If you’ve ever done any online shopping, you’ve probably come across wish.com, either through word of mouth or as an advertisement on Facebook (they do this a lot). And if you’ve ever clicked on it and gone to wish.com, you know that they sometimes offer FREE clothing, accessories or gadgets! *
*shipping fee not included.
And that’s the trick. Wish’s deals are so incredible, you don’t mind paying a little shipping fee in return, because you feel indebted to the kind people offering you free products. This is the principle of reciprocity at work. According to psychologydictionary.org, “reciprocity is the act, process or situation in which one person has received a benefit from another and in return chooses to provide an equivalent benefit back”.
If you’re not critical about the fact that shipping fees tend to be higher for pricier products and lower for say, clothes, then you probably think Wish is a wonderful site full of great bargains. Considering they sent you free products in the past, you might go back to their site and buy from them again. That’s another marketing strategy of theirs, much like the razor-and-blades model, they give you cheap prices and expect you to come back regardless of price next time (Dhebar, 2016).
AliExpress.com is another site that sometimes operates like this, however, sometimes they do the opposite of Wish. Instead of hiding the product’s price in the shipping fee, they hide the shipping fee in the price of the product. That way, you’re tricked into thinking that shipping is free (this is what most companies who offer free shipping do). I’d personally still recommend AliExpress with their incredibly low prices and no shipping fee though. If you end up returning the item with the hidden shipping fee, you get all your money back, including that hidden shipping fee. Returning your “free” item that you paid all those shipping costs for on the other hand, doesn’t make much sense.
Dhebar, A. (2016). Razor-and-blades pricing revisited. Business Horizons, 59, 303-310. DOI:10.1016/j.bushor.2016.01.011
Nugent, P. M. (2013, April 28). What is reciprocity? Definition of reciprocity. Retrieved from https://psychologydictionary.org/reciprocity/