Expensive = Good

In his book "Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion", the author Robert Cialdini cites 2 examples where change in pricing/positioning influenced the decision of the buyer.

In the first example a Jewelry shop owner was desperately trying to sell a piece of Turquoise set. It was the peak of the tourist season with the store full of customers but the set just wouldn't move despite the set being of good quality and reasonable price. She tried positioning it in the store and even getting the sales staff to push it but to no effect.

Finally, in desperation when she was leaving for an outstation trip, she left a note to her Sales Head instructing her to price it at 1/2. When she returned she was not surprised when she was told that the pieces were sold off however she was shocked when she learnt that her sales Head misread the 1/2 to 2 and had in fact doubled the price.

The author talks about preconceived notions that we have and one of them that we have is that Expensive = Good.

In another example he discusses how Retailers try to order their sale. A customer who wants to buy a Suit and a sweater logically a sales person should show him the cheaper one first which is the sweater and then close the sale for the suit which is more expensive because if he has spent a lot of money buying the suit then he may not buy the sweater. However, what is practiced is the reverse, the sales person will first sell the Suit and then sell the sweater. The thinking is that if he buys a sweater at $100 first and then presented with a $500 bill for a suit, he will balk at the idea. However, once he spends $500 on the suit then anything which is priced lesser is easier to sell and hence it is also easier to sell a lot of accessories once a customer has bought a very high value item

Read the book at


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