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Biggest discounts, no-cost EMIs to bundled products & exchange offers – the catch in retailer discounts & sales you shouldn’t miss – Times of India

While legitimate discounts can be found during sales, frequently, you’ll find yourself enticed by deceptive price reductions and online retail tactics that result in unnecessary expenditures. A recent ET report takes a look at 7 most common tactics used to lure customers and the “catch” that you should watch out for:
1. Biggest Discounts: Discounts May Not Be What They Seem
During sales events like the Big Billion Days, Amazon Great Indian Festival, or Myntra Big Fashion Festival, it may seem like major discounts are on offer, but not all deals are as they appear.
Before you get lured in, take a closer look at the real price. Minimum order values and delivery charges can impact the final cost. Sometimes, what seems like a great deal may actually turn out to be more expensive than alternatives available on other websites or even in physical stores. For example, an item with an MRP of Rs 235 is listed for Rs 189 on Amazon, making it appear as the best online deal. It’s available for Rs 212 on Blinkit, Rs 211.50 on BigBasket, and Rs 216 on Flipkart. But when you factor in the minimum order requirement and delivery charges, it can end up costing you Rs 250 on Amazon and Rs 230 on Blinkit.
2. Savings and Exchange Offers
Savings and exchange offers on products like mobile phones, tablets, and laptops can seem attractive during sales.
It’s essential to scrutinize these offers. They may not apply to all products, specific credit cards, or could be tied to membership rewards or cashbacks. For instance, high exchange offers on smartphones might only apply to a limited range of phones, and the actual value may vary based on the brand and the condition of the device. For instance, an exchange offer claiming to save up to Rs 45,000 on an iPhone 13 may apply to only a select few phones. On the iPhone 12, it offers a range of Rs 9,400 to Rs 20,900, while for a Samsung S22, the exchange value ranges from Rs 5,240 to Rs 11,650 depending on the damage.
3. No-Cost EMI
No-cost EMI offers can be particularly enticing, especially for expensive electronic gadgets and appliances.
However, be aware that these zero-cost EMI deals are typically limited to specific credit cards. Assuming it’s a universal offer on all cards can result in interest rates exceeding 13%.
4. Extra Quantity Offers
Some products, particularly in groceries, are marketed as offering extra quantity for the same price, like 1 kg of free detergent with a 5 kg purchase.
What’s the catch? Don’t be misled; these additional quantities are typically offered by the brand or company and can be found across various e-commerce sites.
5. Flat Cash Discounts
Flat cash discounts, especially substantial ones, can be alluring.
However, it’s crucial to determine if the discount applies to a specific product or the total purchase value. A Rs 200 discount on a minimum order of Rs 1,999 may only equate to a modest 10% cost saving.
6. 50% Off on MRP
When you see a slashed MRP accompanied by a discount, it may appear to be an exclusive website offer.
Yet, the lowered MRP is often a tactic to create the impression of a substantial discount. Comparable or better offers can often be found from other online and offline retailers, including brand websites and stores.
7. Bundled Products
Before finalizing your purchase, websites frequently display bundled products that other customers have bought.
While it may seem like a money-saving addition, it’s often a strategy to encourage you to make an additional purchase and spend more.

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