100% SYR POINTS DOES NOT MEAN THE ITEM IS FREE

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I have seen simple math on regular items using the marketing hype to attempt to show that an item is sold for free or nearly free is not correct.  If you are receiving an equal amount of credit for your purchase amount, then it is like getting 50% off.  And if you do not use the credits in the applicable time, they become worthless.  Several companies such as Kohl's Cash, or Sears, or Kmart's SYR points have used similar special promotions to make it appear that you are getting an item for free.  Even if you are getting 100% credit, the effective reduction is only 50% of the cost of the item.  Layer some originally priced items now reduced 90% but the price is now closer to market price is another technique used for years  selling carpets and jewelry.  And when the price is so low that you have to question how the person is making money on the deal, figure it is a mistake or a complete fraud.   

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This shouldn't be in hot deals

Generally you're right of course that 100% points back doesn't mean the item is free. Effectively its like B1G1 or 50% off pricing. And when Sears & Kmart regular pricing is 30-50% higher than cheaper places its not even that good.

e.g. if you buy $20 of items and get $20 0points you can buy $20 more worth of items. You're spending $20 for $40 worth of stuff. Except if Sears has inflated sticker prices and the stuff is only worth $30 then you're spending $20 for $30 worth of stuff.


But it depends how you take advantage of the 100% off deals and what you're buying. If I could/would/will normally spend money on items at Sears then a 100% SYW point deal is effectively free stuff for me. Add in surprise points, coupons and other sales and SYW deals that stack and exceed 100% points back and you can get good deals.

I think that most people here are savy enough to be doing the later and not the former mostly.

jerosen said:   Generally you're right of course that 100% points back doesn't mean the item is free. Effectively its like B1G1 or 50% off pricing. And when Sears & Kmart regular pricing is 30-50% higher than cheaper places its not even that good.

e.g. if you buy $20 of items and get $20 0points you can buy $20 more worth of items. You're spending $20 for $40 worth of stuff. Except if Sears has inflated sticker prices and the stuff is only worth $30 then you're spending $20 for $30 worth of stuff.


But it depends how you take advantage of the 100% off deals and what you're buying. If I could/would/will normally spend money on items at Sears then a 100% SYW point deal is effectively free stuff for me. Add in surprise points, coupons and other sales and SYW deals that stack and exceed 100% points back and you can get good deals.

I think that most people here are savy enough to be doing the later and not the former mostly.

  Don't forget cash back thru shopping portals for the original purchase and when using the points on another transaction.

Nice to see Clark Howard is now posting to FW

I don't understand all the sour grapes on Sears/Kmart's 100% SYWR points back promotions (during their death march to bankruptcy).
It really comes down to this:

-If they sell something you would like to buy anyway, particularly a big ticket item that they've priced competitively (btw, this actually occurs, despite lore to the contrary), you can use those SYWR points towards that purchase just like *real money*. And even use a "coupon" on that purchase to boot--you just won't get any SYWR "bonus points" back. The net result is you spent the same $ amount at Sears/Kmart as you would have spent somewhere else, but have "extra (free) stuff". Which could be oodles of Smart Sense toilet paper, paper towels, and so on, basically practical stuff you could actually use and will need going forward. Basically costing you only sales tax, if that.

- If you are buying 100% points back items and turning around to buy yet more of them with your SYWR points, then yes, your "only getting 50% off" thinking applies.
But why would anyone do that? Are you one of the folks that expects SYWR bonus points "to roll" on these 100%-back promotions, such that your initial investment will buy you unlimited items for free for perpetuity? It's silly enough for Sears/Kmart to be doing this to begin with, much less deal with those expectations.

jerosen said:   And when Sears & Kmart regular pricing is 30-50% higher than cheaper places its not even that good.
 


Amex offers help to balance this out for me (and many other FWers, I'm sure).

When you play retailers' discount games (Kohl's Cash, SYWR, CVS Extrabucks, etc., etc.), you have to understand exactly how the program works, if it's worth it, and how to maximize the value; just like with credit card bonuses, it's the folks who don't pay any attention that make it really worthwhile for the rest of us.

I do have a few complaints about SYW, but OP's issue isn't one of them. All of the SYW deals I see on FW say "$xx back in points" or something similar, not "free after points".



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