Bad design: Deliberately restrictive sales

This one is old as the hills, but tech companies are still trotting out the “enticing sale with decent discounts that excludes almost everything you’d actually want to buy” offer. This particular offer also has a bonus loot box component where the promotional email gives you a random code for a discount between 10-25%.

In this case, the offer came from Logitech. My alleged discount was 25%.

I clicked the enticing CLICK TO REVEAL button and was given the 25% off code. I’ve been thinking of acquiring a full keyboard with keypad again for times when I might want the keypad and the Logitech Craft gets good reviews–but is also ludicrously expensive, selling for around $200 Canadian most of the time. This discount would bring it down to a more palatable $150.

I then read the not-so-fine print at the bottom of the email that lists the items excluded from this offer (remember, the discount starts at a not-exactly-gigantic 10% off). There are not 33 items on the list (which would already be a lot), but a combination of 33 individual products and entire product lines:

You can buy anything that is old and cheap, however.

The Craft keyboard is among the impressive list of exclusions. Almost anything new or on the pricier side has been left off the sale. Why? Because Logitech wants you to pay full price for those. Perfectly understandable. For profit companies like profits.

But this promotional offer–even if you overlook the skeevy loot box “What did I get?” aspect still stinks. The unspoken hope here is that the potential buyer will not read over the list of exclusions and if they try to buy something that isn’t part of the promotion, well, they’re already on the Loigtech site, so maybe they’ll end up buying something else. Or shop around and get ideas, even if they don’t buy something right then. This is questionable marketing at best, and dishonest at worst. It trains customers to not trust you when you offer something. If I got another offer from Logitech, I’d immediately ask myself, “But what’s the catch?”

But that won’t happen, because I’ve already rewarded Logitech by unsubscribing to their offers. Well done, marketing geniuses.

(The unsubscribe option is simple and didn’t even ask for a reason, which is too bad, because I wanted to tell them!)

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