If you have to ask…..
One of my favorite parts of a magazine is when they show a photograph, pinpoint the items, and tell you where you can get them and how much they cost. Whether it is a single sofa, or a completed room, it always gives me just enough to pique my interest, and get me thinking. Within moments, I will find myself dreaming, or idly scanning the computer for creative alternatives to the room laid out on the page in front of me. This morning, I was struck by a wonderful photograph. The designer had managed to incorporate everything that a modern family could ask for; space for a television, fireplace, game table, desk and a reading nook. As I gleefully scanned the room, deciding what I did and didn’t like, I couldn’t wait to find out more about the specific items; the wooden wing-back chair was my absolute favorite – it looked really classic, very uncomfortable, but begged to find a place in my home. As I moved to the next page, my fun ground to a screeching halt; five out of the eight items were labelled “price upon request” or, “to the trade”. Surprised, I began to search for the price of the chair, but every link fell short; referring me to another page, or asking me to fill out a very long registration form and contact the show room. I know, that occasionally, a special item is listed this way (we’ve all seen the more-than-the-price-of-a-mortgage red soled shoes kicking back in interviews) but to see so many pieces on one page really surprised me. Is the magazine trying to appeal to a more exclusive clientele, or, on the flip side, do they assume that the readers of the magazine simply cannot afford them? Were they afraid we would all faint from sticker-shock? It made me wonder, if you have to ask, should you be even thinking about buying it? Of course you should! I am all for saving money, and making do with what you have, but what about the excitement of saving and splurging on something wonderful and new? By limiting our access to expensive (unprintable) items, don’t you think they are losing out on an entire new audience, and we are being deprived of a dream? I suppose, if the piece is so expensive, then one or two sales is all they need to pay the bills, but isn’t the idea to also generate interest, create new designs and perpetuate the brand? What if I had just won the lottery, or had a crazy amount of money hidden under my mattress just waiting for that perfect chair? Why would you make me register my name, create an account, call the showroom, and send a fruit basket, just to find out the price? And, what if I really, truly just wanted to know the price of the Wooden Wing Back Barrel chair?…
* The photograph above, shows the chair (top right), but is not the actual page from the magazine that I was reading.
For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to: http://www.thebluegiraffe.com/