As an adjunct to last week’s tirade on the lack of truth in advertising I neglected, due to time and space constraints, to mention the bane of all marketing ploys. That is, of course, the buy 1, get 1 free scam. It seems every infomercial has opted in on this scam as if you needed a second 55-gallon drum of BBQ sauce. Even if it’s free. Of course, maybe you have plans to roast every pig in Arkansas. And it seems it’s only companies trying to get rid of stuff they aren’t selling. You never go into the car dealership and have the salesman say, “Today only if you buy this car, you get a second one free.”
Infomercials have made an art form out of selling you twice as much of something you already don’t need and what they’re selling is not worth 10 percent of what they’re charging. So the only way you’re getting something for free is by letting them lie to you about something else. That de-greaser you just bought may seem like a bargain until you discover it just ate through the bottom of your tennis shoes and you no longer have fingerprints. And if you need the extra bottle of spray paint to cover that pesky bald spot, you need to start shopping at Home Depot. They sell it by the gallon. And these promises of a second bottle for just a separate shipping and processing fee ring hollow as well. If they send a guy to the warehouse to get your bottle, does he get double pay if he brings back two? Here’s the deal…if it’s free it means I don’t pay anything. Webster defines free as “unrestricted and without cost.” So, if you want a separate processing fee, it’s not free. You’re asking me to pay to have your data entry person hit the number 2 on her computer keypad instead of the number 1. It doesn’t require any extra effort. Geez, the 2 is right next to the 1. It’s not like she has to drive across the valley to hit the number 2. Also, if you want a separate shipping fee, it’s not free. You’re going to put them in the same box anyway. And don’t try and con me with the taxes. It’s a gift. I don’t give my kids presents for their birthdays and tell them they owe me $41.68 in tax.
This is all probably our own damned fault. We’ve quickly, like an unpleasant odor, breezed into an age of entitlement and have come to expect things for free. Even I am not immune at times because I now can go to the doctor complaining about my cold and I’m kind of upset if I don’t walk out of his office with the plague or at least scurvy.
Nowhere is this more apparent than at your local garage sale. People assume because you don’t want the stuff anymore, they can get you to give it away. Let’s pretend I have a velvet painting of Elvis and a goat playing the flute. It’s just an example. If I decide it’s worth $3, that’s what I want for it. Hell, there could be a missing Renoir underneath that fabric. I’m not marking it down to $2 or $1 and I’m not throwing it in just because you bought the lamp I made out of a bowling pin.
It’s not really that different in business. Spring is nearly upon us and IMC hopes you’re enjoying our new retail brands and products for the industry. New brands like Alessi, Areaware and our new designer sunglasses collection from Bobby Jones, Carmen Marc Valvo and Michael Stars are live on our website. And we’ll continue to treat our customers professionally and get your orders to you…on time and on budget. If you’re curious aboutclick on the tab and see. We also have our 2015 catalog ready to ship and you can move through the IMC catalog from category to category and find many products that will accent your client’s event and we’ll get you what you want even if we have some suggestions on how to make it more rewarding. Go to the Catalog page of the IMC website and put your order in and we’ll get them to you. Let us know if you’d like samples. We want to help you make sense of your client’s request so we offer choices between new products and classic items so they can make presentations memorable. And IMC cares that your order is correct so we keep lots of products around that are suitable for your events but we’ll let you decide what works best for you and jump in to help you with decisions about products and decorations. And if your client has invented a holiday or celebration, we can also custom-make almost anything you can dream to make your client’s event all it can be. Take a look at our YouTube channel to see some videos showcasing popular products for some ideas on how to use them. We take our business relationship seriously and we want you to enjoy, give and receive our products and be able to use them every day. We look forward to working with you and we always have ideas to make our products work for your clients. The 2015 IMC catalog is live and available virtually at Zoomcatalog.com if you’re tired of fighting paper catalogs. It can be viewed nicely with your laptop, iPad, tablet or phone. IMC is the recognized leader in the introduction of new retail brands to the promotional product industry and has multiple design awards from both ASI and PPAI. Since introducing Waterford® Writing Instruments and MoMA years ago, IMC has presented more than 48 retail brands from global suppliers to enhance the selections you can offer your clients. See great ideas and items from Kikkerland, Finelife, Visconti and Blackpen. We invite you to browse any of our 2,300+ products on the IMC website to see items suitable for any occasion or event and pieces you can use to personalize your relationship with your clients. We have promotional products for every event, show, convention, corporate store and company program that will keep your client looking to you for new ideas. What do you think? Let us know with a comment here or on Facebook or Twitter. IMC wants to know…are you giving that away?