I started seeing ads and news posts for a new Maglite LED flashlight around Amazon’s October 2022 Prime Day.
It started with: “This 8-in-1 flashlight is on sale for a Prime Day price.”
A new Maglite keychain flashlight? I made a note to look into it when I had a chance.
What I didn’t know at the time is that I would start seeing these ads everywhere. Magazine articles and deal posts peppered my news feed.
Recently: “This Portable 8-in-1 Maglight [sic] Mini Super Bright Utility Flashlight is Now Available for just $19.99.”
*Note – this is the moment – I’ll explain in a bit.
I clicked through and it was listed at $21.99, even though they advertised $19.99. “You save 26% – Ending in 5 days!”. All of this seems uncharacteristic for Maglite.
I came across another ad for these lights this week.
The magazines advertising these products say things like:
Normally sold for $107, this four-pack of versatile flashlights can be found at only $64.99 for a limited time.
I searched for the light, but couldn’t find it at typical Maglite flashlight dealers.
I found identical or at least very similar products on Amazon for around $12 individually or less than $20 for 2. See for yourself: COB small flashlights at Amazon.
If you bought 4 of the identical-looking products individually on Amazon, that would come out to $48 – much less than the advertised “on sale” price of $65.
Did the Maglite name make these lights better or different in some way? Would they be more reliable? Or, given that they have built-in batteries – safer?
Or is this a case of inflated pricing, which happens a LOT these days?
Here’s how it goes: a company finds a tool or product that is trending on Amazon, they slap their name on it, pay for ads on Facebook and YouTube, and funnel potential customers to their online stores where they charge a hefty premium. Is that what this is?
These past few weeks, I’ve been thinking to myself that Maglite must surely be desperate for sales to license or put their name on this cheap-looking rechargeable keychain-sized flashlight, and to advertise it at inflated pricing on popular online magazines and websites as fiercely as they have been.
This doesn’t even appear on Maglite’s website, which seems strange.
I realized something when doing a proofread of this post. Remember up top where I said “this is the moment”?
I chuckled a bit at the caption to one of the news feed headlines. Magazines are publishing sponsored deal posts and content for this, but misspelled Maglite as Maglight?
But it’s not just a typo, is it?
This is Maglite’s logo. Notice the emphasized MAG part of the logo.
Here’s the logo on the product – MAGLIGHT. Notice the emphasized MAG part of the logo.
This entire time, I thought this was a Maglite product, but it’s not, it’s a Maglight.
With the Maglight logo emphasizing the MAG part similar to how it appears in Maglite’s logo – can anyone blame me for being confused?
I started off wanting to inform you that these Maglite lights appear to be no different than products sold on Amazon at much lower pricing. And along the way, I realized these might not be Maglite products at all.
Maybe Maglite somehow approved of this? (I reached out to the company for comment but have not yet heard back.)
Maglight is a common misspelling for Maglite. But I find it hard to believe this is a simple typo.
Looking online, there are deal posts, news feed placements, and store listings by Engadget, BoingBoing, Mashable, Popular Science, ZDnet, Cult of Mac, TMZ, and many others.
Did no one at these channels raise any questions about how Maglight looks awfully close to Maglite? Did they think they were promoting and selling a Maglite product?
It’s not fully clear what’s going on here, but none of this looks right to me at all.