A Math Geek's 2¢ on goSawa's New Rewards Catalogue

Today, deals site goSawa announced its latest rewards scheme:
  1. Purchase deals
  2. Get 2 points for every $1 spent
  3. Use points to redeem rewards
There are 16 available gift options, ranging from a 2000-W Tchibo hair dryer to a half-hour horseback riding adventure. Mathematics geek that I (self-professedly and unabashedly) claim to be, I wanted to understand the logic (if any) behind the number of points required per gift as a function of its retail value. Luckily, goSawa made the job of hunting down retail values easy, as every single one of the gifts on offer (except item 14--see below) was run as a deal in the past, and a quick Google search could unearth it.

Here's a preliminary list:

ItemReward descriptionPoints required Deal price ($)  Value ($) Points/
dollar (deal)
Points/
dollar (value)
130-minute horseback riding adventure100011229145
21-month dance lessons1500107515020
33-hour bike rental60051012060
41-hour Waterfront Segway rental105020405326
515-minute Segway training6308177937
68-hour sailing cruise trip for 21300100240135
7Day of adventure, outdoor activities90015306030
81-night bungalow accommodation + activities1800601203015
9Discover scuba diving1400501002814
10PADI scuba diving course with int'l certificate1900125250158
11Sony Cyber-Shot DCS-WX7 digital camera30001442402113
12Thierry Mugler leather wallet170021708124
13Thierry Mugler leather briefcase 2000301006720
146-month diet plan for couples1800
151-night stay for 2 in deluxe room + breakfast 1700851702010
16Tchibo 2000-W hair dryer200029656931


With the data organized thus, I was able to then compute a few indicators of interest, including how many points you would accumulate had you bought said item when it was advertised, or conversely how much money you needed to spend on goSawa before you earned it. Another way to look at it is how many units of the gift item you'd need to buy (at the deal price) to earn a free unit (buy X get 1 free). Check it out:

Item
Points earned for deal purchase
Required spend value on goSawa to earn one free unit ($)
Number of units X needed to purchase to receive one free unit
(Buy X get 1 free)
Reward Worthiness Index
1
22
500.00
45
22.73
2
20
750.00
75
10.00
3
10
300.00
60
30.00
4
40
525.00
26
13.13
5
16
315.00
39
18.53
6
200
650.00
7
2.71
7
30
450.00
30
15.00
8
120
900.00
15
7.50
9
100
700.00
14
7.00
10
250
950.00
8
3.80
11
288
1500.00
10
6.25
12
42
850.00
40
12.14
13
60
1000.00
33
10.00
14

900.00


15
170
850.00
10
5.00
16
58
1000.00
34
15.38



The final column is a normalized index I came up with, called Reward Worthiness, which measures the ratio of "required spend value on goSawa to earn one free unit" to "retail value" of the item. In other words, how inflated is the point tag markup on this gift? You want this figure to be as close to unity (1) as possible. Glancing at the RWIs above, items 6, 10, and 15 are your best bets in terms of how many points you have to earn to get the gift relative to the gift's value. Items 3, 1, and 5, in that sequence, are the biggest rip-offs. Don't waste your time saving for them. Simply go out and buy.

At any rate, goSawa's initiative is a nice way of rewarding and encouraging its most active scoopers. To what extent this rewards system will give it an edge over its competitors (and there are many) is difficult to say.

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