I don’t really know why I did it. Same goes for the mate I bought it from. It turns out he acquired it during a drunken date with eBay on a rainy and romantic evening.
Said friend is moving overseas. Selling his stuff for cash. So I sporadically put my hand up for this somewhat useless, yet super cool cranium cover. In a time where I am (and need) to be more frugal with my finances, why did I commit to paying $30 for it? It still remains a mystery.
But, it’s this purchase that got me thinking about the concept of perceived value and a buyer’s influence to purchase.
How much is someone willing to purchase a Horse Head for? That depends on its perceived value. It also depends how it’s packaged.
Consider this scenario:
I walk into a clothing shop. I see a shirt I’d like to buy, but it’s priced at $130 – a bit too much over my $100 budget. Consequently, I walk out thinking about the shirt I may never own.
Now, consider this scenario:
I see the shirt, realise it’s slightly out of my price range, but before I leave the shop the Sales Assistant says, “Did you know that this shirt also comes with a free Horse Head worth $30?”.
How would that change someone’s buying behaviour? Despite the fact that a Horse Head is one of the most random items ever, if it sparks someone’s attention and has a perceived value, it will act as an influence to convert.
What’s the point?
My point is really about purchase justification to buyer’s remorse. I wasn’t going to buy that shirt for $130, but with a free Horse Head (or a Free T-Shirt, or a box of chocolates, etc.), I probably would have bought it. Meanwhile, I may have spent $100 on a different shirt that perhaps I liked less, yet I still went out and bought a Horse Head for $30.
The psychology of what makes people buy is often stupid, irrational, complex and yet so fascinating all at the same time.
I’d bet all of us have experienced some level of buyer’s remorse. But, when you manipulate your thinking and consider that you would have been willing to purchase something bought in the past for a lot more than you paid for it, then the silly purchases along the way have basically counter-balanced the saving.
So there you go. Now you can go out and justify those ridiculously priced $500 shoes or a $30 Horse Head.
But, are you happy?? Now, that’s a whole different discussion – which I can also help with right here.
PS. Should you ever feel so inclined as to purchase your own Horse Head mask **ahem**, you can find them on Amazon, no probs!