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> Battles with Marketing Tricks, I am NOT PAYING TOO MUCH for whatever, however
AuthorMusician
post May 15 2017, 11:29 AM
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I'm thinking of adding a steel-string acoustic guitar to my stable of Strat, Godin and classical (nylon string) guitars. During this process I've come across some products going for over $50,000 and one Martin for over $100,000 (hard case included). Closer in to Earth from the stratosphere, you can pay a couple three-four grand for a Gibson or considerably less then a grand for various other brands. I'm leaning toward Taylor's low end but might head mid-level for the wider fretboard. However this ultimately works out, I'm NOT PAYING TOO MUCH FOR THIS GUITAR!

But apparently a lot of people do, so it raises a question:

What marketing tricks are used that cause people to pay too much for products?

Examples: $5.00+ for a cup of coffee, hundreds of dollars for a pizza, millions for a house, billions for . . . ah, a space ship?

I put an absolute limit on guitars of $1,500 each because anything above that is buying hype, IMO. Actual purchases have been around $800. Sometimes I can dicker a lower price, usually not. This brings up another question:

How do you avoid paying too much for that muffler, firearm, car, baby or whatever?

And then there's:

What causes you to lust after stuff?

I have strong affinity toward tech and art blends, such as motorcycles, guitars and computers. What's the cause of this? There's the question. I know it feels good but not why.
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Mrs. Pigpen
post May 15 2017, 12:37 PM
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LOL I love this topic, AM! flowers.gif

I have an acquaintance who is a masseuse in the Florida keys. She worked in a very affluent area and charged slightly less than the going rate.
As a result, she got very few clients.
When she started charging higher, she got a lot more...think she was charging something like 150 for a half hour massage when her schedule was not only full but backed-up.
Depends on the environment, of course.
I volunteered at a museum for a while and was always astounded by what people would pay in the gift section there for trinkets/souvenirs.

What marketing tricks are used that cause people to pay too much for products?

I've mentioned before that one of the slickest tricks (one that works even when you're aware of it) is the initial investment on entering the deal. Once you're invested, you're more accepting even when the deal changes. It might be a time investment, might be a free gift, anything that makes you say..."Okay"...and then they add more.
For example, they'll offer you a free five dollar knife if you just watch their demo. This puts the seed of mental investment in your mind while you're watching them peddle their product.
Or, the "just buy this magazine you can cancel in three months anytime..." Similar concept. You just want to buy a product but Books a Million is making you stand there and agree to a "totally reasonable" deal to add to your purchase....in fact, you'd be unreasonable to refuse a free product, right?
But the rub is...you'll likely forget to cancel, and they make it very difficult to cancel when you try.
Sometimes you just think the time investment and aggravation of being on hold three separate times to cancel three separate orders, taking up your entire morning, just isn't worth it.

Then there's the worst ploy of all. The multi-level marketing schemes where people extort their friendships for cash benefits. It isn't sold that way of course, "this is a great product!" Sometimes the product truly is good...but you don't need an eighty dollar supply of it every month and can't turn it off gracefully (men don't do this to each other as much as women...but there was Amway).
The worst though, are the parties that peddle pampered chef/candles/ad nauseum ect. I remember being new to a neighborhood. Not exactly new...I'd been there about three months and no one had introduced themselves or come over. One day a lady came to the door and said, "Hey I'm your neighbor...I live across the street...Just wanted to welcome you to the neighborhood!" She extended her hand and I was elated as I shook it. Someone had actually cared enough to welcome us! What a nice lady! Then she added, "I'm having a pampered chef party next week" and handed me her card. I now go from thinking she is nice to thinking she is the worst (expletive) in the neighborhood.
This happened to me another time, with a neighbor across the street. Her children had been over at my home many many times but I'd never actually met her until she heard we were moving and selling our home. She was a realtor of course, very happy to make my acquaintance as I was leaving...just wanted to let me know, um, she's a realtor and all that.

I could go on and on...
Schools! Sports teams! Christmas time! Every time you go to the store...
Southpark satirized it well


How do you avoid paying too much for that muffler, firearm, car, baby or whatever?

I try to avoid salespeople like the plague, and use Amazon prime. That makes price comparison easy. I look for a lot of good reviews (and I always read the bad ones if there are any, also). I'm also a fan of places like TJ Max and Ross (it's hit or miss, but you can do well on clothing and gifts there...just requires regular visits to see what's available).

What causes you to lust after stuff?

I'm typically not a status-conscious person, but lately I have to go to a great many functions and I don't want to "represent" poorly. So, I've had to up my wardrobe game, big-time.
And then we have a lot of functions at the home so I'm always looking to make that look better too.

This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: May 15 2017, 01:59 PM
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AuthorMusician
post May 28 2017, 11:26 AM
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After investigating my options for the acoustic guitar addition to my stable of instruments, I've landed on a silent one built by Yamaha. It's basically an electric solid body that uses computer sampling tech and piezo electronics rather than magnetic for creating acoustic guitar sounds through an amp. It's not entirely silent, but calling it a suppressed guitar doesn't sound right. It's relatively silent, which doesn't sound right even though it's accurate, and so it goes in creating product descriptions that are designed to encourage sales.

The overall advantage involves 1) product consistency and 2) very low ambient volume that won't disturb others while practicing with headphones. Of these two, only the second is pushed in Yamaha's marketing literature. I'm sure that's because the first is understood well enough among potential customers to be assumed.

However, product consistency is important when selling via online rather than through brick/mortar. Taylor acoustics push the consistent playability of their boxes, but the actual sound of them varies from instrument to instrument, which is just the nature of acoustic guitars. Nobody knows what one will sound like until it's finished, and then the variations might or might not be dramatic. It's one of the reasons brick-mortar music stores still exist -- lots of musicians feel they must play before paying, and for good reasons.

The downside to consistency in acoustic guitars is that a specific one won't have a unique personality. From a marketing perspective, this isn't important and actually a deficit for online sales. What if that unique personality is really bad? Who would take the chance knowing it could happen, even with free returns?

And so marketing lit pushes tone wood characteristics, reputations commonly believed by potential customers, manufacturing processes, and what an instrument might sound like through video demonstrations.

I find it very interesting how most sales pitches used with acoustic guitars go away with the Yamaha silent acoustic. Some hang on that don't have to, such as the idea of tone wood characteristics even though the sound is no longer defined by them. Oddly enough, some electric guitar pitches also try to push tone wood, even though the sound comes from magnetic pickups.

In the end, marketing pushes sales, and truth isn't often needed or desired. It's all about making a buck.

This post has been edited by AuthorMusician: May 28 2017, 11:32 AM
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