December 17, 2011
Do Not Mix Cheap Gifts With Expensive Gifts

If it isn't too late already then you can get better results from your Christmas giving by not mixing cheap gifts with expensive gifts.

The paper, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Consumer Research, found that consumers don't like packages that pair something expensive with something cheap. Think of the Dutch oven and the mitt. Or an iPod that comes with a single free song. To a consumer, the add-ons aren't a nice bonus. Instead, they devalue the entire deal.

Read Jordan Weissman's whole piece at The Atlantic for the explanation why.

An interesting thing to keep in mind when evaluating stuff to buy, accomplishments of others, and other stuff: Don't let the presence of something cheap cause you to undervalue something expensive. The human mind has many built in biases to reasoning that make us evaluate people, goods, and services incorrectly.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2011 December 17 09:15 PM  Brain Economics

PacRim Jim said at December 17, 2011 9:45 PM:

How to Make and Keep Friends, Govett Lecture XIV, page 994:

During the year, take note of desires expressed by your friends.
More than the actual gifts, the recipients will appreciate knowing that you paid enough attention to them to know what they want.

In case you haven't figured it out by now, we humans every last one of us longs to be noticed.

Anonymous said at December 18, 2011 8:06 AM:

The normal brain works by association, not logic (sadly). If you want to make a sale, put 2 versions of the same type of product together, 1 shitty cheap, 1 good and expensive. The brain will compare the 2, and will consider the cheap even cheaper, and the good even better. Then you sell the good one alone. If you learn this, you can see that you actually can give 2 presents, 1 cheap and 1 expensive, but you must give the cheap 1 first (which will make the person happy for some time), then wait till the person's happyness is going down (post gift), and give her the second gift.

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