BOGO is the acronym for “Buy One Get One,” a sales promotion strategy used in the retail sector. Such offers provide customers with a free or significantly discounted item upon purchasing an initial product. This tactic creates added value, encouraging shoppers to purchase more to get the deal.

BOGO sales promotions help businesses increase sales volume in time, clear inventory, and attract new customers. It’s also a straightforward benefit for customers, as they save money or get more value than anticipated for their purchase.

Key Takeaways

  • BOGO (Buy One Get One) is a well-known sales promotion strategy that provides value to shoppers by offering an additional item for free or at a significant discount upon purchasing an initial product.
  • Businesses use such offers to increase sales volume, clear inventory, attract new customers, and promote new or underperforming products.
  • The deal benefits customers by allowing them to save on bulk purchases, try new products, and get more value for their money.
  • These deals take various forms, such as “Buy One, Get One Free”, “Buy One, Get One Half Off”, “Buy Two, Get One Free”, and more.
  • The promotions are found in sectors like retail, grocery stores, health and beauty, fast-food chains, online marketplaces, and entertainment.
  • Policies on identical items, combinations with other offers, return policies, and the exact nature of the deal (free or discounted item) can vary by retailer.

Attention: The specifics of these deals can vary based on location, current inventory, offer expiration date, and the time of year. The examples below are for informational purposes so you can learn the types of deals that businesses tend to offer:

GapBuy one item, get one 50% off.
JCPenneyBuy one item, get one of equal or lesser value for free.
Macy’sBuy one pair of shoes, get one 50% off.
Old NavyBuy one pair of jeans, get one 50% off.
Pizza HutBuy one pizza, get one free.
SephoraBuy one lipstick, get one of equal or lesser value for free.
StarbucksBuy one frappuccino, get one free.
Payless ShoeSourceBuy one item, get one 50% off.
Burger KingChoose two items from a select menu for $5.
Claire’sBuy 3, get 3 free on almost all products.
Bath & Body WorksBuy 3, get 3 free on select body care items.
American EagleBuy one pair of jeans, get one 50% off.
PacSunBuy one, get one free on select denim.
Victoria’s SecretBuy one bra, get one 50% off.
Francesca’sBuy one, get one 60% off on clearance items.
LensCraftersBuy one pair of eyeglasses or prescription sunglasses, get one 50% off.
WalgreensBuy one vitamin or supplement, get one free.
Papa John’sBuy one pizza, get one free, or 50% discounted.
GameStopBuy 2 pre-owned video games, get 1 free.
UltaBuy one, get one 40% off on select cosmetic brands.
PetSmartBuy 2, get 1 free on select dog treats.
DSWBuy one, get one 50% off on clearance shoes.
ZalesBuy one, get 50% off on select items.
SubwayBuy one footlong sandwich, get one free.
Coca ColaBy one 12-pack of Coca Cola cans, get one free at stores like Kroger, Publix, or Safeway.
McDonald’sBuy one Big Mac, get one free. Or buy one Quarter Pounder with cheese, get one for $1.
KFCBuy one two-piece meal, get one free. Or buy one bucket of chicken, get one at a discounted price.

What Does BOGO Mean?

“Buy One Get One” is one of the most popular promotions that saves customers money and provides more value while shopping. In its most common form, a customer purchases one product and gets another identical product for free. 


Note: However, BOGO offers can come in various forms, including “Buy One, Get One Half Off,” or “Buy Two, Get One Free,” among others. The fundamental theme remains the same: the more you buy, the more you save.

History of BOGO

BOGO sales promotions have been driving purchases for decades. They typically entice sales through a complimentary or discounted second item upon purchasing the first.


The BOGO concept originated from early sales promotion tactics used in the retail industry, with roots in couponing and department store marketing. Although the precise origin date is difficult to pinpoint, it gained popularity as a marketing term in the late 20th century.

Evolution Over Time

Over the years, the BOGO model has seen various adaptations:

  • Early years: traditionally, promotions were a straightforward “buy one, get one free” offer.
  • Expansion: retailers began to expand on the original model to include “buy one, get one half off” or similar variations.
  • Modern use: in the digital age, the deals are frequently used in e-commerce, extending beyond physical stores. Today, the term describes any of its usual meanings (free item, discounted offer, bundle deals, etc).

This evolution reflects retailers’ efforts to provide flexible options to shoppers while encouraging increased sales volume.

What Is a BOGO Offer?

BOGO deals can vary greatly, as they aim to introduce flexibility in the shopping experience. Depending on what a business sells, they’ll opt for one form or another. A retailer could give customers a free complimentary product with a specific purchase or 50% off purchasing the same product again.

Common Types of BOGO Offers


Note: The core principle of BOGO promotions is always the same – encouraging customers to purchase more products by increasing the deal’s value. However, the exact promotion can vary.

Buy One Get One Free

The most straightforward BOGO deal. You buy a product, and you get another one for free. It’s also the most attractive one for many customers as it halves the price of each item.

Buy One Get One Half Off

This offer means you get a half-price second item when you buy one item. This BOGO deal is common in fashion retailers and is a great way to save money when shopping for clothes.

Buy Two Get One Free

This is a variant of BOGO where a customer must buy two items to get a third one for free. It’s valuable for consumable goods that you use regularly, like soap.

Buy Three Get One Free

This is a larger-scale BOGO offer. Here, a customer must buy three products for a fourth one for free. Like “buy two get one free,” this variant is often used for lower-priced or consumable goods, encouraging bulk buying.

Buy One, Get the Second at a Fixed Discount

In this offer, the first item is purchased at full price, while the second is available at a fixed discount; such as $10 or $20 off.

Buy One Get One Free at the Next Purchase

Some retailers have an offer where the free product can only be claimed during the next purchase. This is a strategy to encourage repeat purchases.

Bundle BOGO

In this deal, a customer must buy a bundle of products (for example, a shampoo and conditioner set) to get another item or set for free.

Seasonal or Holiday BOGO

These deals are tied to a season or holiday. For instance, a “summer BOGO” might involve buying a pair of shorts and getting a second pair for free.

BOGO Deals Advantages

For Shoppers

BOGO promotions reduce the overall cost of acquiring multiple units of items in regular demand or non-perishable goods.

  • Cost savings: whether it’s a “Buy One, Get One Free” or a “Buy One, Get One Half Off” offer, customers can purchase more items while spending less.
  • Bulk purchases: the offer is excellent for items that customers use frequently or have a long shelf life. They allow customers to stock up, saving money and time spent on frequent shopping trips.
  • Try new products: retailers often use these deals to introduce new products. This is helpful for customers who wish to try new items without spending extra money.
  • Increased value:BOGO offers make products more worthwhile to purchase as they come with an additional benefit.
  • Gift opportunities: additional items acquired via BOGO can be given as a gift, offering a cost-effective way to celebrate birthdays, holidays, or other gift-giving occasions.

For Businesses

BOGO promotions are advantageous for businesses as they increase customer traffic, help clear inventory, and overall lead to more sales:

  • Inventory management: they help businesses to clear inventory quickly. This is useful for clearing out seasonal items, selling perishable goods, or making way for new products.
  • Increased sales volume: by encouraging customers to buy more items to take advantage of the deal, BOGO offers can significantly boost sales volume.
  • Customer acquisition: they attract new customers who are drawn in by the promise of getting more value for their money.
  • Promote new or underperforming products: if a new product isn’t selling as expected, a BOGO promotion can give it a boost. It gets the product into customers’ hands, increasing the chances of future purchases.
  • Encourages larger purchases: the deals can lead to larger shopping carts, especially with variants like “buy two get one free.”
  • Customer loyalty: shoppers satisfied with the value from BOGO may become repeat customers, leading to increased lifetime value.

Where to Find BOGO Offers

This sales promotion is common at many businesses, including grocery stores, clothing retailers, and online marketplaces. They are typically advertised in-store, on a retailer’s website, or in promotional emails. Many retailers are now offering BOGO promotions on their mobile apps too.


Tip: You can also search for BOGO opportunities on coupon websites.


What Is BOGO?

BOGO (Buy One Get One) is a marketing strategy that drives sales and attracts customers, often creating a sense of urgency and perceived value. It can also be used to introduce new products and encourage customers to try something they otherwise might not.

In simple terms, the offer generally rewards customers with a free or heavily discounted product for an initial purchase.

Where Can I Find BOGO Offers?

BOGO deals can be found across a wide range of industries, as they are a popular sales promotion method.

  • Retail: perhaps the most common industry. Retailers often use BOGO for clothing, shoes, electronics, and more to clear out inventory or promote a new product line.
  • Supermarkets and grocery stores: these outlets frequently use BOGO to encourage customers to try new products or to move perishable items before their sell-by date.
  • Health and beauty: companies in the health and beauty industry often use BOGO to introduce new products. This includes skincare products, hair care items, makeup, and more.
  • Fast food and restaurants: BOGO is common in the food industry, particularly among fast-food chains and casual dining restaurants. The offer could apply to certain meals, entrées, or during off-peak hours to attract customers
  • Online marketplaces: e-commerce companies and online marketplaces are known for hosting these deals, particularly around holidays and sales events like Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
  • Entertainment and events: event organizers or movie theaters sometimes have BOGO ticket sales to boost attendance.

Do All Stores Offer BOGO Deals?

Many retailers (online and brick-and-mortar) offer it, but not all. The promotions are typically most common at grocery stores, clothing retailers, and beauty stores.

Can You Combine BOGO with Other Offers?

It depends on the retailer’s specific terms and conditions. Sometimes, the offers can be combined with promotions like coupons or store-wide sales. Other times, they may be exclusively applied and cannot be combined with other discounts or promotions.

Is BOGO Only for Identical Items?

It depends on the retailer’s policy. Some deals require buying two of the same item, while others allow you to mix and match within a defined group of products.

Is BOGO Just Getting a Free Item?

Not necessarily. While BOGO often implies that an item is free, it can also mean you get a second item of equal or lesser value at a reduced price. The specifics depend on the retailer’s terms and conditions.

Can I Return an Item Purchased as Part of a BOGO Promotion?

The return policy for items bought during a BOGO sale varies by retailer. Some may allow you to return the purchased item, but you’ll typically need to also return the free or discounted item. Other retailers may not allow returns on items at all.