The old Bait ‘n Hook

For those of you not familiar with Albert’s, it is a high end retail store that sells jewelry. As you know today is Valentine’s Day. I have a legitimate valentine for the first time ever so I wanted to do something nice for her. I noticed a few weeks ago that she was wearing a Pandora bracelet with multiple charms on it given to her by various family members. So I got to thinking that buying her a charm would be an excellent surprise for Valentine’s Day. However, the surprise wasn’t so much the gift to her but the actual price of such a simple product. I walked into Albert’s, for the first time I might add, to be greeted warmly  by two different sales representatives. Before even asking me what it was I was looking for they quickly directed me to the corner of the store where free food, beverages, and booze awaited me. I got a glass of wine before I even told them why I was at their store! After exchanging pleasantries we got to the heart of the matter. They quickly redirected me to the other end of the store where all the Pandora products were. At this point I was on top of the world, I was being treated like a celebrity by very friendly people. I approached the appropriate section of the store and was immediately kindly greeted once more. I told the woman behind the desk what it was that I was looking for. It was at this point that my heart began to melt. All I wanted was a little charm for my girlfriend’s Pandora bracelet. Unfortunately the cheapest one was $35 and some even got up to over $100! The charms looked like they costed $1 to make them. Unfortunately I fell victim to the old bait n’ hook. For those of you who do not know what bait n’ hook is let me tell you. This method is a brilliant way to capture repeat business. You start by selling or giving away something cheap that strongly encourages or forces you to buy accessories or make repurchases in the future. For example, when you initially buy a razor they are cheap, however the blades which you have to buy once you have purchased the razor, are very expensive. The same is true with these Pandora bracelets, the initial bracelet is cheap but the charms you have to buy to fill the bracelet are ridiculously over priced. But I digress. Seeing as I had already been in the store for awhile, had a glass of wine, was greeted so warmly, and the fact that I was meeting my girlfriend shortly for dinner, I was enticed to buy a charm for her. Even after I purchased the charm, the woman taking care of me wrapped the gift for me and put it in a cute little bag. The security guard even gave me a kind fair well as I exited the building.

Through this experience I have concluded that the only way a store such as Albert’s Jewelry is ever going to sell products that are that over priced is by displaying some outstanding customer service. Kudos to Albert’s, they made me feel at home even though I had never been in a jewelry store before. They treated me kindly throughout the entirety of my stay and inevitably I bought their over priced charm.

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