Martin Lewis: I confess, I did a 'decoy effect' experiment on my Twitter and Facebook followers...

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.
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  • Interesting...  but how is 500 films a month a bargain at any price? Who has time to watch them?
    More seriously, a similar effect is often seen on restaurant wine lists. For every day drinking, many will go for the House Wine - sometimes shown separately in a box on the list, but not always the cheapest, though it probably makes the best margin for the restaurant. For a special occasion, such as a first date, anniversary etc., where men in particular like to show off a bit, they will go for something closer to the middle or top of the wine list in price terms. By putting one or two very high priced wines on the list (which the restaurant may or may not have in stock and may or may not expect to actually sell very often) that « middle » gets shifted up a bit, and the restaurant sells a higher priced wine more often. Of course people who know a bit more about wine, and can afford it, will choose on criteria other than price. 

    I’m not criticising restaurants for this. In today’s economy, restaurants need all the income they can get.  

  • One other deliberate ploy shown in the Jaffa photo is the pricing of one as per cake and the other as per kg to confuse and hinder comparison. 
  • phillw
    phillw Posts: 5,590
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    edited 16 September 2020 at 8:09AM
    Interesting...  but how is 500 films a month a bargain at any price? Who has time to watch them?
      

    It's not the total, you have a choice of 500 films. So if all the films you wanted to watch were in the upper tier and none were in the 500 films, them you have just wasted your £10.
    If there is a rotation and all the films in the upper tier eventually end up in the lower tiers then I would go for the cheapest, but there isn't enough detail for me to answer the poll. Not that I would actually subscribe to any of them.
  • phillw
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    edited 16 September 2020 at 8:17AM
    One other deliberate ploy shown in the Jaffa photo is the pricing of one as per cake and the other as per kg to confuse and hinder comparison. 
    It's annoying when they do that with vegetables, loose they sell them per kg but bagged they price them by unit. Which is not so bad in sainsburys as you can weigh them. You can't just count them as they aren't all the same size. I've considered taking my own scales.

    They have a sneaky trick with pricing one item per 100g and another almost the same as per kg. Plus they "accidentally" miscalculate the per 100g/kg price, so you shouldn't blindly trust them anyway. The worst culprit I found was in sainsburys where the per 100g on the ticket was half what it was in reality, it took me a minute to work out why the actual price was higher than the competing brand next to it even though it appeared to be a bargain.
  • Fingerbobs
    Fingerbobs Posts: 1,621
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    edited 17 September 2020 at 8:42PM
    The Jaffa cake example has another angle, in that you assume the shop must have made a mistake by placing the obiviously poorer-value item on the shelf, so you think you're getting one over on the shop by buying two of the smaller pack instead of one twin-pack, so you get a sense of superiority, when in actual fact that's exactly what the shop wanted you to do anyway.

    Personally, I tend to only buy things I want, and look for the best value option for that particular thing. I rarely go off-list and buy stuff just because I perceive it as a good deal.
  • a
    a Posts: 241
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    edited 3 November 2020 at 8:48AM
    I visited My local Asda, and seen this, so just whatsapp only the photo to my friend

    His response was that I should go to Asda as they were a quid. I had some explaining to do. We came to the conclusion that this is the new covid/brexit price. No, I did not purchase it, and it was the regular size packet.

    That thin chocolate layer is becoming compatible with the cost of printer ink - quantity vs price?

    I now have not visited that shop in over 2 months.

    After reading this now think I should have taken a wider picture, but at the time these were the only choc ones there.
  • Hi Martin, the decoy effect you describe has long been practised in the restaurant trade, in two ways. Firstly, most people go for fairly conservative/humdrum menu choices, but they like to think that they are dining in a more sophisticated establishment. So exotic dishes are added, to make them feel good even if they never pick them. Secondly, that creates the decoy effect because the exotica is usually highly priced. So most diners think they are getting better value by sticking to their standard choices. It's a win-win for the restaurants!
  • Many products or services sold as a subscription appear to follow a similar path. Initially, there is a flat rate for unlimited access to build a customer base. After that base reaches a certain size, probably break-even point, a 'premium' option is introduced at a higher price and the initial offering is diluted to make it less appealing. Amazon Prime, Netflix, BT TV, etc. The other strategy is quantity rather than quality, presumably justified by the logic that if your customer base is wide enough, then whatever is offered will satisfy some part of the market.
  • @Billkay and @BTwhistleblower you're resurrecting and responding to a thread that's about 3 years old here. 
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