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Fetching New Friends on Facebook

EVERYONE wants to be “liked!” Here’s an interesting way a regional merchant increased their Facebook status:

Ocean State Job Lot is a 100-store chain carrying odd lots and discounted goods of all kinds. They already have an “internet coupon” feature on their website that sends a weekly note to subscribers with in-store specials, their weekly advertising flyer, and a special group of coupons you can easily “clip” and print from your computer.

Ocean State is popular with bargain-hunters. And the concept of an extra discount atop their already low prices gets people like me, who think paying full price is a sin, to prick up our puppy ears and pay attention. So on a recent Monday, when I received an e-mail promising a “Fabulous Deal,” I plunged right in.

The deal was a FREE desk lamp for Facebook users who signed in and “liked” Ocean State. The only requirement was an additional $10 purchase and the coupon had to be used that day. The lamp even came with an energy-efficient bulb. Sweet! Did I log onto Facebook and like Ocean State? Absolutely! Did I stop at the store and spend $10? I spent more than that. And no, I didn’t need another desk lamp. I plan to donate it to one of the local school supply drives or to a charity I support as an auction item for their next event. And while Ocean State claimed it was a $15 value and their normal price was $10, they had actually marked them down to $4. It sure wasn’t the most stylish lamp ever, but someone will find it handy. And it was FREE, my favorite word.

So, the end result was Ocean State Job Lot divested some overstock and got lots more traffic on a slow sales day. They increased their “friend” factor (sorry, I didn’t think to check how many friends they had before & after the promo). The lamp will go to a good cause. I got the proverbial “something for nothing” which sure made we wag my tail. And other retailers can learn from Ocean State’s idea. Sloppy dog kisses all around!!