barrier Ferry, $269 for a return trip for one car & two adults to Great Barrier Island. On tomorrow.

• Dickies Original Hoodie, $29.99. On

• Abbot FV433 military tank. Starting bid $150. Trade Me auction number 205561268. Closes Tuesday at 7.57am.

• Microsoft Xbox 360 Slim 4GB, $264. At Harvey Norman. In some stores, or online at

• O.P.I. nail polish with 150 colours to choose from. Today only at North Harbour Stadium.

- Herald on Sunday

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Your Money and careers writer for the NZ Herald

Diana Clement is a freelance journalist who writes about personal finance and careers. She has worked as a journalist for more than 25 years in both New Zealand and the UK. Diana has contributed to a large number of local and international publications. Her pet topic is the secrets of saving money.

Read more by Diana Clement

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