“Buy Five Get One Free” in Shari’a
Among the marketing strategies that could be encountered daily around us is the prize we might get when we bought certain product or using certain service.
Such prize could be categorized into several groups:
First, the prize came from the merchant without any stipulation before. Such prize might be in the form of thing or service.
Buy five get one free, that was what some stores said, or One free washing service for five times washing, promoted some motorcycle washing services. Such prize is allowed in shari’a, because the basic ruling for a prize is lawful, and there is no dangerous side in such offered prize above.
Second, there are certain prizes that come with particular product already known to the customer, such as the prize of plate or glass for those who buy a 0.5 kg weight detergent.
Such prize is also alright, since this case resembles the merchant’s discount for this customer, and there is no vagueness inside it because the customers have already known the prizes they might get.
Third, the prizes are entitled inside every product, but it’s form is still unclear because it is enclosed inside the product’s package.
The ruling of such prize must be detailed:
If such prizes raised the stuffs’ prices, then such prize is forbidden because the customer who bought the products were faced with two possibilities: lucky or unlucky, since the amount of price raised might be larger than the prize’s value, similar, or lower than it. Hence, in this case, the customers were faced with the possibilities of being lucky or not. If so, then such prize is unlawful.
Whereas if the prizes wasn’t given away together by raising the original price, then such prize is lawful because it was similar to the merchant’s discount to it’s customers and the basic law in economical transactions is lawful.
Fourth, the prizes only attached to some products, not all, hence the customer might get it, or mightn’t.
Such prizes are lawful with two requirements:
It wasn’t taken from the raised price of the stuffs.
The customers merely bought it because they needed it.
(See; (Al Muamalah al Maliah al Muashirah, by Dr Khalid Ibn Ali al Musyaiqih Page. 36-37).
Author: Ustadz Aris Munandar, S.S., M.PI.