Infomercials are fond of marketing strategies that rely on a theory of psychological pricing. You don't pay a flat fee for your Shake Weight or Magic Bullet or Ginsu Knife; you dish out three easy payments. And your payments aren't $40, of course; they're $39.99.
But wait, there's more! Did I mention that those crazy-prices include a free Sticky Buddy, the Reusable Sticky Picker Upper, just to say thank you for your business?
Most of us, for better but probably for worse, are familiar with the sneaky logic of infomercials. That doesn't mean, however, that we are immune to their charms. Nor are we immune to the pull—ironic, and also very much not—of the products that are sold to us in the late night and early morning, our most vulnerable hours, via charismatic pitchmen and sad-sack stand-ins for human frailty. Oxyclean. The PedEgg. The Pocket Hose. The Clapper. The Socket Dock. The food dehydrator. GLH. Which is, I mean, hair that you spray onto your scalp! Even the most savvy consumers among us can find ourselves ensnared by the bleary promise of life-improvement that can be ours, we are told, for only two easy payments of $19.95 (plus shipping and handling).
Which brings us to the other promise: that the price of said life-improvement is truly two easy payments of $19.95 (plus shipping and handling). Sure, we figure, the Oxyclean might not really clean things; the GLH might, we have a sneaking suspicion, actually be spray paint. For the stipulated price, however—for the payments announced to us by an enthusiastic pitchman and a primary-colored screen—we can try the product's promised miracle for ourselves.