It's Only A Dollar


Great World City, Singapore. One of countless shopping precincts. This one had a Ben & Jerry’s. So I stopped to sample their milkshakes.

The young lady behind the counter seemed pleasantly unfazed when I cheekily mentioned my favourite such outlet was the Haagen Dazs place in Cape Town’s Waterfront.

So she helped me select a flavour. Almost calorie-free, she assured me.

Then she did the usual supersize routine, but it had a twist;

her: regular or large?

me: what’s the difference?

her: only a dollar!

Well. That was indeed a new one.

I can’t imagine how many times I have been in a coffee shop or some such instant gratification joint and asked the same question.

Every single time, the server has produced two empty beakers and showed me the difference. In size.

This was the first time I ever recall the response being a monetary one.

It was quite impressive.

The small amount of extra cash outweighed the fear of over-indulgence.

Does this apply to everyone, or just me?

It’d be interesting to have some of the “freakonomics”-style behavioural psychologists-cum-economists assess that one.

Then of course, more applications raced through my mind.

Imagine you’re selling two different options. And the buyer asks the difference. I fancy most sellers would normally go the opposite way to my ice-cream girl. They say the price difference. What if you switched tack too?

“one delivers in three days, the other in two weeks”

…kind of thing. Possible with your wares?

ps – don’t you also just love their spin-the-wheel approach to helping you decide on a flavour too…

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