As people all over the country reel in shock at the small change they get from £50 for their Christmas tree, savvy shoppers are racing to Ikea to bring home a six foot real tree for just £25 - with a free £20 coupon.
So what's the catch?
The dealThe deal kicked off on 6 December, and lasts until 22 December (or until the trees run out). You can get the tree of your choice for just £25 and in return you'll get a £20 voucher to be spent in store between 20 January and 9 February. It's available at all branches of Ikea except Bristol and Croydon.
It's not the first time the stores have offered Christmas trees. They have the kinds of delivery vehicles and schedules that can accommodate trees from Denmark and Scotland, so it makes financial sense. However, its the first time they have offered them with such a great deal attached.
It works for the retailer, because it helps bring people out to the stores for their Christmas shopping, and it hopes they will look at the marketplace as a potential source of a huge number of presents. Anyone who has ever been round an Ikea store will know that they end up coming away with a tonne of things they never knew they needed. Now they can come away with a tonne of gifts that people never knew they needed.
It is a good deal for you?Even if you were just to show up, buy a tree, and throw away the voucher, you'd be getting a reasonable deal. Ikea estimates that the average real tree sold in the UK is £48, so £25 is a snip.
Whether the voucher makes it even better value depends on whether you were planning to make an Ikea purchase in late January. If you need a £20 set of shelves anyway, then for £25 you can get shelves with a Christmas tree thrown in for £5.
However, if you don't need anything from the store, then this could prove a false economy. You'll need to make two trips - for the tree and to spend the voucher - and you have to ask yourself whether you really have the willpower not to accidentally pick up a bathmat, a wok and a set of picture frames while you're there.
Certainly it seems some Twitter users have succumbed. @nn_icole wrote: "Went to Ikea for Christmas tree; came out with a candle, Daim bars, and a hot dog. Good job!"@LawrenceS8 added: "So much for getting a Christmas tree at Ikea spent ages there and we came back with a load of junk but no tree!!"