My Takes

Just my humble opinion…

Beware Of Those Darn Upsellers And Their Lost Leaders

used-car-salesmanYou know what I’m talking about, right?  You hurry to the store to get your hands on an advertised item.  Just when you are about to get it off the shelf, a voice goes, “I wouldn’t buy that if I were you.”  You look around expecting a customer who wants to duel for the item but no, it’s a sales clerk.

“Say what?”  “I said I wouldn’t buy that if I were you.  That’s no good.  I had one and it worked for a month.”  You are confused.  “But, but…why do you guys  carry it then?  You are selling something that’s useless?”  This is messed up. “Don’t worry, sir.  Come let me show you a better product.  It might cost you a bit more but it lasts forever.”

Your scenario might be a bit different but the same ending.  The conspiratorial sales clerk who just met you but willing to go against his boss to get you the best product.

I took my car to get an oil change the other day, using a coupon that offered a discount on the price of the oil.  It didn’t stop the mechanic from trying to upsell me.   “This one keeps your engine running smoother and is better for gas mileage.”  Yes, of course it was a bit more.  It’s usually is a ‘bit more’.  “No, I’ll stick with the one on sale.  “Ok sir, no problem.   For a bit more though, would you like us to flush the engine, check your tires, change your oil, check your lights, toot your horn etc.?”  And I thought all that was includedHow much is the etc.?

Here’s a classic example and one that I will never forget because I was the victim.  I went to buy some speakers for my karaoke system, nothing expensive.  A store in town had some for $100 that I was interested in, so off I went to pick them up.  I was ready to buy them when a clerk came up to me.  He asked what I wanted the speakers for and I told him.  “Before you buy, come with me for a sec.”  I had time to burn so I followed him like the Pied Piper.  He took me too a  room and made me listen to a demo from some Nuance speakers.  They were impressive!  The price was more than a ‘bit more’, like $5000 more.  I bought them and less than a year later, I bought the karaoke speakers that I really needed.  Totally fleeced!

How about that car dealer? I have had more than my share of them.  I would see a car that I was interested in, only to be told that it was a lemon, it needed brakes, it wouldn’t work for me.  The Salesman seemed to always know what was right for me.  “Don’t worry, we have just the car for you.  I know what you will look good in.”  Maybe another dealer?  In their best I-am-your-body voice, they would say stuff like, “This one costs $14000 but between us, I could swing it for $13000.  Just between us, the boss doesn’t have to know.”  Really! I am so excited! You are willing to screw your boss over  for me even though we just met?  Is it my tight ass and ruggedly handsome looks?

(The scantily clad female bartenders work the same way.  Why do you think your man always come home drunk?  And he’s not even a drinker).

This holiday season, look out for those upsellers.  Don’t fall for the ‘Lost Leaders’.  These are the products they mark down ridiculously to get you into the store, then when you arrive, they try their shtick on you.  Usually, these items are already gone because supply was limited but don’t worry, they can sell you something that’s the same but better, and cost ‘a bit more.’

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