Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bargain Beauty

Like many girls, makeup is a weakness of mine - hence why this #nomakeup selfie trend has kicked off, it's a scary thought to show your bare face - and it's a multi million pound industry to cover it, so let the negotiations begin, because looking beautiful has got to be costly.

You walk into Selfridges and you know where you have to go and what you need to buy, you've run out of £25 Touche Eclat, Shade 1.5, and today, that is all you need - in and out is what you said. However, you just wouldn't be an accomplished woman if you didn't browse a little bit, but once you make eye contact with a sales representative, all hell breaks loose! She'll rush over to you and typically ask if you'd like help, make a suggestion on a product that you looked at for less than a millisecond, and before you know it you've been coerced into her makeup chair with brushes and expensive products ravaging your face. Some would say, we should be lucky, it's a free makeover! But how free is it? No doubt, she will try to sell you every product she put on your face, even the brushes- she wants her commission, and we want to look this beautiful, but without the hefty price tag.

So the sales representative tallies up all the products that you used and arrives at a grand total of £200 odd something, but she knows she's going to have to work harder than that to make us part with our cash especially after our original ideas of a £25 purchase, so she miraculously deducts 30% from the total as a gesture of goodwill creating a price contrast; a negotiation technique that tricks most of woman kind - after all, we all love a good deal (Benton, Kelley and Liebling, 1972) . The key for us is knowing our alternatives, so we make up some lame story about how we can get a similar look from their competitors counter for less, despite having never been there before, however - she doesn't know that and her commission is getting further and further away.  Before you know it, the sales representative has taken a liking to us and gives us an extra 20% off- now that’s 40% in approximately  5 minutes  - creating an even stronger price contrast, from £200 to £120 and all it took was for us to show awareness of alternatives.


So we bought items that we may have bought individually another time considerably cheap than their RRP and the sales representative gets her commission - it's a win-win situation, not to mention you walk out looking beautiful.



Krishma Tangri

Benton, A. A., H. H., & Liebling, B. (1972). Effects of extremity of offers and concession rate on the outcomes of bargaining. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 24, 73-83.

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