General Question

PIXEL's avatar

Does a ridiculous price make something seem better?

Asked by PIXEL (1228 points ) October 13th, 2008

Why is it that something expensive make it seem higher class when really it isn’t. Surely Abercrombie’s shitty, bad quality, clothes wouldn’t be the “it” fashion at schools right now if their clothes weren’t so overpriced. Same goes with many other stores like Lacoste for example were their style is plain solid colors for an incredibly high price. Also look at Starbucks who charge around 5$ for a coffee that really isn’t that great. Do you find this strange?

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16 Answers

hollywoodduck's avatar

It’s because you aren’t purchasing the clothes because of thise clothes themselves, if so no one would purchase a $35 plain polo when they can get it for $5. You’re purchasing the brand and the implications that come with it. You’re purchasing the feeling, image, and the coolness factor of it. Each of those companies you’ve mentioned have created an experience around their brand and that is what you are really purchasing.

cyndyh's avatar

I think you’re talking about perceived quality instead of class. But to answer your question, No. It doesn’t. There’s a lot of classless bling in the world.

Bri_L's avatar

Not always it doesn’t.

I know for a fact it doesn’t. I worked in a factory where plastic wrap was made and the exact same wrap was put into two different boxes. $1.75 price difference.

Now you can pay $10 for tennis shoes and $65 and yes the materials are better, they last longer and wear better. so it is possible.

osullivanbr's avatar

Seems to be working well for Apple.

PIXEL's avatar

@hollywoodduck Exactly! But it’s pretty funny though. I hate having to keep up with everyone else by buying expensive clothes. You don’t know how kids are these days. If you don’t wear the popular brands you’re lame.

@osullivanbr Now don’t get me started on Apple.

Bri_L's avatar

EDIT: I missed the “seem” I guess it can to some people. yes

EmpressPixie's avatar

Yes. They’ve done studies on it. If the product appears too be too good for the price point, even if it does all it claims, it won’t sell. Likewise, with electronics, you can often sell something at ridiculous prices really for no reason. Like that “I am Rich” app for the iPhone. $1000 for a little button.

Bri_L's avatar

That was SO stupid.

jvgr's avatar

Generally, this used to be the case.

With so much competition in every industry, not so much any more, though I think most people still think that way, which is one reason, overpriced products sell.

And as was said above, for some, labels are more important than the quality of the product.

The flip side is also interesting:
A friend used to own a custom sawmill. At first he would pile up all the unusable trim and put a big sign on it (Free Firewood). Nobody came until he changed it to (Firewood: $1.00 a load).

Another friend was a chemist for Safeway’s soap division. When they produced their first bar soap that was equal to any of the brand names, they wrapped in a plain wrapper, priced it lower than the brand names: no one would buy it.
After they changed the wrapper to a more expensive colored foil wrapper, and increased the price; sales boomed.

robmandu's avatar

< < kicks himself for giving away quips for free all this time.

osullivanbr's avatar

<<wondering, if robmandu is giving away quips for free, then whose paypal account am i funding?

robmandu's avatar

< < just realized his wife has access to his paypal account. Dammit.

SushiBrainS's avatar

A higher price is a way for a corporate entity to imply that their product is exclusive, and thereby, the best.

In turn, it makes you feel that you have something extra-special, and genuinely nice.

The soap and firewood anecdotes provided by Jvger are perfect examples of this.

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

@jvgr I used what you said about firewood and soap in my school project!

SmashTheState's avatar

People use cost as a measure of value all the time, since no one can be an expert on every product. There was an example given in one of the marketing texts I read, where a jeweler was going on vacation and left written instructions with his employees to mark down a shelf of cheap jewelry he had been unable to sell. The employees misread the “½” as “x2” and when he came back he discovered that every piece had sold as a result of doubling the price.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

You question is a bit of an exaggeration. I also am concerned with your use of the word “seem.”

However one fact remains true, almost without exception:

One gets what one pays for.

Quality is something that not all can appreciate, some, not even detect.

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