!!!THE PSYCHOLOGY OF FREE STUFF!!!!

Discussion in 'Battlecorals' started by Battlecorals, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. buzzword

    buzzword Well-Known Member

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    How could you possibly complain about a free frag, or free anything for that matter? This is a reflection of the American sense of entitlement. Your too good for a freebie? The freebie wasn't nice enough or high-end enough? You didn't ask for a freebie? The vendor, whether it be Adam or another vendor is going above and beyond for the customer. It is a good business practice, to fulfill customers expectations, to go beyond those expectations to hopefully have a repeat customer and one that will perpetuate positive word of mouth about his/her experience with the vendor.
    I have received freebies on two occasions, both of which I was pleasantly surprised. One was not something I wished to keep so I traded it in at the LFS. And I did nothing but compliment and thank the vendors. Anything else is rude, inconsiderate and selfish.
    As for a DOA I would have to agree, that if I had a high end frag of say $200 or better arrive DOA and had received a freebie that was much less I would reach out to that vendor about replacement or credit, but I would probably also offer to pay the shipping to help offset some of the cost to the vendor.
    I apologize about the rant but I'm an older guy and I see too much of this sense of entitlement pervading the American attitude. Be grateful, pass it on like others said.
    On that note have a great day.
     

  2. Annahra

    Annahra Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Interesting subject! I haven't purchased from you yet (although now I'll have to check you out) but I have received freebies from other vendors.

    I received a ton of extras with one purchase and I was just over the moon with how amazing my tank looked. One of the freebies was a fish I had never even heard of and he's super cool and a great fit. However, some of the freebies were difficult feeders (and I have lost a couple which I always take personally), and one of the inverts I may end up taking to the LFS even though I love it because it's just not a great fit for what I'm doing in my tank.

    I guess I would say I absolutely love freebies, but feel they are most effective if they fit the overall strategy the person already has in place in his/her system. Overall I was really impressed with the thoughtfulness that went into my order and would absolutely use the vendor again.

    Oh, on valuation of freebies--that's gotta depend on the person. These are living creatures. I appreciate them all and want to keep them all healthy regardless of what they cost. I don't really view my tank like that. Now, I can see an especially expensive coral or fish being held in extra esteem, but I hope that people value things based on what they are--uniqueness, rarity, etc.--not based on cost.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
  3. Higher Thinking

    Higher Thinking Active Member

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    Giving appreciate and giving something value are two different things. I can be extremely appreciative of something that has little to no value.

    To address your initial question, yes I would assert that free stuff has a lower value in the eyes of the recipient. A previous post nailed it on the head, that our society just expects stuff to be given out (wages, benefits, jobs, etc.). I can guarantee that I appreciate my heath care, career, and education because I worked hard to acquire them. As opposed to the government just handing it out. Because as was also said earlier, nothing is actually free. There's always someone paying for it.

    Sorry for derailing a bit, but that's my insight. People can be appreciative, but it's tougher (not impossible) to give something it's proper value when it isn't paid for.
     
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  4. yellojello

    yellojello Active Member

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    Usually if I get a freebie or even big discount from multiple frags, I don't like to share that information publicly. That already devalues it from a resale standpoint. Although I've never really sold much since my seven years reefing, mostly trade or DBTC to local club.

    Also, when you are short on space, you kind of panic where to put the frag. Not only the cost of real estate, which many of you know is crazy these days, but the extra salt, calcium, and supplements to provide for it.

    But overall, I love freebies and never would complain dead or alive. :)
     
  5. bubbaque

    bubbaque Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    I love freebies!! *wink, wink*
     
  6. tautog83

    tautog83 Valuable Member

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    Yea you really can't complain about a freebie unless it's a favia but with Adam ya don't have to worry about that . Also I am joking about the favia ...kinda lol.
     
  7. star fawkes

    star fawkes Active Member MTRCMember

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    If the free coral is part of the deal then it has a value. A teetering customer could swing in favor of making a purchase if they know there is more in it for them. The vendor is responsible for sending out healthy coral and granting the same warranty as paid coral. Lets compare to buying tires. Many tire shops offer "buy 3, get 1 free!" knowing that you need 4 tires on your car, so that free tire has a value. If you got your tires mounted and drive home only to realize that they didn't change out your fourth tire you sure would be upset. If you went back to the shop and they just mustered "eh, it was free anyway why are you complaining." then there for sure would be a problem.

    On the other hand if there is an agreement and free corals are added after the fact then they are just that, free. If they are DOA then the vendor isn't responsible to replace and they aren't meant to replace DOA of paid coral. They are their own unique item. One definitely can't complain about the freebies they received in this case.

    In the case of Battlecorals, I've only bought Battle Boxes so I can say without a doubt I have received way more than I've paid and couldn't be happier. Out of 20 coral I only lost one and that was my fault and Adam was nothing less than exceptional about replacing it. My bags were only marked with the names of the coral so I don't officially know if any were meant to be free, and after posting pictures of my packs I never said how much I paid to other members so the price of my pack is strictly between me and Adam.
     
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  8. azbigjohn

    azbigjohn Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor

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    I have been waiting on my new tank to mature before purchasing my first "BattleBox" (probably a "you pick it for me" type). I have a couple of thoughts, in no particular order...

    I think receiving an extra piece would almost always make me go "cool - bonus!" and I would be grateful. The only time I would think someone wouldn't appreciate it is the SPS collector who has a couple final places where they want certain specific pieces to "round out" their collection, and a freebie would not fit into their master plan (I don't think I will ever be there, but surely there are one or two folks out there)

    My second thought is I am one of those who really cannot identify SPS on sight. I am not big on names, lineage, etc... I just know what I like to look at, what my wife likes to see in my tank, and that sets the desire and value at that point. I could get a 2" frag of some super-rare, $300 per inch SPS, and not be able to tell the difference between it and a cheap pocillopora. But, as I mentioned, I would think almost everyone would appreciate ANYTHING given as added value.

    The final thought actually comes from years of previous restaurant and retail management (my previous career). We were always taught to never give away something "free" (primarily to employees) as we had now set the perceived value of that item as $0, which then said it was okay to take/steal that item. While it does not translate directly to this discussion, the "perceived value" does sort of fit into the point you made.
     
  9. Flatlandreefer

    Flatlandreefer Active Member

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    Freebies are great! Especially when related to battle corals where everything is sps so you know that is what your customers are looking for, I could understand receiving a free softie or something when you have an sps dominated tank and being mad because it is something that you don't have a place for. The surprise factor of getting something random that you did not pick out is really cool and adds value to the experience with a vendor that does something like that. I have not purchased from battle corals yet(I have filled up my cart multiple times) but I did receive a free acan echinata from an order with another vendor(orange, part of their Halloween special) and it is one of my favorite corals and one that I would not have considered purchasing otherwise.

    As for off setting shipping I think this is a great point! I often do not order online because of the high mark that needs to be met to qualify for free shipping and paying shipping is the cost of another frag at the LFS. Potentially receiving a bonus serves as a great way to say thank you to a customer when there is no face to face interaction like you would have in a store front. As for making up for a DOA on the original order I don't think this would fly for me personally. If I am ordering online I am doing so for a very specific piece that I would not be able to find at the LFS. If I am going to pay shipping I am doing so for a very specific reason especially since online frags in my experience command a higher price than frags at my LFS, and are usually smaller.

    On a seperate note, do you still do Battle Boxes? I wasn't aware of this and I don't see anything about it on the website.
     
  10. Rakie

    Rakie Federal Coral Reserve R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    I would say the freebies may justify DOA's depending on what the DOA was, or what place you had for said DOA.

    As I'm sure you've imagined, a good chunk of your customers throw their corals on a frag rack for a bit, then place 'em somewhere and if necessary move them. But what if you built a ledge onto your existing rockwork, for that bubblebath unicorn to sit front and center, as the showpiece coral. If I had plans that grand, for a particular piece, i'm afraid a freebies worth 3-4x as much wouldn't make up for that exact loss. Which is NOT to say they are not appreciated by any means -- But when you order the Ferrari red Ferrari, and a yellow one shows up it kinda kinks the plan.

    So it all depends on a lot of stuff. I think after this many years, you can probably gauge just by conversation how it could play out. Again, if I rescaped my tank and built a ledge specifically for ONE exact coral, and it arrived DOA? Nothing would do in that scenario, even if the freebies were worth 5x as much -- Unless, the freebies had the same aspects you were looking for.

    I'd say most the time freebies more than make up for a DOA. Except in very specific circumstances, as those pointed out above.
     
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  11. Fizzgig32

    Fizzgig32 Member

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    I love those little freebies that some vendors send. The only thing I'd like, is to know what you sent. I'm not the best at identifying the many different Corel's. :)
     
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  12. nola90

    nola90 Active Member

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    The biggest thing that gets me is when a freebie doesn't make it, be it DOA or after a few weeks.
    The customer then goes and complains and demanding a replacement, badmouthing the vendor, and never backing down. Its ridiculous and make vendors hesitant on even including it if its going to be a liability.

    I think I've ordered 10+ packs from Adam over the previous years, sometimes they have freebies and sometimes they don't. Never bothered me (I just need a new brush...LOL). When they don't, you can tell why (i.e. frags are CHUNKS). When they have freebies, usually its a frag Adam and I have talked about and I opted for something else, but then it seems like he had one laying around and included it anyway for me. Other times its just random things he has that he likes to spread (like the most recent few packs). If its a frag from Adam, I personally don't care what it is because I know it'll cook into something nice whether he sells it for $30 or $300.
     
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  13. Scott.h

    Scott.h Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    So I fall into the baffled category on this. Personally I don't think it lowers the value at all of what you are trying to do, but I understand what you are getting at. I also think some of your competitors, using business strategy on creating a controlled demand could be hurting them. Money isn't my number one concern with this hobby, but I've often contemplated a coral on another site I feel is photoshopped, 1/2 inch stub at $150 plus, and not pulled the trigger. You've never left me dissatisfied in any way, and that also has value.

    My take is that you rank in the top percentage when it comes to quality in your specific field. Your website is well thought out and easy to navigate. You offer free shipping past 250 I believe. Value! Also your frags aren't small in comparison either. I've gotten roughly 15 pieces from you now, and I've never gotten a small 1/2" piece yet, as many others are selling.

    So although I truly appreciate anything free, don't short change yourself. Your corals are worth what you ask. In fact your prices are not as high as some of your competitors, your frags are bigger, and most important.. top notch quality. I also feel being able to troubleshoot certain things via phone or text alone is worth more of a value then anything. Something I've never really gotten from others. On the flip side these different things are the reason why I've used you exclusively on such specific corals. So although I will except anything free, it has no bearing on coming back. As long as you continue doing what you do, you'll be my first text when it comes to sps.. free stuff or not. Keep up the good work Adam!
     
  14. Pola0502ds

    Pola0502ds Zoa Addict R2R Supporter 3RMAS Member Article Contributor

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    I look at the freebies like this. Just like your job, if you get a bonus then GREAT if not then no harm no foul. Never get your hopes up and expect a bonus. If you don't get one you still have your salary. But it sure is nice to get one as often as you can. If you get a bonus once a year and the next year it was a little more or less you can't complain because its a BONUS! Be happy that you even got one. This applies to frags. I don't care if its a expensive or cheap one. The fact that someone took the extra time and took a little less profit to send me extra frags, wow! How nice. I would never complain about and i can't believe that there are people who would. How ungreatful. However, you just have to accept the fact that in this life you literally cannot please everyone. Period. End of story. There will always be someone who complains. My brother works for a radio station and often gives tickets away for free to friends and family for concerts. You wouldn't believe what people say to him. "I know you gave me 2 tickets but can i have 3?". "Think you can do any better on the seats?". Its unreal. One time he said someone was insulted that he would even offer free tickets that were so far away from the stage. YOU CAN'T MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY.

    As far as the DOA, since i view the free frags like a bonus, if you get one great, if not then oh well, i still expect my original order to show up as ordered and even after there is a DOA. In my opinion its just the right thing to do. And honestly i never thought of before that vendors do that as a "just in case" kinda thing to use that as a incentive to not complain or expect a replacement. I really hope they dont do that and free frags are truly a sign of genuine appreciation for your business.
     
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  15. Tautog

    Tautog Valuable Member

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    Wow, such a funny topic, and some of the answers are funnier!
    The act of offering "free" anything, at any time, for any purchase is just good business.
    I've worked and owned businesses for years, and the act of giving isn't always appreciated, unfortunately!
    Today, more than ever, buyers want more and more! Their mentality is " I want this, I need this, I'll buy this, but what else can you do for me!"
    Finding a vendor who's honest, fair priced, knowledgeable, easy to communicate with, and someone who understands your needs, makes a purchase easy. The purchase might not be cheaper, but confidence in the seller is everything.
    Believe me, I sold empty space, and managed a storage facility. We were not cheaper, but we were honest, clean, and reliable. Wheather I cared or not, it's important that the customer thinks you care. I called everyone by their first name, with 700+ clients, not easy, but important, and very special to even the worst client. And yes, that's how you turn a customer into an advertising tool to grow a business, any business!
     
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  16. Bowlopho

    Bowlopho Member

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    Free frags are always welcomed!! Whether it's worth $5 or $100. Regarding DOA on purchased item, I think DOA should be handled professionally on purchased items. The buyer purchased a specific piece for a reason so they should get what they ordered.
     
  17. ksfulk

    ksfulk Grow sticks, grow!!! R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Freebies are generally awesome - but I think the thing that makes them special is when they arent expected and consistent. Frags are great - even when they arent what you wanted, but they are truly special and awesome when you dont expect them. One vendor on this site consistently provides 2-3 "freebie" frags with my typical orders. After a few boxes, I expected there to be extra frags, which cheapened them a bit (retrospectively, of course). Another vendor that is relatively close to me and I do a lot of shopping with over the past eight or so years. I was at their facility and pouring over a bunch of sticks I really wanted, but I couldnt afford all of the pieces I wanted that trip (stupid budgets!) - about six months later, I made a really small order of two pieces I acquired during a live sale, and when I opened the box, I was shocked to see three bags, one of them having a thick stick that I had my eyes on all those months ago. There was just a quick sharpie scrawl on the order slip "Thanks for ordering again, knew you had your eye on this one last time. Enjoy!" I was blown away as not only had I just gotten an expensive SPS frag for free, but they remembered that I was there and checking it out and wanted to buy it but just couldnt at that time. Thats what made that freebie special and important.

    While freebie frags are super cool, no one has mentioned the other freebies that Adam throws in too. I thought battlebrushes were a bit gimicky when I first heard about it on the forums, but its something I use just about everyday now. Providing freebies that arent just related to the hobby (like getting free flake food samples) but that are actually useful takes it over the top. The stickers are cool too... I have them on my workbench and toolbox - and Ive had a couple conversations about Adams corals started from those stickers. :)
     
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  18. Rakie

    Rakie Federal Coral Reserve R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    To reiterrate -- Adam, I'd be surprised if anyone here didn't love your freebies. In general, they're amazing. In general, they definitely make up for DOA's -- Only very little specific examples / times when a freebie won't cover a DOA -- And that's when your entire order is based around a particular coral, and that's the one that bites the bleach. Then it's time for man tears.
     
  19. Sistawolf

    Sistawolf Valuable Member R2R Supporter

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    I'm super grateful for any free frags I get.. it's like Christmas every time.. so please don't ever let ungrateful buyers spoil it for those that truly appreciate it:)
     
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  20. hbrochs

    hbrochs Active Member

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    Ok, seems like someone needs to make the counterpoint. My tank is pretty full of of coral and every inch is important. Another vendor sent me a freebie beige paly. These freebies are different than a logo coaster or pen. They are living and I can't really throw it out if it's not what I wanted. So I toss it in the back corner, and of course now they cover a good part of my back wall. It's not terrible, but just not something I chose. My first preference for vendors building good will would be healthy colored up frags. I'd rather be surprised by frags that were a bit larger than I expected than a freebie. It sounds like you give nice SPS freebies though, so it's hard to not be happy with that. Now if I made an order and had you pick the frags, you gave one freebie and I had one doa then I would not be looking for a replacement. But if I handpick all my frags and one doesn't survive shipping then I'd like to get it replaced because I must have wanted that particular coral.

    Generosity is always appreciated, it's just an unusual circumstance when the thing you are giving away is alive, lol. It puts a certain obligation on the recipient that doesn't really happen in most other business freebies. Sorry if I ruffled any feathers but it's not much of a discussion if everyone picks the same side ;-)
    Howard
     
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