I usually avoid two-for-one deals (or “buy one, get the second at half off” deals) for one simple reason: I don’t usually need two of something.
Take the famous Ronco knife set, for example. I love watching those infomercials, but the big “wait, there’s more” moment is that you’ll get two 25-piece knife sets for the price of one. I’m already dubious about the need for 25 knives plus a flavor injector. I’d much prefer they knock a bit more off the price and just give me the one set.
Still, sometimes it makes sense to get two of something. Wal-Mart’s (Stock Quote: WMT) Value of the Day is two TomTom GPS systems for $128, which seems like a solid deal at first glance. Sure, if you only have one car you won’t have much use for two navigation systems. But approximately 60% of American households have two or more cars, and many of these families would benefit from having a system in each car. So how does the deal stack up?
For $128, you get two TomTom One 140S GPS Navigation Systems, which retail separately at Wal-Mart for $99 each. This means you’re getting a $72 value, or 36% off. Looks good so far.
But that $99 figure for each system is only for Wal-Mart, and that same model is available at other retailers. They tell a different story: The best deal we found was $81.57 at Amazon.com (plus free standard shipping, which Wal-Mart also offers). That means that if you were to buy two of the TomTom units at Amazon it would cost you $163, which is $35 more than the $128 offered at Wal-Mart. So you’re still getting a deal by going with the Wal-Mart bundle, but now it’s only a 21% savings.