Misleading Pricing - Buy Item, Get Another Item Free

Browsing mi-store.com.au last night. Front page promotion for Himo Z20 with ‘free’ H1 scooter for $1599. Further browsing of their site has the Himo Z20 for sale for $1199 by itself. I emailed the company - stated I thought the term ‘free’ in this promotion was misleading, as you would actually be paying another $400 for the ‘free’ item. Their explanation is that it is free based on the RRP - which I don’t believe is adequate reasoning. If I walked into a physical store and this one item had 2 separate price tags; $1199 if you just buy bike or $1599 if you buy bike you get a free scooter it wouldn’t be acceptable. As it stands it’s a package deal trying to bait with the word ‘free’. What do other OzBargainers think of this pricing?

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  • BOGOF is real.

    Using the term "bonus" is more accurate imo but less eye-catching than "free".

    • It’s not free or a bonus based on the current price of the bike though - it’s $400…

      • You either get the item free by paying RRP, or you get the discounted price. You don't get both (that's called double dipping).

        You'll probably also seein most promotions the phrase "not in conjunction with any other offer"

  • The regular price is $1599, and
    you have a.choice of two deals:
    $400 off, or
    a "free" scooter.
    Your choice. Or walk away if neither appeals to you.
    Not sure what the problem is.

    • Neither has appealed to me from the start - I’m not looking to purchase, only seeking opinion on sales/marketing/advertising tactics. My problem is how’s it marketed, which is not written with the same eloquence as your reply. As it stands I feel it’s misleading.

      • Whats wrong with the marketing. As Xyzzy says.

        they have 2 deals

        1. With no bonus, so you save $400 meaning you buy 1 for $1199
        2. With Bonus bike pay $1599. That means you get both at $800 each

        Its a deal, yea sure for those without much bargain savvyness they may think they are saving $1599 with the bonus, which is sorta true compared to regular pricing, but not compared to the alternative deal being offered for a buy1 only deal.

        Just like buy one get 50% off second item, isnt really 50% off, its the same as 25% off both items.

        Its not misleading, its just the same marketing perception, as buying fuel for $1.599 everyone says I got fuel for $1.59 rather than saying I got it for $1.60 which is nearer to the truth.

        Thats why we come to Ozbargain to get better insights into whats truly a bargain.

        • Justify it all you want but I'm with OP. It's hella misleading.

          You shouldn't claim something is free then charge for it.

  • It could be classed as misleading according to the ACCC.
    Businesses should be particularly careful of the use of the word ‘free’. The idea of getting goods or services without charge can create keen interest in consumers. Consumers will usually think of ‘free’ as absolutely free - a justifiable expectation.

    Simply put, businesses may get into trouble with free offers if they do not reveal the complete truth, including any conditions that the consumer must comply with.

    Example: A business makes a ‘buy one, get one free’ offer, but raises the price of the first item to largely cover the cost of the second (free) item. This is likely to be misleading or deceptive."


  • Their marketers are playing with fire using “free” and it being potentially considered as a deceptive promotion. The ACCC would look at it and consider if it’s a deceptive tactic not if it can be argued and justifiable. This is why companies get fined for having their small print too small and their Ads not clear. Should be promoted as a bundle, bonus buy etc.