Stagehog81 said, "A man decided he was going to try to get a house by making a series of trades that started with him trading one red paperclip. He succeeded in his quest to trade from a paperclip to a house."
LostGundyr said, "Grey Goose vodka wasn't selling well, so they just tripled the price and sales went through the roof. Everybody thought, 'It's more expensive it must be better and really fancy!'" This makes sense, because when you find out you paid more for vodka than you needed, you'll definitely want a drink.
Similar to the Grey Goose story, iloveribeyesteak wrote, "There's a story of a jeweler who accidentally doubled the price of her turquoise jewelry instead of halving it. Based on traditional economics, she should have sold less of the turquoise jewelry, but she actually sold out of it! It turned out that increasing the price of the jewelry increased its perceived value." With that in mind, would anyone like to buy this small, round piece of copper for $500?
Redditor nephelokokkygia said, "That guy who, fed up with littering in his neighborhood (in Oakland, CA), put up a statue of Buddha on a traffic median as deterrence. Beyond reducing the litter, crime as a whole diminished, and local residents eventually built a whole shrine around the statue." Because when you have one of the major gods watching over you, you'll probably be on your best behavior.
ILikeLenexa said, "Houston Airport got a lot of complaints that it took baggage too long to get to the baggage claim and people had to wait a long time. They moved the baggage claim farther away from where you get off the airplane and even though it took just as long, because people had to walk there, they didn't complain." The lesson here? If you make people walk a long distance, they become too tired to complain.
WorldNeedsSaddam wrote about how Captain Cook realized that sauerkraut could prevent scurvy, and needed to introduce it to his sailors' diets. But, "How do you get someone to eat sauerkraut while at sea if it is not part of their diet? You introduce it into the officers meals only of course. And then you have the officers dine next to the rest of the rank-and-file, where everyone can see the officers eating sauerkraut which they cannot have. From there, you wait for the rest of the sailors to ask why they can't have the new mystery food, and then you agree to compromise and allow all sailors to have sauerkraut once per week, as a reward for a diligent week's work."
People always want what they can't have. Even if the thing they can't have is sauerkraut.
Politibros said that cake mixes initially didn't require you to add your own eggs. "Betty Crocker cake mixes weren't selling well when they were first introduced. Women felt that because they weren't doing anything other than adding water that they weren't working hard enough. The company then made it so you had to add eggs as well and they started flying off the shelves." Because we all know that if no eggs are being cracked, it's not really baking.
DeadPrateRoberts said, "There's a store here in Seattle (on Aurora Avenue) called the Purple Store. Everything they sell is purple. It's been there for years." Roberts added, "Sales skyrocketed when Prince died," which definitely seems appropriate.
LillyYoyoINeedGogert wrote, "In a psychology course...we were tasked with finding a way to improve the listening ability...of little kids. What worked? Blind folding them, and letting them doodle as they listened. The doodles? Meaningless. However, they felt like they had freedom, and the only thing of slight interest was the teacher, so our class scored on average (roughly) 5% higher then the other groups classes."
Don't you wish you could go back in time and tell your teachers that all those doodles they complained about were actually study aids?
SecretlyHistoric said, "Antoine Augustin Parmentier wanted to introduce potatoes into his people's diet. They were easy to grow, didn't take much space, and they tasted good! His people would have none of it. Absolutely refused to have anything to do with them. Until he placed his potatoes under heavy guard. These guards had instructions to allow thieves to get away with his precious tubers. The people thought that the potatoes had to be valuable, if they were under such heavy guard and began stealing them. And that's how you get a population of picky eaters to try something new."
So if you want your kids to eat their broccoli, your first step is to hire security.
BigOldCar posted, "When Cadillac downsized and modernized their cars, they were shocked (that customers) kept complaining about their cars' fuel efficiency...Eventually they figured out what was happening, and it came down to the digital instrument panel. There wasn't anything wrong with the cars. The gauge for the 18 gallon tank would read "F" until a gallon was used, then read numerically 17, 16, 15, etc. The fix was simple: they programmed the display to read "F" until the tank got to 16 gallons (skipping over 17) so it read "F" twice as long. The complaints about lousy gas mileage disappeared." Which just goes to show that sometimes tricking your customers is actually a good thing.