Are you oneof “those people?” You know the kind – that likes the most expensive version of a product regardless of whether you know the price? If so, then you are just like me! It doesn’t matter whether I know the price or not, when I pick something off a menu, clothes rack, car lot, grocery store shelf, or at the electronics store, it is invariably the most expensive item in that category. Be careful if you are one of “those people!” You will cost yourself a little more every time you hit the cash register! Premium services usually come with premium pricing. When shopping on a budget, watch for premium services and products, as they can easily add to the overall price.
I recently “fell victim” to premium service pricing. Would you like to know where? At the store where I was getting some engraving done on a birthday gift. The store listed all of the fonts on one page, with very little to distinguish between the premium fonts and the regular fonts. Of course, the font I chose was going to provide the best look on the glass. Naturally, it was a premium font, available for an up-charge. So, I had to rationalize it in my head that it was alright to pay the additional fee. Needless to say, I wasn’t pleased with the lack of distinction in the pricing of premium fonts. However, the situation did provide a learning experience for me, as well as an opportunity to be creative with the outcome.
What this situation reminded me of is that there are premiums put on all sorts of services and products. From your phone service to your DVR, premium services are considered easy add-ons to your final costs. We’re not talking about upgrading your car from an economy to a mid-size, or a domestic to an import. We’re talking about those little incidentals you can miss along the way. Buying a special addition of a cd or movie; adding lemon to your water at a restaurant (yes, believe it or not, some restaurants now charge for the lemon wedge!); having call waiting on your home phone service; adding sprinkles to your ice cream cone! In restaurants, for example, servers will ask you if you want a salad with a meal, mushrooms with your steak, or a better version of the house beverage. Although these meal or drink extras carry a higher price, this information is implied, not always overtly stated.
In some cases – when you’re buying your car, or ordering your phone service – the premium services are bundled together. So, you get some services you aren’t looking for, but with services you are; so the bundle can appear as a premium service “bargain” if the seller markets it in that fashion – think moon roof & blue tooth, or higher Internet speed & more virtual storage space. Be careful of how the additional services or products are listed. They appear to “only cost a little more” each by design. In the end, if you add enough of these services or product add-ons, you have the potential to extend far beyond your intended budget limits.
Premium pricing is not necessarily bad, as long as the consumer knows what he or she is purchasing and is aware of how the premium services change the price of the product or service. It’s when the premium prices are conspicuously hidden or indistinguishable on menus or option listings that it becomes an issue. Awareness is how you won’t be surprised by the bottom line of your purchase. Oh, by the way, turning in your regular DVR cable box in for an HD DVR cable box is also considered a premium service – I learned this lesson recently, also!
Image Credit: epoch