We have a joke around the office. He’s a relative of the manager and we can’t fire him.
But he has got a merry quip: ” There’s more to price than Vincent…” This will give you an idea what noontime in the lunchroom with him is like and why I eat out.
But there is a kernel of truth there. Price is the thing that determines so much of what we see – from the colour of the French Army’s uniforms to the demise of the suburban garden, so much has come about because of money. Everyone wants a bigger share of the pie and has the crust to take it.
If you make truth expensive and hard to get – like the truths found in astronomical research or the truth of what happens to the maple syrup in waffle holes – you set it away from all but the richest corporations, universities, and military establishments. Oh, they’ll spend the money and they’ll get the truth but no-one else will be able to match it. People might save up to get small sets of truth but who could hope to be able to buy their own Hubble Telescope or Waffle House. In this instance a truth seller must decide whether they will go for the impossibly big market or the improbably small one.
On the other hand, if truth is underpriced it will be undervalued. This is the fate of many philosophers and divines who have decided to feely give their knowledge to the world – they live in tubs or stone cells and no-one gives a damn about them. And no-one cares about the things they say either. They need to make the truth more expensive to make it stick. Horse dung mixed with it will also make it stick in some circumstances.
The fine point of pricing will be found when the buyer can afford a standard truth with a solid whitewash paint job but can be enticed to take the ever-so-slightly garish metallic-finished one at $ 400 more. If they can be persuaded to add on a coat of protective varnish, so much the better. You can varnish truths as well as you can varnish lies and frequently you use the same varnish.
Should you price secondhand or reconditioned truth at a much lower price? Surprisingly, no. Even commonplace blandishments that have had the advantage of being out there for a longer period mean more people since have heard them secondhand, and they have gained a hard shell of respectability. That in itself is a selling point. If they look a little worn you can just say it is the patina of approval and no-one will be bold enough to call out ” Road Apples! “.
Come to think of it, if you can include something to do with apples in your advertising you can generally find someone who is prepared to believe ANYTHING…