Build-A-Bear 'Pay Your Age' - The True Cost To Me

Today saw Build-A-Bear running a promotion that seemed too good to be true, pay your age for their stuffed toys.  I'd stumbled upon the offer after a friend shared the story on Facebook and thought we'd pop along, grab a couple of teddies for our children and go on our merry way.

Soon after walking into the Telford Shopping Centre shortly before 09:00, you could tell it wouldn't be a quick trip into the store as there was a queue the full length of the main part of the mall.  Whilst Nikki joined the back of the line, I went to confirm at the store our suspicions that all these people were waiting to take advantage of the offer. The store assistant explained that they were expecting that people joining the queue should get into the store in 3 hours. Unfortunately, I had to disappear off to work, but I thought I'd check in with Nikki regularly to come and join them for the purchasing of the bears.

By 12:30, I'd not heard anything so I took my lunch break, wandering across fully expecting them to have been around the store and having their own lunch - but no.  They were still in the queue and it would be another hour before they got into make their purchases.

This all got me thinking about whether we were actually getting a good deal through the promotion as it became apparent that our son wouldn't make it to his nursery session in the afternoon. By my calculations today cost us £55 for two bears that we didn't know we wanted until a couple of days ago!

Parking = £6
Nursery (not attended) = £28
Breakfast = £6
Drinks = £11
Build-A-Bear toys = £4

Total = £55

In the spirit of being fair and trying to be unbiased, I did save £7.50 on not buying a train ticket, so we sort of broken even.  If the event had happened on another day where my son wouldn't have been in nursery, we would have saved a considerable amount.

Given some of the media (and social media) coverage, I'm not sure that this promotion will be run again any time soon, however I thought I'd share with you my experiences.