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'“Pay what you think it’s worth” massages – guilt trip pricing?' blog discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.


  • Yummymummy69
    They suggested an amount, but locally it's cheaper, so either split the difference or give the local norm?
    Me, I wouldn't do it unless I could see a clear pricing structure. Been caught before when it's a menu for haircutting, thought it would cost £15 - £20 actually cost £30!! :(

    Always ask first now! lol
  • Comyface
    Comyface Posts: 669 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    I think it's clever marketing. I'd certainly overpay. It's similar to the way you still give a tip to the hairdresser even when you're unhappy with the cut!
    Are the words 'I have a cunning plan' marching with ill-deserved confidence in the direction of this conversation? :cool:
  • Petlamb
    Petlamb Posts: 922 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    The same booths were at an event I attended a couple of months ago... I was tempted by the massage as my back was killing me but the pricing concept was what put me off using the service - if they'd just said "it's xyz" it'd have been much more appealling to me!

    My issues were largely the same as the ones mentioned - it's guilt trip pricing and I'd feel that tense over paying too much or too little it would NOT have been relaxing lol!
    On the up :D
    Our wedding day! 13/06/15
  • not_savvy
    What a con trick yet again!! £10 for 10 minutes is outrageous for a massage and as Martin surmised most people will be too embarrassed to pay less. That is the nature of the British public! Perhaps all sellers should try this - I'm sure they would be surprised at the outcome!! We are so "not savvy" that the majority will pay anything we are told to!
  • grahamm
    grahamm Posts: 81 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Frankly I think this is a clever technique and full marks to them for trying something different. You're not obliged to take up their services, so I don't see anything wrong with it.

    A parallel example: A friend was running a charity stall at a convention and was selling books and videos to raise money, but the videos simply were not shifting even though he'd dropped the price on them first to £1 and then to 50p!

    Eventually he started telling people that they were free, but it would be nice if people made a donation to the charity if they took one.

    He worked out at the end that the videos had gone on average for about £1.50 :)
    if i had known then what i know now
  • wurley
    wurley Posts: 95 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I like Grahamms comments about the videos... Clever fund raising idea!... anyway about MSEs question.. I will not buy something someone doesn't price.... Suggest a minimum donation then I may give a little extra if I think it's value. Did they get much take up?
  • Petlamb
    Petlamb Posts: 922 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Oh there's no denying it's a clever technique, and it clearly works - but there's no way I'd use it. I prefer things to be explicitly stated so we all know where we are!
    On the up :D
    Our wedding day! 13/06/15
  • backfoot
    backfoot Posts: 2,700 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    It looks pretty naff to me. Very public and not relaxing. It looks like no oils or equipment are used, so I wouldn't consider paying more than £2. i.e. £12 per hour and that's generous for a tacky product.
  • sweetnothings
    I saw massage angels whilst in Australia several years ago and there they actually used to go around bars and clubs offering hand massages or back rubs for a 'donation' although they did have a clear suggested pricing policy on the leaflets again it was all a bit underhand. Only 'attractive' women (and a couple of men) all under a certain age and very much targeting their customers (the drunker the better!) lots of flirting going on as far as I could see too presumably to get maximum amounts. A work mate of mine who was not the most attractive of blokes was homed in on by a young attractive 'angel' giving him the puppy dog eyes and flirty smile making it very hard for him to say no ;) she even suggested he 'treat me' and I was quickly approached...by one of the men strangely enough lol. This was an another awkward situation for him as if he said no he yet again could risk looking 'stingy'. I wasnt really interested in being 'karate chopped accross my shoulders whilst sitting on a bar stool whilst several curious onlookers watched anyway but still asked if they were trained in massage, the 'yes' was quickly followed by a 'not really' after I explained I had a muscle problems that could be flared up if not treated correctly, so would be interesting to know what 'training' the UK angels have if any as you may as well just get your partner / one of your friends to do it for free :rotfl:
    £264.05 / £11,000 in 2011 :j
    frugal living 2011 total spend £300 :mad:
  • oddball553
    My sister used to work for this company. They made outrageous claims as to her earning potential and took a huge percentage of her wage as commission. They told her she could make up to £200 a night, when the most she ever made was £30 for a 7 hour shift (that's way below the minimum wage for London). She had been trained in Indian head massage previously and did receive some basic training at the start of the job, but was then left to wander round clubs in Soho and Angel with one other girl to support her. She had to fend off drunken advances all the time and only lasted in the job about 5 weeks. These type of companies (and I include the 'shot girl' ones too) pick on the most vulnerable young girls to make them money. They often have to pay money upfront to join them for Uniform and expenses too.
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