Did Office Max hire an accountant with an I.Q. of 62?
I think I may be losing my grip on reality.
Recently I received four coupons in the mail from my local Office Max. Two coupons were for $10 off a purchase of $10. I'm not the best number-cruncher but I figured that meant I got two $10 items for free. I was right. I strolled into Office Max, picked out two $10 items (pack of batteries, paper supplies) and after tax the grand total came to around $1.40 for $20 worth of product.
"How on earth could Office Max benefit from this?" i pondered. "Perhaps people will come into the store and buy way more than $10 worth of stuff?" I then thought. Seemed like a reasonable conclusion to me.
Then, I get two more coupons from Office Max, each offering $15 off a $20 purchase IF I sign up for MaxPerks, their reward card. I wonder to myself why Office Max is so eager to get me back to the store, but I need a few more things so I return.
First, I buy a case for my external hard drive. Retail price $19.99. I hand over my coupon and the cashier doesn't even blink. He doesn't ask me to sign up for a form, he doesn't care that the coupon requires MaxPerks membership to be valid. I just get $15 deducted from the bill and walk away with a $20 item for just $5. "Could this happen again?" I once again wonder.
This is where the story gets even more strange.
I go back to the same Office Max store the next day and, armed with my coupon, pick out a microphone/headset combo for my computer. Retail price $19.99.
The cashier asks me if I'd like to buy an extended warranty on the $20 item. I laugh and say no. But then he says "Well, if you buy the $2.99 extended warranty I can give you a $10 coupon good for this purchase."
"Ah yes, but I'm already using a coupon" I honestly respond.
"Oh, that's ok, it still counts" he replies with a big grin. "But you'll need to grab a few things to bring the total up so that I can deduct the addtional voucher."
Dazed, I walk around the store trying to find something else I need and settle for a few packs of gum and some mints.
My grand total came to $25.40. After a lot of fiddling with the system, he duducted the $15 voucher and the $10 voucher, so I paid 40 cents for the whole purchase. And once again, I never even had to sign up for the MaxPerks card to get the discounts.
So, can anyone tell me what is going on with OfficeMax? Is the idea to make customers so amazingly happy that they'll come back and spend more money? I doubt I'll go back unless I get another voucher because generally I find Target has the things I need for a little less.
If anyone from OfficeMax corporate office can shed any light on this "give the store away for free" promotion, I'd love to hear about it, too. Because quite frankly, I can't see how this one turns a profit.
Super photo by Wiseacre . Thanks.