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What is Bundling?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Bundling is a practice in sales that refers to packaging more than one item together to induce customers to purchase a main product. This can also refer to offering several services at once. For instance, a carpet cleaner could bundle services by offering free cleaning of a hall carpet with the purchase of cleaning two rooms. Bundling may furthermore refer to the "gift with purchase" concept in sales. If you’re going to get something for “free” you may be more likely to buy something else.

Often you’ll find examples of bundling in the computer software and gaming industry. A computer may be sold with free software bundles, and various programs that help you increase the computer’s functionality. Most computers come bundled with programs like web browsers, word processing programs, and office management programs. Video game systems are also likely candidates for bundling. New game systems may be sold with a game, with extra controllers, with memory cards, or a variety of other features.

Another common instance of bundling in the gamer world is expansion packs. Once a game has had several expansions or newer versions emerge, all versions of the game may be sold together. If you’re a big fan of the particular game and want the most play out of it, buying bundled games can be a great way to go, because buying the expansions separately would be likely to cost more money.

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Though bundling may have some advantages, there are some cases where bundling is disadvantageous. For instance, when new game systems are released, they often are sold in bundle format, especially with games and extra controllers that you may not want or need. Though they represent a savings than if you were to purchase all the parts separately from the gaming system, you may not need more than one game controller, and you may not want the particular game sold with the system. Generally retailers are not allowed to “unbundle” things sold as a set, and people may end up having to pay quite a bit more than they want because only bundled game systems are available.

This was especially the case with the Nintendo® Wii System, which in its early release was difficult to find without bundling, meaning the average price people paid to acquire one could be well over 300 US Dollars (USD). When not bundled starting price on the system with one controller was about 250 USD, but it was challenging to find a system that wasn’t sold in a bundled format.

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