Sales Waves are respondent contacts that take place immediately upon the conclusion of a Marketing Research interview or in successive waves thereafter. A Sales Wave offers to the respondent the product or service that was the subject of the initial interview. The product or service is made directly available to the respondent at the regular or expected retail price and then is delivered to the respondent after money is exchanged via cash or the setting up of an account in the respondent's name. Almost always, at the conclusion of the Sales Wave portion of a study, all monies are returned to the respondent or the account is never collected upon. The purpose of Sales Waves is to gauge actual purchase intent and, ultimately, likely sales volume. Data gathered from Sales Waves are considered more reliable than data gathered from hypothetical purchase intent questions because the respondent is making an actual commitment with his or her own dollars. It is a discrete choice test where respondents can receive the product of service of their choice or, perhaps, no product or service at all. In this scenario it is essential that respondents have the mind-set that they are paying real dollars for whatever they order. Sales Waves are considered by some manufacturers and service providers to be required in Marketing Research projects that involve new food products, breakthrough products or services, or line extensions. Because the intent is to generate information and not sales, Sales Waves are considered legitimate Market Research. The controversy arises over respondent perceptions of sales vs. research: can respondents make this subtle but important distinction? There seem to be contradictions in the standard Marketing Research practice of utilizing Sales Waves. We make promises to respondents that we will not sell them anything and then we offer a product or service for sale at the end of the interview (or some time thereafter). Marketing Researchers have worked diligently to differentiate between selling and researching; "sugging", or Selling Under the Guise of Research, is considered a violation of research ethics. However, there is a clear distinction in the motivation or underlying reason for sales vs. Sales Waves: sales are employed to generate profits; Sales Waves are employed to generate data and information. Measuring expected sales or sales volume is a legitimate Marketing Research outcome. With recent concerns over respondent cooperation and privacy, Sales Waves are not used as often as they once were. However, they continue to be used in our industry by many large manufacturers and service providers. Ultimately, the decision as to whether to accept studies that incorporate Sales Waves is a business decision that must be made on a case-by-case basis.