Psychology of “Expensive=good”

I just started reading a book called Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. So far it looks to be a great read. I thought the following story was great. It shows how a creative marketer can influence a consumer with the perception of a great bargain.

Two brothers, Sid and Harry Drubeck, owned a tailor shop back in the 30s.

“Whenever the salesman, Sid, had a new customer trying on suits in front of the shop’s three-sided mirror, he would admit to a hearing problem, and, as they talked, he would repeatedly request that the man speak more loudly to him. Once the customer had found the suit he liked and had asked for the price, Side, would call to his brother, the head tailor, at the back of the room, “Harry, how much for this suit?” Looking up from his work and greatly exaggerating the suit’s true price – Harry would call back, “For that beautiful all-wool suit, forty-two dollars.” Pretending not to have heard and cupping his hand to his ear, Sid would ask again. Once more Harry would reply, “Forty-two dollars.” At this point, Sid would turn to the customer and report, “He says twenty two dollars.” Many a man would hurry to buy the suit and scramble out of the shop with his “Expensive=good” bargain before Poor Sid discovered the mistake.”

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