WAITING in the waiting room at the medical clinic, as one is obliged to do, fortune fell into my lap. There among the jumbled pile of last year's Women's Days I found the latest copy of the local supermarket's red-hot specials.
As I browsed through the contents, I became increasingly aware of the pricing strategy employed in these brochures. To while away the the time, I decided to conduct my own in-depth research.
Of the 64 goodies listed, 52 were priced at X dollars and 99c. More than half the remaining 12 items were for twin packs that, if purchased individually, were also priced to end in the enticing 99c.
The way I figured it, with the 10 pack of fluffy soft toilet rolls on offer at $4.99 I would not get much change out of my five dollars. But if I purchased 10 packs of 10 packs the lot would come to $49.90. Wow! I've just saved 10 cents. Now the problem arises to find a place to store 100 of these bargain-priced fluffies.
We see the same sneaky plan at work with petrol prices. This week ULP is around 139.9 cents a litre. My partner always reads that as 139 cents while smarties like me see it as 140 cents. If I ever pass a service station where the prices are rounded to the whole cent I would probably run off the road in shock.
Yet it’s a pricing method that must work as supported by its wide application proving to us how gullible we are. I still think that $50.00 with all those zeros looks a better buy than $49.99.
Anyway I have a plan. When I become minister for smart stuff (don't laugh, there’s not a lot of competition out there), I will legislate to abolish the practice and while I'm at it dump the 5 cent piece.
Then I am going to turn my attention to lowering the road toll. Taxis excepted, all motor vehicles will have to be sprayed highly visible white. First to be recalled for a makeover will be those popular colours with the stylish names like Bitumen Surprise and Ambush Asphalt. I am sure you will have noticed how they seem to be the last ones to turn their lights on early mornings and at twilight.
Just wait. I have a heap of good ideas whirling around between these bat-like ears waiting to be introduced into the house late at night while mere mortals sleep.