How sure are you of the fact that you always buy of what you were very determined to buy? Do you realize that sometimes the seller incites you to get a taste of something you wouldn’t order in the first place? If you have experienced something like this then you’ll find an interesting logic behind the tricks and traps of the seller – ‘the power of coupling products’.


Imagine you’re sitting at Burger King or at McDonald’s and waiting for your king size burger like a cheetah for its prey. Now all you need is your burger and a glass of chilled coke. Why in any way imaginable would you want to have French fries? Off course for the discount, but imagine if there wasn’t a discount; you’d still order your coke and want to have every delicacy that you like but I bet the fries compare nothing to your chicken whooper. The reason you’ll still order fries is that you have been adapted to the combo – the coke and the burger hides the ordinariness of the fries and your hands just involuntarily move towards the fries in between the coke sips. So the fries are sold for much less but at least they are sold! (still way above the production cost)

Amazon does the same thing with books – when you buy a book, you’re suggested another one which if you order with the previous one, you get the combo at a lower price and can save shipping costs. So even though you would not want the second one or you could wait a bit till you read the first one, you anyways order because the price is really low.


The apparel industry goes a step further and directly invites to buy an inferior product (mildly preferred) instead of a superior one (preferred one). Say the superior shirt (A) costs 1000 and the inferior shirt (B) costs 900. However you know that B is not worth it and you are only willing to pay 600 for it. Suppose now that there is 1 + 1 offer on B (you buy one and you get a different shirt of similar quality) which costs 1200. Suddenly you get excited since the invitation of FREE is enticing and you take the offer. Thus although you get the B at the desired price but you bought two of them and  then at least you bought them instead of A!

So the next time you buy something, do fall for the ‘coupling trap’.


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