Progress? Or Just Being Idiotic?

How’s it going? July 2015 is here!

This Monday, I bought a lawnmower. The price options were something else, not to mention the feature options. But, I was looking to get something that cut grass. There is one mower that works, but not that well, and it was the only one I had to work with.

Until I bought the one I used for the first time on Monday…

Never mind that I couldn’t read the dipstick…

Couldn’t find where in the engine manual it gave the number of ounces the oil reserve could hold that’s in the mower…

Or that the manual people thought it was a smart idea for me to put the serial number and model number in a safe place when all I wanted to do was mow the lawn…

Anyway…

I got the lawn mowed.

But before all that…

I got upsold.

(Check it out–I’m 98.597868% sure that word isn’t in the dictionary).

All right, what, where, and why?

At the place where I bought the lawn mower, I bought the extended warranty. All right, it’s a money maker, and “upsell” means we want to up the amount of a starting buy with different add-ons/extras that people find useful/helpful (we hope), but that it’s their option to choose.

By my calculation, every time my lawn is mowed, I could mow 7 lawns that are normal “townie” house lawns. So maybe having that extra year repair/replace on the extended warranty plan thing wasn’t a bad idea.

But then I had to get the warranty confirmed–which meant I needed:

A receipt

Model number

Serial number

And so on…

So I had to get a pen, and take down those things.

What really got my goat (and I ain’t got livestock) was that those last two were for nothing–the lady helping me register only quizzed me about what was on the receipt. Which confused me, because I expected to USE what I took time to gather. Or I could have misunderstood the disembodied robotic voice that told me what info to get.

And I think I bungled the name of the machine that I bought (Yard Machines, not Machine). And I bungled the price several times (because she wanted the price without the warranty plan or sales tax).

And if that wasn’t enough…

I have info previously from a hardware store guy who told me that they don’t stock parts for mowers older than 5 years.

Nothing to do with today, or maybe it does, I dunno. It just seems like people want to punish others for taking good care of excellent equipment and not upgrading.

I don’t know if it’s a longing for simpler times–maybe it is. On the flip side of progress are people who get left behind because they don’t need to/can’t/don’t want to adapt to it, upgrade, or get things they don’t need because what they have works fine or okay.

I DID eventually need to replace the mower–these rantesque comments just came along when I thought about all the other research I’d done trying to replace mower parts.

Other than ranting, my point is…

As society gets more advanced, it seems to me that people still have problems because they shift location/time/space/are because of new tech. There aren’t a lot of pay phones around because everyone has a cell phone (well almost everyone). Go ahead. Try to find a pay phone, or a phone booth. Not impossible, but very, very hard.

Then again, I don’t use a reel mower on my lawn, because gas-powered it easier. And in 1910, I’m assuming reels were more prevalent than the gas setup. Don’t know because I wasn’t there.

Back to the upselling…

Why did the lady in the store ask me about the warranty? It’s a useful add-on, and it’s more money/increased cashola for them.

This is also a powerful persuasion technique, especially for things like bonuses that come with products like mixers, cars, and what-have-ya–practically everything has them. Oh, for $XX, you can get Y that makes Z easier/quicker/simpler.

Sorry about that delay–my rabbit-trail turned into the main road there. (And I boo-booed on an important copywriting technique).

Whew…

If you’re a copywriter, you can use this technique in emails, sales pages, what-have-ya. Provided the bonuses aren’t junk, the main product/info will be all the more attractive.

If you’re a fiction writer, can you upsell? If you have things to put along with your stories or books, sure. Hmm, signed copies? For an extra $8, the author will sign your copy? For $5, an extra poem in the book, that’s not in the other copies.

With upselling, you’re limited only by your imagination. Something like buy X story, and for $5 more we’ll ship you a recording of the story narrated by the author. There. That’s better. Now the definition isn’t totally botched anymore.

What can you add to make what you’re doing easier/better/faster? And can that be a separate product or info you can add to what you’re currently doing?

And about this post’s title…it’s a matter of perspective. There are times I get frustrated by technology, register this, look at that, and what-have-ya. Sometimes life is complicated.

But principles about what works (upselling, upgrading technology) do stay the same. Reactions to it can be a little different.

This Friday is the prompt. Make sure to swing by.

Until next time,

Ty

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About Ty Mall

Thanks for stopping by. I've almost always been interested in writing, among other things. Along with discovering pop culture, I've uncovered a lot about the craft over the past 10 years. And whether you're a fiction writer or email copywriter, I'm here to pass on what I've found out. And have a ton of fun in the process.
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