What Can Pick and Mix Teach Us?

Only a few years ago, the thought of buying pick and mix sweets was a real mix of emotions for most of us. We’d take the paper bag in one hand and the scoop in the other. Filling the bag was a joy. Fired eggs, smarties and fudge filled the bags. All the favourites were available to choose from.

Then came the time when the feeling changed. Joy and pleasure quickly departed and was replaced with fear and pain as, for the very first time, you got some idea what this bag of goodies was likely to cost. Invariably, it came as a total shock, and never a good one. It was a true case of ambush pricing, if ever there was one.

Pick and mix areas generally had no scales, so every bit of fudge, every smartie may be adding a penny, or 20p to the total. You had no way to tell until you got to the checkout, and by then it was too late. All you were left with was a buyers remorse that not even a few delicious cherry lips couldn’t take away.

Fast forward to this week. I took my boys to the shop and they asked for a pick and mix. All of the feelings I described above came flooding back until I was informed that it wasn’t like that anymore. The bags have been replaced with cups and the ambush pricing replaced with certainty. We could choose a £1.99, £2.99 or £4.99 cup and fill it as much as we wanted. I truly was a child in a sweetie shop. Filling my cup with fried eggs and strawberry pencils. Letting my kids have the freedom of choosing their treats without running around trying to guess the weight of a bit of fudge and doing quick calculations in my head.

When all is said and done, pick and mix is still an expensive option, and probably more so now. There is a feeling of value though, knowing that one more cola bottle won’t make any difference (to the price at least) and an amazing satisfaction in forcing a last chocolate raisin into the cup.

Here’s my question to you. Have a look at your business. Are you the paper bag, full of ambush pricing and buyers remorse, or the cup, with all of the certainty and value if a little more expensive?

The sad thing for me is that they still don't have flying saucers.

Find out more about how you can earn what your really worth with our pricing options video.

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