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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Marketing: Baskin-Robbins bait and switch? Or just stupid?

An e-mail I received from Baskin-Robbins ice cream is trying to sell gift certificates:

Baskin-Robbins Gift Certificates are the
perfect way to give the joy of ice cream to
family and friends or show appreciation.
They make great stocking stuffers and are
fabulous last-minute gifts. So, buy some
now and let them enjoy their favorite ice
cream treats whenever they want.
Buy now and enjoy FREE* shipping on
orders of $100 or more!

But what's that asterisk next to "FREE"? At the bottom it explains:
*$3.50 handling charge applies.

So free shipping -- for paper certificates that can be sent first-class mail for under a dollar -- but a $3.50 handling charge!

This is idiocy. There's no point in a retailer charging separate shipping and handling charges. They bundle them together.

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