Hanes Throws In 2 Undershirts For Free, Charges More For Them

tankmathHere’s a puzzle: if a company adds more of an item to a package and advertises that you “get X items” or get X ounces free,” don’t they have to keep the price the same? Well, no. I suppose not. Reader Scott found this fascinating example of fuzzy math on various packs of undershirts at Walmart.

He writes:

I was in to purchase undershirts for work when I stumbled on an interesting fact. Wal-mart has a pack of 6 for 13.96 and then another pack that says 2 free shirts but is charging 4.50 more. What is the purpose of saying free when in fact it is not?

tankmath

Let’s see. The package of six undershirts was originally (though I have my doubts) a five-pack. The eight-pack is a six-pack with an additional two shirts offered “free.” Let’s break it down.

$13.96 divided by 5 shirts = $2.79 per shirt
$13.96 divided by 6 shirts = $2.32 per shirt

Meanwhile, the six-pack with two free, or eight-pack, technically offers the best deal, but not by much.

$18.46 divided by 6 shirts = $3.07 per shirt
$18.46 divided by 8 shirts = $2.30 per shirt

The price we shirt isn’t all that different here, but this is similar to other cases we’ve seen of a “free” item having a different SKU and getting priced dynamically without taking the first item into account.

Target Charges $1.50 For Free Nalgene Bottle
Wegmans Charges $1.50 For Free Bottle Of Listerine
How Much Does A Free Pair Of Gloves Cost? 60 Cents