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  • Writer's pictureDel Chatterson

The price is the price

The price is the price

Almost never

And it’s a problem. Pre-occupation with price leads to bad decisions, if we miss the important factors that determine the value.

We have all seen frequent examples of nonsensical pricing and have our own favourite stories of a deal we have boasted about, without admitting that it turned out badly.

TV ads. Only $19.95! Buy now and get another one for free, with a bonus carrying case, and free shipping. Beware of side effects. Certain conditions apply. What could go wrong for only $19.95?

Or my favourite story of a guided tour in Tangiers that led us to a local carpet manufacturer. Beautiful small handmade carpet, “retails in America for $2500, factory price only $700!” We negotiated him down to $200. (Including the tour guide’s commission, of course.) Wow, what a deal. Then on the way back to the tour bus, we met a street vendor with what appeared to be exactly the same carpet, for only $100. We said “no thanks,” until he came down to $20. Now we can boast of the price on two matching carpets. But I wonder, were they both mass-produced somewhere else, was one stolen?

And that’s the problem with focusing on the price. Consumers insist on it, but usually fail to ask why the price is so low. Is it cost reduced to the point of being unsafe and unreliable? Was it manufactured in a dangerous, environment-destroying factory using child labour? Who cares, at that price.

It may be the seller’s strategy, to attract or distract, with the price. But buyer beware, there is always more than the price to consider before you decide.

Be better. Do better.

Your Uncle Ralph, Del Chatterson

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