Call in the next 10 minutes and you get...

The same thing you get if you call in the next 10 hours. Or days. :smack: Why do commercials feature this idiotic gimmick of “call in the next five minutes and get a free teapot!”? Are there actually people out there who see this shit on T.V. and drop what they’re doing and rush to get to their phones thinking they might miss out? :dubious: How does the company know when you saw their commercial? Hmm? It’s always “5 minutes ago” at some time, somewhere.

(Especially great is when the commercial features a ticking clock, showing the actual minutes and seconds you, the viewer, have left to take advantage of this fantastic deal being offered :D)

How about the ones where they say “supplies are limited!” or “limit of 5 proofs per customer!” I love the senses of false urgency/popularity.

Or the ones for portable heaters where people in northern states supposedly get first crack at them. “Frigid zone–start calling at 8:00 AM. Cold zone–9:00AM.”

Yep. I’ve daydreamed about creating some widget and setting up a phone line for people to buy them.

“Nope, sorry, the ten minutes are up.”
“But…”
“I really don’t think we could have been any clearer, ma’am.”
“Yes, but…”
“Did or did not you see and hear the ticking clock?”

Follow up survey for the care and feeding of mogwais.

They aren’t lying. If you call in the next 10 minutes you will receive the special offer. And supplies of anything are limited. They do it because people actually respond to it.

I like the
“but, wait…we’ll double the offer, and throw in an extra bblah blah for free! Just pay seperate shipping and handling…”
gimmick as well.

“That’s four easy payments of $19.99”
Lol

I think you know damn well why they do it. I’m no salesperson, but I know how important it is to instill a sense of urgency. If the prospect is just going to “think about it” indefinitely, chances are high that they won’t ever buy it.

I would like to have a product that was available for three easy payments, and one fuckin’ complicated payment! We ain’t gonna tell you which payment it is, but one of these payments is gonna be a bitch. The mailman will get shot to death, the envelope will not seal, and the stamp will be in the wrong denomination; good luck, fucker! The last payment must be made in wampum

(Before I get a modslap, it’s a Mitch Hedberg joke)

Because they know full well that it will get some people to call and order who normally wouldn’t. Some people might think, “hmm, that looks interesting. Maybe I’ll look into it tomorrow.” The sellers know that those people will have forgotten all about it by tomorrow, so they attempt to induce them to not put it off.

I used to hear a commercial on the radio that had a line about

I guess they wanted urgency from half their audience.
There was a commercial that showed a phone number, and said something like

Yeah…like there was any chance it WASN’T flashing, since it was a tape?
-D/a

Do you seriously not know? Let’s call it what it is: brilliant marketing.
mmm

Cecil speaks: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1601/whats-the-deal-with-those-call-within-15-minutes-for-a-free-gift-tv-offers

My question was more geared towards this aspect of the ‘tradition’. I understand wanting to instill a sense of urgency but I have a very hard time believing people are that stupid. Well, no I don’t. But still.

In a lower register, it’s like car sales people who say, “This offer is only good today.” So… if I walk in here tomorrow and try to buy it for that price, you won’t sell it to me?

Back when i was not long out of high school, i sold cars for a year (worst year ever, but that’s another story) in my hometown of Sydney, Australia. I don’t know if things work the same in dealerships elsewhere; for that matter, i don’t know if they still work like this in Australia.

In our case, there were, in fact, times when certain sales or discounts were for a limited time only. For example, occasionally the car manufacturer would offer rebates or bonuses to dealers on certain cars in an attempt to move stock. These were often limited to cars sold within a particular time period, and in order to receive the factory rebate, the paperwork on the sale had to reflect the appropriate dates. This meant that we, in the dealership, could only offer those rebates for a limited time unless we wanted to eat the cost ourselves.

Not only that, but sales figures at our dealership (and most others) were calculated by calendar month, and the sales manager wanted to squeeze out as many cars as possible within any given month. If you had a deal pending on the 30th, he would push and push to get the car out the door on that day, rather than have it click over to the next month. This might seem illogical (after all, a sale is a sale, right?), but the mentality was that you cram as many sales as possible into this month, and worry about next month when the first comes around.

If things weren’t going so well by the last week of the month, we would sometimes run ads in the local papers offering deals that would only be good if the car was off the lot by the end of the month.

There were other considerations also.

For example, as salespeople, our sales commission was structured so that there were incremental targets to meet, both in terms of profit and total sales. I can’t remember the exact numbers now (this is almost 20 years ago). Your commission was based on the net profit to the dealer in each sale, but your commission rates went up. For the month, profit amounts and commission percentage might look something like this:



Profit	Commission

<12,000	10%
12,000	12%
14,000	15%
20,000	18%


The kicker was that these increment were retrospective to the whole amount. So, if your sales for the month made a net profit of $11,999, your commission would be $1,199 (i.e., 10%). But if your profit was $12,001, the bump to 12% commission applied retroactively to every sale, raising your cut to $1,440.

As i said, i can’t remember what the actual numbers were, but you can see how a system like this would encourage a salesperson to sell a car with a big discount at the end of the month if it would help him or her over the threshold into a higher commission bracket.

There were also bonuses for numbers. One month, in an attempt to move stock, the sales manager announced a $500 bonus for anyone who sold more than X cars in the month. Well, if you got to the end of the month, and you’d sold X-1 cars, you’d almost give a car away in order to make the target and pocket and extra $500.

I had a car sales guy try that one on me once. We were about $1500 apart in price on a used truck. I suspected he wasn’t going to come down on price and then when he went “You have to take the price right now because my manager isn’t normally in this good of a mood.” my response was “Oh, crap! Really?” and I turned and walked back to my truck to leave with my brother trailing after me asking WTF happened? I told him I don’t negotiate with jack###es.

Wait a minute. Are you insinuating that I am NOT smarter than all the dealers and salespeople who have been involved in the industry and have learned about it and explored the tricks of the trade? Oh, don’t insult me! We;ll I’ve been caught out like this before–I try not to let it keep me from spouting off with absolutely no cred. '. :wink: hee

I read your points with great interest. Thanks for taking the time. I am somewhat acquainted with the buying/selling of cars, so I had familiarity with your info but I hadn’t thought about all those influences.

One point though—and I have been wrong before—the excerpt I pulled above, your first point, is the only one I can clearly see forcing a certain price one day and not the next. Because with the car co paying part, that would be the dealership’s loss at that price the next day.

The other situations as far as I can tell reduce to:

You are not going to sell me a car where you don’t make money (or fleet #s or whatever). Even if you’re desperate to sell a car by end of month, if I come in a week later and want that same deal, you’re not going to not sell me the car just because you’re pissy or you figure, hey this month will go great, etc. You wouldn’t let me walk, would you? (If I had the fortitude and nerve to hold up that long)

On the dealer rebates, and timed offers determined outside the dealership, yes. Tomorrow the price could go up.