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What helps you make decisions on a big purchase?

Ah, DC. Yesterday, while Mr. Micah and I were out, I saw and heard two completely ridiculous advertisements.

#1 — Redskins player with a forgettable name and position* comes on the radio. He asks us whether we consider ourselves Redskins fans. Because he has news–unless our cell phone provider is Sprint, we don’t love the ‘skins at all. Why? Because Sprint is offering ‘skins skins for their customers.

#2 — On the metro, there were a number of fliers for a condo community. They emphasized that your welcome gift would be a flatscreen tv (I didn’t see size mentioned).

Time out for a reality check. Would you actually switch cell providers just to support your favorite team? Cancellation fees, start-up fees, not to mention the possibility of a lower rate. Would you buy a condo for the flatscreen tv?

Perhaps, if you were waffling between two providers (including Sprint) or if you were looking for a condo with similar pricing, location, and amenities, these perks could justifiably sway you a bit.

Some might argue that the point of the condo ad was just to get people out looking. Maybe. But should you really waste your time on something if it’s not what you really want, but you like the shiny bits tacked on? From the moment you decide to check it out, just in case, I’ll bet that you’re subconsciously looking for good things about it, things that you wouldn’t normally care about.

Making I’m taking all of this too seriously. But I think it’s crazy that even one person might change plans for the skin or might consider a condo just for the flatscreen offer.

Such perks can work in one’s favor, of course. If I was about to buy Sprint, or already a Sprint customer, I’d probably be happy to take advantage of this new skin (if I were a fan…). It’d be aimed at drawing new customers, but I could still benefit.

In the same way, if I were looking at those condos very seriously, the sudden offer of a flatscreen tv would be nice. Mr. Micah and I had this experience with our apartment. We were already in contact with the leasing people at this very spot. They mentioned to us that if we moved in in June, which we’d said we were planning to do, we’d get $100/month off our rent for a year. Apparently June was a slow month for move-ins. It was perfect for us.

Seen any good “special deals” lately?

*Dear fans, I just moved here and I don’t follow football. Sorry.


Denise October 7, 2007 at 1:32 pm


Special deals are rarely really special for the consumer. Including those deals that lure you in so you can support some scary health condition research/cure.

Nope I would not buy a condo or switch cell phone providers for deals such as the ones you are describing.


mapgirl October 9, 2007 at 11:07 pm

I saw the ad for the flat screen TV with condo purchase. HEH. Reminds of the time in college when the condo market collapsed. The penthouse of one building was offering his and her BMW’s or a Rolls-Royce to the purchaser of the $1 million unit. Totally cracked me up.

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