Ministry Resources

Price Tags

Author: Dave Beroth

Do you really get what you pay for?

In his book, Influence, Robert Cialdini tells a fascinating story about the owner of a jewelry store who was having trouble moving some of the merchandise. Specifically, she had an overabundance of turquoise and silver Native American jewelry.

The jewelry owner had tried every conventional sales trick to make the jewelry more appealing—placing the pieces in a central display case, asking her sales staff to “push” them and so on. Nothing worked. On her way out of town for a business trip, she scribbled an exasperated note to the store manager directing her to cut the price in half. “Everything in this display case, price x ½,” she wrote. All the jewelry sold. The astonishing part was that the manager misread the scribbled note. She had read the “½” as a “2.” Instead of slashing the original price of the jewelry in half, she had doubled it.

So, how did she manage to sell the unsellable jewelry at double the price? Cialdini explains that people never questioned the true value of the jewelry. They just assumed that an expensive price tag must translate into valuable and good jewelry.

What we value affects our life. We live in a culture that confuses price and value. When our values are in conflict, it’s because we haven’t clarified what’s important and what’s not. Clarifying your values and determining the source of your values will determine the quality of your values.

Where have the price tags been switched in your life?

From what source are you getting your values?

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