She made me do it! The perils of suggestion

Just the other day, I walked into the post office to buy some stamps. It was like a $5+ purchase, but while there, the counter staff tried to pitch a $70+ no-contact infrared thermometer to me. (????. Taking advantage of the H1N1!) She also asked if I needed to change my ez-link card. Times must be really bad, when a service staff doubles up as a sales promotor too.

And I must say it’s an effective way to push sales – the power of suggestion (that is if that thing didn’t cost 14X my stamp purchase!)

Think about it:

    1) You sit down at a hawker center, and the drink lady/guy comes up and asks you what you want to drink – you will order a drink. If you don’t, the other drink ladies/guys will take turns asking for a drink – you will order a drink now, to stop them from asking anymore!

    2) Flag day – the day where school children and volunteers are armed with tin cans and out with a vengeance, to find a new home for your loose change, and hopefully a few notes too. The only thing that can protect you, is that tiny round or square sticker, that would proclaim loudly “I ALREADY DONATED!”

    3) You go to McDonalds, and buy a set meal. Would you like to upsize Sir/Madam? or Would you like to try our new {insert product name}?

Don’t get me started on the supermarket.

If you walk into the supermarket without a shopping list, be prepared to leave with more items than you came in for.

[tips]Things you actually plan to buy:

Chicken, vegetables, fishballs, milk[/tip]

And then you walk past the snacks section: Oh! Potato chips. Yummy. Some sweets and biscuits to snack on too. *drops snacks into basket* Ah yes, I would need drinks to go with that. *accompanies snacks in basket*.

By the time you reach the counter, your bill balloons from the intended $5 to $20. This is why it makes sense to plan your shopping and do it in bulk, and not run to the store each time you need something. At least the “damage” is minimized.

This also happens a lot to me in the video store, where there are always stuff on sale. Those $6.90 vcds especially – they tempt me like crazy. When I see a movie I watched before that I loved, I would feel like buying it. Most of the time, it’ll just end up on my shelf, still wrapped, and probably never get the chance to see the light of day. That’s why I swore off buying dvds or vcds this year.

Well, partially too, due to the fact that I have free video on demand on Mio. 😀

So getting back to the post office. People pay bills at the post office. I’ve concluded that I need to start buying stamps from the S.A.M machine, and pay my bills online through internet banking to keep temptations at bay. Even AXS machines are not safe – I paid my taxes the other day using my diners credit card, and it gave me 3 options: Pay in full or through 6 or 12 months 0% installments, for a small processing fee of course!

I chose ‘pay in full’ of course – I’m in it for the diners points, not the processing fees!

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