This is the week when large tents pop up in parking lots across town. Itâ€™s 4th of July week, and theyâ€™re selling fireworks. Commercials saturate the radio stations trying to coerce people to stop by and pick up a piece of explosive celebration. Driving to work, I heard one of these commercials. Music pumping in the background, a very excited narrator shouts in a deep voice:
â€œBuy one, get one free!â€
â€œBuy two, get two free!â€
â€œBuy three, get THREE free!â€
At first I was impressed by the sale. The way the guy emphasized the numbers sounded like the more you buy, the better deal you would get. Just as I was thinking of bringing my son to one of the tents after work to take advantage of the sale, I realized two things:
- All of the above statements mean the exactly same thing: It doesnâ€™t matter how itâ€™s phrased, or how big of a number you use. You could say, â€œBuy 50 and get 50 free!â€ and it simply means you get one free for each one you buy.
- If theyâ€™re able to give one away for each one they sell, the fireworks are horrifically overpriced to begin with.
I remembered my previous experience with buying fireworks and decided to wait. Maybe weâ€™ll stop by the evening of the 3rd of July, or maybe even the morning of the actual holiday.
If you think buy one get one free is a good sale, youâ€™ll be surprised at what kind of deal you can get by waiting until the last minute.
Aerial fireworks are legal in my state but for some reason there are no permanent stores as I see elsewhere. The tents go up a week in advance, but by evening on the 5th of July operations are completely shut down and the tents are being loaded into trailers.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
During the final hours of business the retailers are looking to liquidate as much inventory as they can.
One year I stopped at a tent just before closing on the eve of the holiday. I didnâ€™t even need to negotiate, as the guy working was literally throwing fireworks at me. He followed me around offering to give me several extra items for every piece I decided to buy. When I finally did check out, he put a few more items into a bag and handed them to my son with a wink.
â€œHappy 4th of July, young man,â€ He said.
If I do decide to buy fireworks this year, Iâ€™ll be waiting as long as possible, because â€œbuy three, get three freeâ€ just isnâ€™t that great of a deal.
Brought to you courtesy of Brock