Mon, 29 Aug 2005

Right Now Pricing

There's a Jiffy Lube around the corner from my apartment. Sometimes when I walk to lunch in the afternoon, the mechanics are standing outside on the street with signs advertising their oil change service to passing cars. I think that's a good idea; rather than just hanging out waiting for customers, they're out touting.

But I didn't realize something even more interesting about their sales technique until yesterday. A few days ago, I pulled into the Jiffy Lube to ask how much an oil change was; it was $29.95 or $29.99. That seemed a bit expensive so I passed.

Yesterday, while I was walking home from Starbuck's after enjoying my free latte from Insider Pages, I read the signs that the mechanics were holding. They read:
Right Now
$19.95
Oil Change

When they don't have any customers, they cut the price by $10 bucks. That seems pretty smart. Other companies might want to try that. What other errands would you take care of at the vendor's convenience for a hefty discount?

I was at Chicago For Ribs last week with Denisa. It was about 2 or 3 in the afternoon, and there were 4 or 5 tables of customers. On staff were two servers and a bus boy. I wouldn't have thought anything of it, but Denisa pointed out that the management should send home the bus boy and one of the waiters. She briefly worked in the Chicago For Ribs in Santa Monica. That one was always over-staffed, and closed a few months after opening. (They also had a problem in that they gave away buy-one-get-one-free certificates on Third Street Promenade every day so every customer came in with a coupon.)

If they didn't want to send some of the extra staff home, why not have them stand outside with a sign advertising a Full Rack of Baby Backs for $10 Right Now?

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The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else. - Frederic Bastiat