The other day, I walked into a 7-11 near Copilco area of Mexico City to get some liquor for New Years.
Once inside, I checked out what they had on sell.
Initially, I was going to buy some brandy but decided against it when I saw that they had some deals going on for nicer bottles.
Well, at first glance, it looked like they had nicer deals.
The one that caught my attention anyway was a bottle of Kraken Rum with a bag of ice and 3 L of Coca Cola.
At first, I thought of getting just the Kraken and the Coca Cola and telling them to scan for ice but not walk out with any because I didn’t want to carry a bag of ice to my apartment.
I rarely ever put ice in my drinks.
So, when I went to grab the Kraken, I noticed something funny.
The individual bottle for the Kraken was being sold at 260.
Given how much I’ve had to drink over the last year, I know that price looks like a little bit inflated.
Normally, it’s like 180 to 190 pesos instead.
At that point, I realized that they might be playing with me.
Why would it increase almost a 100 pesos basically overnight?
The sign offering the promotion had something written on it about “HOW MUCH YOU’LL SAVE” with this special deal.
At that point, I realized that this is probably a scam.
They likely inflated the price of the Kraken and seemingly kept the price of the Coca Cola and the ice normal.
Therefore, it looks like a greater deal than it really is.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s still a deal.
At normal price levels for the Kraken, I imagine that I’m getting a little bit more Coca Cola and some ice that I normally wouldn’t have gotten for the price of 200 that it was advertised as.
Just seemed like they felt like beefing up the price of the Kraken that night to make the deal look even nicer than normal.
At any rate, I didn’t mind that mental games they were playing when I saw them because Kraken does sound better anyway than Brandy.
It’s New Years after all!
Why not get something a little nicer?
Once I got the Kraken and Coca Cola anyhow, I waited in line to buy what I had.
Unfortunately, the lady behind the counter – to add a little bit of irony here – told me right away that “we don’t have any ice!”
Right away, I said “that’s OK, I don’t need the ice. You can keep it and we can still use the deal, right?”
And she said “no! With no ice, I can’t scan it and activate the deal in the computer.”
Which, in hindsight now that I look back at this, I probably should’ve asked if she could’ve searched in the machine for the option of ice and add it in manually.
I’ve seen them do that for the 20 liters of water that I buy from time to time because it’s easier for them to manually type it in than lift the heavy water thing around.
Unfortunately, I didn’t think to ask that and dropped the issue.
Because they were going to charge me now closer to 300 pesos instead of 200, I told her to just grab the brandy as I only brought up with me that night around 280ish for the liquor and some extra for a pizza to bring home.
Ah Mexico – a land of inefficiencies.
Misleading marketing strategies and inefficiencies in not having everything offered.
Even more ironic given that they were promoting this deal but didn’t have everything for it.
Regardless, life went on.
But it’s not the only time I’ve noticed this weird marketing strategy among the locals.
Nor am I the only one to ever bring it up.
A Wonderful Deal for a Chair!
While I could go onto other examples I’ve seen personally, most of them are similarly irrelevant given the low prices involved.
For example, I could bring up all the times I’ve gone into an OXXO to buy Fuze tea and they have some special offer if you buy 2 Fuze Teas at once.
But the offer in question only saves you like 10 cents or 2 pesos when you actually do the math.
Rarely do I ever spend a considerable amount of money on anything in Mexico.
My last big purchase that I did was for a laptop almost a year ago in Mexico City.
Long story short, as I was spending my time looking for a good deal, I noticed Walmart was pulling some funny business similar to the cases above.
In which there was a particular laptop that didn’t look bad but they randomly increased the price of it noticeably from one day to the next and then put it on as a “deal” but cutting the price something like 30% or whatever.
In actuality, you’d have been paying more for the same laptop that day than the day before.
What a deal!
And, to my surprise, I just saw something on Facebook that resembled the above as you can see in this screenshot here.
In short, some chick in Mexico really wanted to buy a chair.
The chair being offered normally at around 32,000 MXN pesos or 1,600 USD but then they doubled the price and slapped a 50% off number.
Wow – what a deal!
So you can spend an extra 4,000 pesos that day than the day before!
Supposedly, this type of nonsense isn’t too uncommon in Mexico.
As I said, it’s not something I notice too often because I’m not usually buying higher priced items.
Sometimes you can find a genuinely good deal however.
For example, I recently joined an old gym again last December when I moved to a different neighborhood.
And they had some “buy 2 months, get a free month” deal.
Prices weren’t any higher than what they were before when I was working out there from before.
Having said that, these fake deals do exist as we have seen already.
What are some tips for dealing with them?
First, you can always check the prices online for the same product.
For that chair, I’m sure nobody is selling a similar chair like that one of the same quality for 72,000 pesos.
Online research should help give away if a certain “deal” isn’t a real deal.
Second, shopping around can help too.
I guarantee you I could’ve walked into a Soriana, an OXXO or anywhere else and found a bottle of Kraken to be sold for its normal price of around 190 to 200 pesos.
Shopping around can obviously help you not only find a cheaper product but also spot if a particular store is trying to pull one on you.
Third, obviously just do the math in your head regarding how much you are really saving.
Like I said with the small example of those Fuze tea bottles – it sure sounds awesome to get two of them for a discounted price!
Wow – a discounted price?!?!
Then you do the math in your head and you realize you’re only saving 10 cents.
I imagine these stores are really just hoping nobody knows how to do basic math in their head or how to research for better options.
And that’s all I really have to say.
Not sure if any other tips could be helpful here because it seems simple to avoid falling for dumb stuff like this.
Anyway, leave any comments below in the comment section.
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Thanks for reading.