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I recently wrote an article about the psychology of pricing for Contently’s magazine, The Freelancer, but the editorial staff cut my introduction because it was too tangential.
I understand their point of view, but I feel I was in the ballpark. The article covered topics like the power of the number “9” in setting prices, and my intro was all about that. Here’s the original introduction..what do you think?
At a fundraiser last week in the conference room of the posh Four Seasons Hotel in Seattle, Bill Gates pitched the myriad elites in attendance on the exceedingly high value and efficacy of Internetz, a cutting-edge mosquito net that doubles as a personal wifi hotspot.
“If everyone in this room donated $10,000,000,” he said, “we could make a major dent in the scourges of malaria and lack of connectivity around the world.” Following the speech, four people made such a donation.
Then, Melinda Gates took to the podium to make an unplanned follow-up pitch. “Please excuse my husband,” she implored, “I believe he meant $9,999,999.” As of last count, they’re at 227 donations.
This didn’t actually happen, but as a joke it serves to illustrate the power of psychology on pricing. While it’s probably an exaggeration to say the ultra-elite would be swayed by a dollar’s difference on a ten million dollar investment, recent research suggests that with the average consumer, subtle and sometimes counterintuitive pricing strategies can have meaningful effects on sales.
Here’s my set from Funny Over Everything at the Hollywood Theater in Portland, Oregon last month.
1) Your Mom
2) Her Mom
3) Her mom’s mom
First through Twelfth Degree Masons this week began to discuss organizing so as to increase membership security amid a growing supply of potential replacements. Ted Beddingham, 10° Grand Elect, noted that ever since grounds-for-dismissal policies were instituted in the centuries-old, anti-papist organization, a steady stream of fresh upper middle class white males have sought out temples around the country, seeking to displace existing members.
The situation has proved even more dire now that member rings and pins will be manufactured in emerging market economies rather than in the temples themselves.
Not only has this lowered the chance of advancement, but temples have also relaxed safety standards and reduced incentives, knowing that they could easily fill their respective ranks whether or not they make an effort to recruit.
6° Intimate Secretary Brad Chatsworth pleaded, “even those who are being groomed to run the world need better benefits and better working conditions,” referring of course to the slew of reports of crumbling interior pillars during chantings and frequent hemorrhaging during ritual blood drawings.
“We’re comfortable keeping secrets,” Chatsworth added, “But why Sublime Princes can be treated for fallen-pillar wounds by any doctor while Perfect Masters can’t should not remain shrouded in mystery.”