March 22, 2011

the seduction of free gifts

I was passing a Video shop. There were stick-ups on the walls blaring special offers and big discounts. I went in to take a look. I decided to buy a DVD set of a Chinese drama. It cost $24.90 before discount of 20%. Why not a round figure $25, I thought, then it would be $20 after discount.

At the counter the cashier said, '$19.90 after discount. 10 cents more and you can get our free gift. Why not choose one more show? We give a free pack of instant coffee for $20 purchase.'

I said, 'Never mind, you can charge me $20.'

She shook her head, 'Cannot. We have many shows from $1 to $8 each. Why not take a look?'

So I took another look and picked a single-movie DVD.

After I had paid, the cashier said, 'You can collect your gift at this shop, it is at .....'

I said, 'How come just now you didn't tell me must go to another shop for the gift?'

She said, 'Oh, it is not far, you go down to the centre and then walk along this road right to the end and ... bra, bra, bra ......... must go today, OK ?'.

When I left the shop it was raining, just like it had been been raining in the past few afternoons.

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