Feeling Babu

Facebook should add a new feeling to its “Feeling” catalog called “Babu”… So when someone posts “Feeling Babu” what he actually means is… see for yourself in the video below :)

That’s NOT a good deal!!!

It’s a popular fact that – A Good Salesman is the one who sells a “Comb” to a “Bald” man… What do you think that bald man is thinking at that time? Feeling cheated?? No… he is thinking “Wow! That’s a good deal”!! Now that the shopping season Dussera, Diwali, Christmas, New Year has already went by, there cannot be a worst time to tell you that most of the deals, that you fell for, were “NOT a Good deal!”. But better late than never.

Let me explain you.. Let’s say you plan to eat out. You come to a location and see two restaurants: One having a long queue at the entrance and the other having some empty tables.Which restaurant will you choose? If you are one of the majority, you will think “oh people don’t mind waiting to get into this restaurant. So this must be a really good one” and join the queue. This is called herding. Yes! Many a times we make decisions not because we feel it right but because we see others doing that.. So if you are purchasing gold on Akshay Tritiya or Dhan teras or going on a shopping spree on Black Friday, Christmas & New Year, most likely you are doing it because other people are doing so. You may say wow I got 50% off or I got one free on one purchase. But are those really GOOD deals?

An experiment was conducted in US, where a group of people were called to bid for few items in an auction. They were first asked to write the last four digits of their Social Security Number on a paper then asked to write the bid amount for each item. It was observed that people whose four digits of SSN were high, had placed higher bids compared to those with smaller numbers. Imagine last four digit of SSN influencing your bid amounts. In psychology this is called anchoring, where a number called an anchor, even if it is a random one, gets you to make decisions that you normally would not have made.

For a deal that makes you go WOW, there is one such anchor called the MRP or Maximum Retail Price. When you find an item that has an MRP of 650 and being sold at 650 you feel nothing but when a similar item from another brand has MRP of 1000 and is being offered for 750, you speak out “Wow that’s a good deal”. Naturally the manufacturers thus play with this anchor. They double the MRP of an item and bundle two piece saying “Buy 1 get 1 free!” and you say “Wow….” They increase the MRP of an item and and give an item that’s not selling well as free, and you say “Wow….”. The best part is that when such deals are available people end up purchasing things that they had never needed. Think of it “purchasing things that were never needed”.

You may think if this is true why do most people fall for it? In another experiment, participants were each given few words on a paper and were asked to form sentences from them. Half of the participants had words associated with old age and problems of old age. Other half had other random words with no theme. Afterwards they were directed to leave down a hallway. It was observed that people who got the old age words moved slowly compared to all others. This in psychology is called Priming and is the reason why people get brain-washed.

Remember that tale where a man carrying a goat is told by a stranger “why are you carrying that donkey?”. The man is shocked to hear the goat being called a donkey, but when two other strangers also call it a donkey, he finally accepts that he got fooled and leaves the goat there. When it comes to shopping, you don’t need three people to fool you, but only a poster saying “S-A-L-E” or an advertisement that is too pretty to be true.

I end up with a small note: Next time you go shopping and your heart says “Wow that’s a good deal !!” let your brain take over and check if it really is.