How to sell a 5¢ product for 1$

You probably know those machines that (allegedly) allow you to win something by grabbing the prize with a mechanical claw. They usually make money by reducing the probability of winning, thus for every N plays that cost 1$ they give a prize worth N/Z $ (where Z is always bigger than N). Last weekend I came across a variant of such a machine that guarantees winning the prize. Only, in this case, the prize is a rubber duck worth probably 5¢ (manufactured in China for probably less than 1¢ per piece). The nice twist is that the machine charges 1$ and allows the person to play till they win… re-framing it, it sells for 1$ is a 5¢ rubber duck + the thrill of winning + making the player work for

How to Overcharge by Giving Discounts Indiscriminately

Discounts are generally used to increase sales’ volume by decreasing prices and creating “buzz”. Nonetheless, I encountered an interesting way in which discounts are used to overcharge one-time-buyers. Usually, promo codes and discounts are used to attract referral clients or in cross-selling. In the pictures above, however, this is clearly not the case. These pictures were taken in a Metro train in Washington DC. Since the promo code is publicly advertised, anyone who buys a ticket can use it to get a 10% discount. Quite interestingly, anyone can, but not everyone will use the promo code to get the discount. This way, the seller is overcharging some of the buyers. Assuming you want to sell

The Self-Defeating Fight against Vaccination Refusal a Behavioral Science analysis in 5 Points

In reaction to the persisting decrease of vaccination rates in developed countries, public authorities, the media and nonprofits counteract with information campaigns. In my opinion, this approach is self-defeating because it ignores the phenomenon’s behavioral realities. 1. Raising awareness is typical for information campaigns. Articles with headlines such as Wealthy L.A. Schools' Vaccination Rates Are as Low as South Sudan's are well intended, but ignore the effect of social proof. When unsure what to do, people use others’ behaviors as cues for their own behavior. When faced with information on the increasing number of parents who refuse vaccination, others might interpret the message as

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