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I Just Fell for a Marketing Gimmick…

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Be warned – This post is not about any sort of deal or coupon. Instead, I feel the need to admit that I just fell for a great marketing gimmick. ๐Ÿ™ I was at the Dollar Tree this morning scoping out the current deals. As I was heading to checkout, I noticed a 2 pack of Orbit Gum at the register priced at just $1. Since I had just finished off an omelet with red onions, this gum was literally calling my name. And at 50ยข per pack, I thought this wasn’t a terrible price and grabbed a package without a second thought.

As soon as I got into the car and opened up one of the packs, I realized that each package only includes 7 pieces of gum so I essentially paid $1 for a total of 14 pieces of gum (not a good deal as all you Hip2Savers know!). So that is my confession for today – I am quite embarrassed that I fell for this marketing gimmick.

So now it’s confession time for you! What sort of marketing gimmicks have you fallen for?!

Join The Discussion

Comments 113

  1. markiesluv

    Isn’t it always in the fine print!!!!:)

    • Sharon

      Really need to check packages at all the different “dollar stores”. They usually sell smaller packs, bottles, etc. Sometimes, because of that, the coupons won’t even work. Gotta look closely.

  2. brandice

    Joes crab shack sent me an email saying if I donate $10 to the autism organization I would get a FREE steampot…so I donated and it was actually a B1G1 FREE q not a totally free offer!!!

    • B.G.

      Really?!? I donated $10 and got a free steam pot not a BOGO q.

    • B

      My son has Autism and it’s an incomprehensible struggle for our sweet kids every single day. Your donation is still very much appreciated from moms like me!

      • Christine

        It depends on the charity. I have two kids with autism and will give to my local autism group. I will not give to autism speaks as I do not feel the use their donations wisely.

    • paige

      same here!!! I thought to myself “oh what a good deal!” donate $10 get a free steam pot, I confirmed my donation and then it took me to my receipt that stated, “thankyou for donating $10 print this coupon for a B1G1 free steampot. I was so upset because I cant afford to pay $20 for the money I donated AND another $10 steampot. there was no fine print!!! joes crab shack just flat out lied!

    • Rachel

      I just ate at Joe’s Crab Shack today for the first time. A very neat experience. I saw that deal advertised but I think at this franchise, they were giving you $10 towards your meal when you donate $10.

  3. Carmen

    They would have got me too I think! Seven pieces of gum in a pack!? That’s a bit ridiculous.

  4. sue

    At least that’s still cheaper than the gumball machine. My kids sucker me into the quarter machines every Sunday. I wind spending like $5.00 in little trinkets and candies.

    • Tamara

      Yeah, but that is also a bonding thing, an experience, not just gum you are buying. It’s fun for them too. When they grow up they will still fondly remember going to the grocery with you and having that fun time. I know I do…and my mom only broke down and let me have at the machines about once a month ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • sharon spinos

      You should buy the gum balls in bulk at Sam’s club if you live near one. Sam’s sells the large gumballs in a 850 count box for around $18.00 which is approx. $.02/ gumball.
      Kept in a closed containers they last well over 1 year (although I doubt they will last that long) ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Diana K.

    Those new mini M&M packs are sooo small! I also thought I got a great deal a few weeks ago w/the Harris Teeter double coupons. When I got home I emptied all the packs in a zip lock bag, and it barely even equaled what you’d find in a regular small size M&M bag like you get in the check out aisle.

  6. Susie Q

    Good idea. Now I can try to avoid the not so good deals. thanks

  7. Marie

    I bet the people who missed your onion breath probably think it was a good investment! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Dawn

      ROFL truth!!

  8. Barb

    i think we have all been there collin. i know i have.

  9. J

    I probably would have gotten suckered in too. It took me a while to notice that it said 7 pieces on it. In a rush I would have picked it up too!
    Every couponer is entitled to an oops!

  10. Mary T

    When I was around 13years old I saw an advertisement on TV for a Black Diamond nugget. I thought I could make a cool piece of jewelry out of it and it was only a few bucks. I did receive my little nugget as promised a few weeks later. It looked like a crumb from someones asphalt driveway. I still have it to keep as a reminder to not be so dumb in the future. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • debbie

      sorry to you but thanks for making me LOL, good writing, great descriptive words!

    • Kinzi

      This made me laugh!

      • marie

        me too because I can relate!

    • Tamara

      Thanks Mary! This not only made me giggle, but also relate. I vaguely remember something like that when I was a kid, too. I wasn’t allowed to order anything off TV though.

  11. Tiffany

    Dang it… Hate when that happens. I can’t think of one off the top of my head. I know I get caught all of the time… The one that comes to my mind is a cold beverage for $1.60ish when you can get a whole pack for $3ish dollars and keep them cooled in the car….

    • Kat

      That’s my weakness, too. I’ll cost-compare different sizes & brands in the aisles to make sure I’m getting the best deal, then drop 1.75 on a bottle from the cooler at the register. I could get a 2 liter for that price! But I give in to temptation because it’s cold and convenient. Sigh.

  12. ahme

    That’s ok, Collin. You are amazing with all that you do so no worries ๐Ÿ™‚ I agree with Carmen 7 pieces per pack is misleading and a bit ridiculous it should say “trial pack”!

  13. mweyler

    would not have thought of that except that our local walmart had gum on clearance last week—10 cents a pack. I was thrilled. Picked up a bunch and was sorting through the kinds and brands and discovered that half of them only had 7 pieces in them too. AGain, only noticed how bad a deal it was when I saw that the rest of the packs had 14+ pieces.

  14. lizzy

    I was new to Buying online (It was awhile ago) and Old Navy said spend $25 and get $10 Old Navy cash, I read the entire thing to make sure It was a good deal. But when I got the email I could only use it during a Certain week and with ANOTHER $25 purchase. I was not happy about it…

    • crystal

      oh my Collin !!that happen to me once before, but I never really thought about it UNTIL NOW ๐Ÿ™‚ …But one thing that comes to mine is water, bottled water at my school they are $1:75 each but saw the 12 pack at walmart for $ 2:86 or $ 2:96 so now I always stock up ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Sasha

        Then you don’t want to know WGS frequently offers their Nice water up for $1.99 a 24 pack!

      • Bea

        Hey don’t feel bad sometimes I feel like I have to buy water at school also because the watering station shoots out lukewarm to room temp water and sometimes I need that ice cold refreshing water and have to dish out $2.25! The cost of a 24pk of water!

    • Debbie

      GAH!!! I’m so glad that someone else is frustrated with Old Navy too! I brought in my Old Navy Cash thinking that it would be like Kohl’s cash. Nope, had to spend more to save. I was so frustrated because the cashier that helped me when I originally got my Old Navy Cash made it seem like it worked like Kohls. I ended up giving my Old Navy Cash to someone else in line who was spending over $25. Super misleading!

      • tanya

        I work at Old Navy and while I agree about the cons of SuperCash (having to spend more to use it, short amount of time to redeem it), it irks me when people always compare SuperCash to Kohls cash. Old Navy is not Kohls so that’s why it doesn’t work the same! But if you were mislead by the associate, that’s a different story and I’m sorry about that. Believe me, SuperCash is not my favorite promotion.

        • Sara

          I totally agree! It’s really just a coupon. It’s only good for about a week or two and nothing is on sale. And its always like a month after the promotion. You essentially have to spend $50 to save $10. The only time that worked in my favor was around Christmas when they offered $20 for every $25 I spent. I was going to spend that anyway but I still had to spend another $25 to use it. At least that time I found all the leftover Christmas returns.

      • jodie

        i too was bummed about old navy. i spent 50.00 and got 20.00 super cash. Woohoo!! Not. Didnt know i had to spend ANOTHER 50.00 to use it.

  15. debi

    Slightly different, but my friends all fall for the gimmick of healthy foods. Many friends of mine give their kids fruit snacks and yogurt tubes. During a cub scout project, we figured out that ounce per ounce fruit snacks have 3X more sugar than regular soda pop! same goes for yogurt tubes. I totally blame marketing!

  16. Mary T

    I have one more life lesson learned from a traveling salesman. I was having a garage sale and things were slow at the moment. This salesman came up to me and asked me if I would like to see his new cleaning product. I let him spray his product on my Brass Kickplate on my front door. It really cleaned it up nice! He cleaned an area right in the middle of the kickplate. He said he could clean the rest of the plate if I bought his product. He refused to finish the job if I did not buy. I couldn’t get him off my property fast enough! Had to get my Brasso out and finish the job myself. Lesson Learned ๐Ÿ™

    • Angie

      That is a terrible scam! I vote for you for the worst experience!

  17. An

    I fell for a package of toothbrushes with a sticker buy 2 get 2. I thought that if I buy 2 packages with 2 stickers I will be saving $2. Nothing like this happened. The sticker referred to the fact that usually 2 toothbrushes costed $6 but now 4 were in the package. So I am getting 2 toothbrushes free. Totally misleading sticker. I see how many toothbrushes I am buying.

    • An

      *cost

  18. Willa

    Thank you for posting this. I have lots of family and friends that LOVE Dollar Tree and gum. Reading the comments about others finding only 7 pieces in a pack, I will tell them to make sure and check all the labels.
    As a child, I remember my brother getting “Black Jack” or “Clove” gum and they had 5 sticks in a package. He still talks about the deal he got when he would get 4 packs at the theater for a dime on certain days.

    • debra

      Did he get “teaberry” as well? I remember that was with the Black Jack and Clove. Grandpa always bought me a pack! Loved it!

      • fran

        Wow! A walk down memory lane – I liked teaberry gum too!

        • Toni

          You’re right, that is a walk down memory lane! They brought back the Clove and Black Jack a while back, but I couldn’t find the Teaberry. That was my favorite when I was in Jr. High.

          • Allison

            You can still find tea berry at Cracker Barrel!

  19. Christine

    We pay about $1.00 for 10 pieces of gum. We buy gum that is aspartame free, gluten free, non gmo (essentially gum that is good for you). Worth the price to not having gum full of toxins:(

    • Lola

      What gum is that? During pregnancy and for my kids I am always looking for gum that is aspartame free, and it is so hard to find any nowadays! I’m ok with many of the gmo things, and we don’t have gluten issues, but I do not want my family consuming aspartame and was surprised at how many gums out there have aspartame!

      • Monica

        Not sure what gum she is using but we use Spry which you can buy on Amazon.

        • Lola

          Thanks!

      • Christine

        See comment below:)

      • Kath

        I work for a company that ships direct to your home and has over 130 products that are gluten free and do not have aspartame or msg in any of there products and are gmo free. If you want more info feel free to email me at fxlady78@gmail.com

    • Kim

      What is the name of the gum? I recently found out that artificial sweeteners are to blame for a problem I’m having, so I had to cut out gum-chewing because it seems like they’re snuck into every kind… But I miss it so much!

      • Christine

        We chew Peelu (cinnamon is my favorite and my local health food store carries it also online stores carry it). Also, Epic (like the cinnamon–tastes like Big Red but my son likes the fruit) and Pur (pomegranate mint I like–my son also likes the peppermint) we buy from Amazon. There is also Xylichew which is good but hard to find. HTH:)

        • Lola

          Thank you!

        • Adrian

          Thank you Christine! I get terrible headaches from Aspartame and have a hard time finding gum. I am going to Amazon now……. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Kim

            Yes, the headaches….that’s what I suffer from as well. I can always tell right away when I missed it on the label and ate/drank something that contained Aspartame. I’ve switched to eating mostly fresh foods (which is big for me because I’m not a skilled cook but I AM learning), and the problem has drastically reduced! ๐Ÿ™‚

            • MommySpendsLess

              If Aspartame bothers you, you may want to watch out for MSG as well. Both are neurotoxins and (I’m definitely not a chemist) from what I’ve read similar in structure. I’m sensitive to MSG (dizzy, sick to my stomach and digestive issues if I consume too much) so I avoid both.

            • Kath

              see my comment above. Aspartame and MSG are bad. A lot of people get sick from them.

            • Kim

              Thanks for that suggestion- I will have to read up on MSG now, too. I’m realizing that there are just SO many bad additives in food. It’s overwhelming to keep up with everything, but it is pushing me to have a much healthier diet. I’m happy to say in doing so, I’ve also lost weight (which is welcomed but not what I intended going in) and my kids are now much more aware of what is in the food that they eat. My kids now request fresh fruits and veggies for snacks and lunches rather than fruit snacks and other processed foods. I’m just so happy that they get it.

      • Lola

        Kim, that happened to us as well (my husband), and I have always distrusted them anyways. I started looking at packages of gum and was surprised that even the sugary type had aspartame!

      • Kim

        Thanks so much! I will have to check those out!

        • Christine

          Your welcome:) The disturbing thing is that they market the gum containing aspartame to kids and teens!

  20. Mary T

    Last week I cashed in some of my Discover Card Rewards $ for Barnes and Noble eGiftcards that I was going to use to purchase college books at the college book store. I read all the fine print before I committed to the purchase. I printed my egiftcards and was so proud of myself. I never read the printouts, just stuck them up on the fridge so I wouldn’t lose them. My daughter read them a few days later and informed me that they specify that they cannot be used at the college book store and they expire in one year. I kept telling her she was wrong…had to read it for myself. I became physically ill by this new discovery! What was I going to do with $150 worth of egiftcards that could only be used in the regular store or online and have to spend them in a year! Discover Card was wonderful! They cancelled the egiftcards and put the $ back in my acct. They also thanked me for bringing this problem to their attention. The fine print I read was totally different then what printed out on paper. I am so thankful Discover gave me no problem with this horrible crisis ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Angie

      Yeah for Discover (and for you!!).

    • Stephanie

      I’m glad this worked out for you! How upsetting at first, I’m sure.

    • Wren

      Discover has usually been helpful to me too, when I call for various things!

    • seana

      Barnes and Noble are quite the racket with the whole college book store thing. My daughter’s college has Barnes and Noble as their college bookstore. The prices were so high. I bought a few books on Amazon along with a financial calculator. I saved 25$ on the calculator alone. The majority of books I had to buy from the college bookstore. Boo.

    • Sarah H.

      Please try to cash in your ecard for a physical gift card at your local store (NOT the college store). I was in a survey group that gave me a $75 e-card. I read the fine print and saw that it would not be used at the college store. So I went to my local store and told them that I wanted to give it as a gift and they traded the e-cards for a plastic card which CAN be used at B&N college.
      In the future, unless you HAVE to buy at B&N college (like they have a special imprint for a particular class) Amazon ALWAYS beats it — even for the cheap-o $3 Dover thrift books. And if you are willing to go used, it’s even better….. Do Swagbucks and you may NEVER have to have money out of your pocket for college texts!

  21. JG

    no matter how smart of a shopper I am, I always hate when this happens! Just when you think you know all the tricks in the book, they come up with a new one. However, I kinda feel like this “trick” is walking a fine line between deceptive & fraudulent! I swear these companies can get away w/ murder!

  22. Ashley

    Me and my friend was at the mall and one of the middle sales booths was for the “Shamwow” Yeah said it was dry a dog after a bath and not leak any water out. It was BOGO so me and my friend split the cost and got the bundle package. Oh we were completely disappointed. They sucked real bad. Ended up giving to my husband for grease rags and he said they were even bad for that. Lesson learned and an expensive one cause even at half price it was still 25.00. I avoid them at the malls now.

    • Michelle C

      I think that is most “as see on tv” products. Are there any that actually work? Colling, this could be another reader poll that I would be interested in reading!

      • K

        Yes, the expandable hose and purple nail stamp both work!

        • Stacey

          My mother in law bought the expandable hose and it worked great for a couple of weeks. She loved it because she is very tiny and it was so lightweight and easy to move around. Then one afternoon they were filling up the wading pool and turned it off at the end of the hose while she walked back to turn off the spigot and the dang thing burst!!

      • snoopymom

        I used to work at a kitchen store that sells all kinds of ASOTV products. I would say they work well about 50% of the time. I really like my Ove Glove, and meatloaf pan.

      • Audra

        The metal bowls you use to make taco salad bowls in the oven are fantastic!

        • jackie

          yes but I got mine generic at the dollar tree. they sell alot of the same as seen on tv. I pick them up every time I see them. why spend the price that as seen on tv.I have never had a problem with any of the stuff bought at 1.00 tree. just under generic name it is. or else on ebay.

      • Erin

        I have the Miracle Blades. My sister and brother-in-law gave them to me for Christmas several years ago. I LOVE them. The Rock ‘n Chop is my favorite. I use it literally every night. That thing is SHARP! I’ve even cut the very tip of my thumb off.

      • Beth

        I love my Orgreenic pan. Cleans very easily.

        • Angela

          We got the Lint lizard that cleans the dryer lint trap out and were amazed at how much lint we got out of our 10 year old dryer! It had started to smell like something was burning and wouldn’t dry things all the way. Now it dries better again.

    • justme

      The Creaclips work for haircutting! I tell people all the time to get it or the knockoffs and learn to cut your own hair. Why pay someone to do something you can do yourself.

      • Starla

        Slushy Magic works! But you can only make one cup with the “ice cubes.” After one cup you have to put them back in the freezer.

  23. Theresa

    A few weeks back the Schick Hydro razors were combined with a small Skintimate shave gel – like a little kit. They were priced at $10.99 or something like that. I had Up Reward from Rite Aid for about $4. So I paid about $8.99 per razor (bought two). This was right about the same time I could have gotten a full size Skintimate for about a $1 and the razor itself for about $2. So, I waisted money because the packaging was cute. Not smart couponing for me. Even as a beginner, I know better than that!

  24. Jessica

    Same exact thing happened to me a few weeks ago at dollar tree. I was miffed!

  25. sarah

    when are you ganna put a video of you shopping at the store I just love those

  26. Phoebe

    Several products are downsizing but raising their prices so make sure you look at what you are are buying. You have to be an extremely smart shopper now days because someone is always trying to rip you off!

  27. Diane

    My frustration is when I buy a bottle of nutritional supplements, and the bottle is only 1/3 full. Or when you need to take 4 pills to equal one dose.

  28. marc

    I almost fell for the same gimmick the other day.

  29. Anne

    This is why my husband tells me to buy a pack of gum only if its .50 cents and below. Sometimes we are on a hurry to see fine print.

  30. mia

    what actually makes me mad is the fact that the bag actually says it should be 14 pieces (2 seven piece packs). which means to me that the package had previously been opened and resealed for it to only contain 1 pack. Unless of course they were packaging defects/rejects from the plant which should be disclosed that they are just that.

    • Lola

      She said they were two packs of 7, so 14 total, the packaging was correct. It is small on the bottom, though.

  31. Lynn

    Dang! They fit at least 6 pieces in those mini ones at Walmart for 50 cents!

  32. Laura

    I think that $1 for 14 pieces of gum is a great deal!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I will be frequenting my Dollar store for that deal! yeah!

  33. Angie

    I feel like I am always falling for these; it is kind of nice to know I am not the only one. The most recent is the Office Max backpack that did not come with the school supplies that were pictured when I ordered it. I called them and was told I would get a gift card in two weeks…that was four weeks ago. I am going to call again, but it is such a pain to just get what I ordered.

  34. Janice

    I received a call from Global Network that I was a finalist for a $25,000 home makeover. I was all excited because I have won a few large prizes in the past. However – after doing research – I found out that this company is known for scamming people and asking them for money to redeem the prize. I have learned to always do research whenever anyone says you have won any type of contest and never – ever send them money. I even go as far as verifying that there was a contest by using the internet to double check. I then do a check on the company/person that called and I wait to receive the affidavit of eligibility and release form that they send to you. You must get this notarized before a large prize is released.

  35. bunny

    My husband gets Consumer Reports magazine. Every month on the very back page of the magazine shows scams and misleading descriptions on a variety of products and services. It’s always worth checking out ๐Ÿ˜‰

  36. Christine

    Lol….that’s okay Collin ….now we know your human!

  37. Tami

    I was at the Children’s Place last week and they had most jeans on sale for $10 and signs plastered all over the store that said spend $40 and get a coupon for $20 off your next purchase of $40 or more. I bought $40 worth of jeans, they stapled my coupon to the back of the receipt and I came back the next day and let my kids pick out a bunch of stuff that came to $55. I handed over my receipt with coupon still attached and the sales associate said the coupon isn’t valid until like mid-September. I was so frustrated! There was one of those signs right in front of me with NO DATE, so I picked it up to show her and the bottom metal piece went flying and she acted like I was throwing it around. Totally felt scammed and embarrassed and frustrated. I also felt bad because my kids ended up apologizing to me for wanting so much.

    • sarah

      i feel you, and understand. they do the same at rue21.

      • Chelsea

        Yes! I did the spend $40, get $20 ruebucks. It used to work like Kohls cash but they switched it now and when I got to the register, I realized the ruebucks was a buy $40, get $20 off instead of $20 off whole purchase like they had done the season before! I was maddddd! I ended up spending $60 for just a couple items in those 2 separate trips, which was way more than I was honestly wanting to pay.

  38. Dana

    There once was a salesman at Sears selling Ginsu knives. He was calling out carnival style and was so good at the end of the presentation, virtually everyone HAD to have one!

  39. Andrew

    I believe a pack of gum at the movie theater is at least $3 or more….
    The Young’uns would be all over this deal. 2 packs of Gum for $1. They don’t care how many pieces of gum they have inside each package, the fact that they got 2 packs for $1.

  40. MommySpendsLess

    They almost got me once when they had Kraft cheese at my local store. I was excited until I realized they were tiny 2oz packages

  41. sharon spinos

    I have also noticed the much smaller quantities (8 count of Glad sandwich bags) vs 13-22 at the grocery stores. I always do a cost per unit price before buying as just because it’s a $1.00 doesn’t always mean it’s cheaper.

  42. KJ

    At CVS, I used my ECB to purchase a “try me free” after rebate item. I didn’t know that ECB was considered a “coupon” so my rebate was only for my out of pocket amount, which was $0.38 but I spent $0.50 on a stamp to submit the rebate!!!

  43. Toni

    I always check the package size (oz., count, etc.) for that reason. Often it cost more at the dollar stores.

  44. Barbi

    I’ve been a couponer for ever. Seriously for at least 30 years…but it took a math teacher to really put things into perspective. He said that it does not matter how good the deal is or how much you are saving…..what matters is how much is coming out of your wallet. I knew that, but never really thought about it. My new game plan is if it is not less than $1.00, I really need to think about purchasing it, because I know I can always get the item at Dollar Tree for $1.00.

  45. jess

    Dollar Tree is definitely sneaky with their products. The items has decreased in size and quantity (like most stores) and it is definitely not always the best bang for your buck! (literally, ha)

  46. Holly

    It’s just as bad as DT selling expired food! Which I’ve encountered recently.

  47. Amy Mac

    We all goof up! But that’s one of the reasons i avoid dollar stores. Tiny price, but tiny package!

  48. ann

    I check the price per oz/unit on just about everything. i even use a calculator while shopping , because I once noticed on a case of granola bars that it was actually cheaper to buy a bunch of the regular boxes versus one case.

  49. plink

    The New Old Navy super cash promotion is very misleading. Almost everything in the store is considered an everyday steal, or hot deal, and very few items are a regular price and not a sale price. So basically, nothing qualifies online for the Old Navy super cash. It’s great we have this money to use towards a new shopping order, but I’ll never be able to use it.

    I feel like old navy has figured out a clever way to avoid letting customers use this promo.

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