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通胀叠加隐性成本,加剧美国人的痛苦

通胀叠加隐性成本,加剧美国人的痛苦

HILLARY HOFFOWER 2022-06-22
滴漏定价是一种‘隐藏’的涨价方式。

隐性费用正吞噬着人们的钱包。图片来源:GETTY IMAGES

凯蒂·佩里卡克(Katie Pericak)唯一想做的事就是在流行乐队MUNA今年秋天来纽约巡演的时候去看他们的演唱会。

但演唱会高昂的费用让她望而却步。佩里卡克已经准备好支付73美元的票价。但她并没有想到还有23美元的服务费,也没有想到结账时出现了额外2.5美元的电子转账费,这样一来,总费用就接近100美元了。

“我可以用额外的23美元买一顿饭。” 这位22岁的年轻人说,她目前正在找工作。“我没有全职工作,所以我必须在玩乐和生存之间做出选择。”

就在几周前,她已经为哈里·斯泰尔斯(Harry Styles)的一场演唱会支付了114美元,在票价之外还额外支付了25美元。作为狂热的演唱会迷,佩里卡克习惯于支付这样的服务费,但不是按照这样的费率。

她说:“在过去的三年多时间里,服务费变得越来越贵。以前服务费一般不超过20美元。”

欢迎来到隐性成本经济,在这里,隐性费用无处不在,无论你是购买演唱会门票还是在酒吧刷信用卡,一切都比最初贵得多。这是一种被称为“价格滴漏”的零售策略。约翰斯·霍普金斯大学市场营销和经济学教授安德鲁·程(Andrew Ching)向《财富》杂志解释说,品牌先是用误导性的的低价吸引消费者,然后在购买过程中再“滴漏”一笔额外费用。

这并不是一种新策略,但程说,在后疫情世界里,随着企业努力应对更高的商品间接成本和员工工资,这种策略在企业中变得更加普遍。餐馆开始增加“酬谢后厨”费用,随着油价飙升,航空公司和优步(Uber)都开始征收燃油费。

程说:“通货膨胀使原材料成本变得更加昂贵。但企业担心,如果他们提高零售价格,那就会让消费者感到不安。滴漏定价是一种‘隐藏’的涨价方式。”

这是通货膨胀吞噬我们钱包的另一种方式。

在通货膨胀期间,价格滴漏给人们带来更多的痛苦

如果你曾经在爱彼迎(Airbnb)预订房间时抱怨过住宿费或是在UberEats(送餐软件)点餐时抱怨过服务费,那么你已经遇到过价格滴漏问题了。程将其比作“诱售法(以廉价商品招徕,再兜售较高价商品)”销售技巧。

他表示:“许多不注重细节的消费者会根据整体价格购买商品。一些消费者在比较报价时会考虑总成本,但这种做法让消费者的购物变得更难。”

这是一个心理学问题:研究发现,由于我们已经在购买商品上投入了时间和精力,我们仍然最易被较低的试销优惠价所吸引——即使试销优惠价最终算下来价格更高,而且我们有机会选择别的商品。Common Cents Lab的联合创始人玛丽尔·比斯利 (Mariel Beasley)告诉《财富》杂志,我们只会对此感到有些不满,因为支付费用会让人感到痛苦。

她说:“当一个行业采用滴漏定价时,他们基本上是在一遍又一遍地给消费者造成巨大的痛苦,这是因为每笔费用自然都是从零开始的。”

当美国人还在与40年来最高的通货膨胀率作斗争时,这一情况的出现尤其令人痛苦。通货膨胀已经使美国家庭平均每月多花费311.78美元。只要问问像佩里卡克这样在推特(Twitter)和Reddit上抱怨隐性成本的消费者就知道了,在某些情况下,隐性成本加起来超过了服务或商品的原始价格。

“除非爱彼迎努力使额外费用处在可控范围之内,并且在实际标价中标明额外费用,否则消费者将不再信任他们。”@JoshDance 在推特上发布了一张爱彼迎收费截图,其中包括307.17美元的清洁、服务和入住费——超过度假屋住一晚的费用189美元。

除非@Airbnb使额外费用处在可控范围之内,并且在实际标价中标明额外费用,否则消费者将不再信任他们。pic.twitter.com/aUbqIQSrLo

——乔什·丹斯(@JoshDance)2022年6月11日

隐性成本经济可能适得其反

尽管价格滴漏很有效,但它也可能适得其反,尤其是当越来越多的美国人发现自己是月光族时。

比斯利说,行业有时会标明具体费用以让定价更透明,但这种做法可能会带来更多的坏处而不是好处——尤其是如果这项费用是买家不想支付的费用。

她说:“增加通胀费用的餐馆将助长人们对通胀的不满情绪,因为他们的做法使通胀变得更加突出,这可能会对下次选举产生影响。”

当爱彼迎将租金与清洁费分开时,情况也是如此,比斯利说,这实际上可能会让租客不愿意自己打扫,从而增加了业主清洁的成本和时间。

企业也面临着失去客户的风险,这取决于我们何时使用商品或服务。这是一种认知偏差,被称为峰终效应,即某种体验中最激烈的时刻(高峰时刻)和最后时刻(结束时刻)是最有影响力的。

比斯利比较了支付演唱会门票的时间和在餐厅用餐后支付账单的时间。随着餐馆在账单上附加额外费用,他们正在增加消费者支付费用的痛苦,因为此次用餐的高潮部分已经结束了。她预计这将给食客带来不好的体验,可能会导致他们不会再去那里用餐。

但比斯利说,一场演唱会的高潮部分通常是在买票几周或几个月后。这抵消了支付费用带来的一些痛苦。她说:“人们会在购买的过程中抱怨,但他们真正记住的是这段体验的终点:演唱会。”

也许这就是为什么佩里卡克还有可能去看MUNA演唱会。但她也试图通过从推特上转售的人那里购买门票来避免服务费。希望伯里卡克的推特卖家不会试图赚取虚高利润。(财富中文网)

译者:中慧言-王芳

凯蒂·佩里卡克(Katie Pericak)唯一想做的事就是在流行乐队MUNA今年秋天来纽约巡演的时候去看他们的演唱会。

但演唱会高昂的费用让她望而却步。佩里卡克已经准备好支付73美元的票价。但她并没有想到还有23美元的服务费,也没有想到结账时出现了额外2.5美元的电子转账费,这样一来,总费用就接近100美元了。

“我可以用额外的23美元买一顿饭。” 这位22岁的年轻人说,她目前正在找工作。“我没有全职工作,所以我必须在玩乐和生存之间做出选择。”

就在几周前,她已经为哈里·斯泰尔斯(Harry Styles)的一场演唱会支付了114美元,在票价之外还额外支付了25美元。作为狂热的演唱会迷,佩里卡克习惯于支付这样的服务费,但不是按照这样的费率。

她说:“在过去的三年多时间里,服务费变得越来越贵。以前服务费一般不超过20美元。”

欢迎来到隐性成本经济,在这里,隐性费用无处不在,无论你是购买演唱会门票还是在酒吧刷信用卡,一切都比最初贵得多。这是一种被称为“价格滴漏”的零售策略。约翰斯·霍普金斯大学市场营销和经济学教授安德鲁·程(Andrew Ching)向《财富》杂志解释说,品牌先是用误导性的的低价吸引消费者,然后在购买过程中再“滴漏”一笔额外费用。

这并不是一种新策略,但程说,在后疫情世界里,随着企业努力应对更高的商品间接成本和员工工资,这种策略在企业中变得更加普遍。餐馆开始增加“酬谢后厨”费用,随着油价飙升,航空公司和优步(Uber)都开始征收燃油费。

程说:“通货膨胀使原材料成本变得更加昂贵。但企业担心,如果他们提高零售价格,那就会让消费者感到不安。滴漏定价是一种‘隐藏’的涨价方式。”

这是通货膨胀吞噬我们钱包的另一种方式。

在通货膨胀期间,价格滴漏给人们带来更多的痛苦

如果你曾经在爱彼迎(Airbnb)预订房间时抱怨过住宿费或是在UberEats(送餐软件)点餐时抱怨过服务费,那么你已经遇到过价格滴漏问题了。程将其比作“诱售法(以廉价商品招徕,再兜售较高价商品)”销售技巧。

他表示:“许多不注重细节的消费者会根据整体价格购买商品。一些消费者在比较报价时会考虑总成本,但这种做法让消费者的购物变得更难。”

这是一个心理学问题:研究发现,由于我们已经在购买商品上投入了时间和精力,我们仍然最易被较低的试销优惠价所吸引——即使试销优惠价最终算下来价格更高,而且我们有机会选择别的商品。Common Cents Lab的联合创始人玛丽尔·比斯利 (Mariel Beasley)告诉《财富》杂志,我们只会对此感到有些不满,因为支付费用会让人感到痛苦。

她说:“当一个行业采用滴漏定价时,他们基本上是在一遍又一遍地给消费者造成巨大的痛苦,这是因为每笔费用自然都是从零开始的。”

当美国人还在与40年来最高的通货膨胀率作斗争时,这一情况的出现尤其令人痛苦。通货膨胀已经使美国家庭平均每月多花费311.78美元。只要问问像佩里卡克这样在推特(Twitter)和Reddit上抱怨隐性成本的消费者就知道了,在某些情况下,隐性成本加起来超过了服务或商品的原始价格。

“除非爱彼迎努力使额外费用处在可控范围之内,并且在实际标价中标明额外费用,否则消费者将不再信任他们。”@JoshDance 在推特上发布了一张爱彼迎收费截图,其中包括307.17美元的清洁、服务和入住费——超过度假屋住一晚的费用189美元。

除非@Airbnb使额外费用处在可控范围之内,并且在实际标价中标明额外费用,否则消费者将不再信任他们。pic.twitter.com/aUbqIQSrLo

——乔什·丹斯(@JoshDance)2022年6月11日

隐性成本经济可能适得其反

尽管价格滴漏很有效,但它也可能适得其反,尤其是当越来越多的美国人发现自己是月光族时。

比斯利说,行业有时会标明具体费用以让定价更透明,但这种做法可能会带来更多的坏处而不是好处——尤其是如果这项费用是买家不想支付的费用。

她说:“增加通胀费用的餐馆将助长人们对通胀的不满情绪,因为他们的做法使通胀变得更加突出,这可能会对下次选举产生影响。”

当爱彼迎将租金与清洁费分开时,情况也是如此,比斯利说,这实际上可能会让租客不愿意自己打扫,从而增加了业主清洁的成本和时间。

企业也面临着失去客户的风险,这取决于我们何时使用商品或服务。这是一种认知偏差,被称为峰终效应,即某种体验中最激烈的时刻(高峰时刻)和最后时刻(结束时刻)是最有影响力的。

比斯利比较了支付演唱会门票的时间和在餐厅用餐后支付账单的时间。随着餐馆在账单上附加额外费用,他们正在增加消费者支付费用的痛苦,因为此次用餐的高潮部分已经结束了。她预计这将给食客带来不好的体验,可能会导致他们不会再去那里用餐。

但比斯利说,一场演唱会的高潮部分通常是在买票几周或几个月后。这抵消了支付费用带来的一些痛苦。她说:“人们会在购买的过程中抱怨,但他们真正记住的是这段体验的终点:演唱会。”

也许这就是为什么佩里卡克还有可能去看MUNA演唱会。但她也试图通过从推特上转售的人那里购买门票来避免服务费。希望伯里卡克的推特卖家不会试图赚取虚高利润。(财富中文网)

译者:中慧言-王芳

All Katie Pericak wants to do is see the pop band MUNA when they come to New York City this fall.

But hefty fees are preventing her from making that a reality. Pericak was ready to pay the $73 it costs to buy a ticket. But she wasn’t banking on a $23 service charge or the additional $2.50 electronic transfer fee that appeared when she went to checkout, bringing the total to just shy of $100.

“The extra $23 for fees can buy me a meal,” says the 22-year-old, who is currently looking for work. “I don’t have a full-time job, so I have to make choices between having fun and what I need to survive.”

She already shelled out $114 for a Harry Styles concert just a few weeks ago, paying an additional $25 on top of the ticket price. An avid concert-goer, Pericak is used to paying such service fees, but not at these rates.

“In the past three-ish years, they’ve become more expensive,” she says. “I didn’t used to pay $20 or more.”

Welcome to the hidden-cost economy, where sneaky fees are lurking everywhere, whether you’re buying concert tickets or plunking down your credit card at a bar, making everything much more expensive than they initially appear. It’s a retail strategy known as “price dripping.” Brands reel buyers in with a misleadingly low headline price before “dripping” an extra charge on top during the purchasing process, Andrew Ching, professor of marketing and economics at Johns Hopkins, explains to Fortune.

It’s not a new tactic, but one that Ching says has anecdotally become more prevalent among businesses in a post-pandemic world as they grapple with higher overhead costs for goods and workers’ wages. Restaurants are adding “kitchen appreciation” fees, and both airlines and Uber began implementing fuel charges as oil prices skyrocket.

“Inflation has made the costs of raw materials more expensive,” Ching says. “But businesses are worried that if they raise the retail prices, that would upset consumers. Drip pricing is a ‘hidden’ way to raise prices.”

It’s yet another way inflation is eating our wallets.

Price dripping is even more painful during inflation

If you’ve ever grumbled about a host fee when you book an Airbnb or the service charge for your UberEats order, you’ve dealt with price dripping. Ching likened it to a “bait-and-switch” sales technique.

“Many consumers who do not pay attention to details will purchase based on headline price,” he says. “Some consumers will consider total cost when comparing offers, but such practices have made it harder for consumers to shop.”

It’s a matter of psychology: Research finds that because we’ve already invested time and energy into buying, we’re still most tempted by the lower intro offer—even if it ends up being more expensive and we have the chance to switch to another option. We’re just going to be a little sour about it because paying the fees feels painful, Mariel Beasley, co-founder of the Common Cents Lab, tells Fortune.

“When an industry uses drip pricing, they are basically inflicting high pain over and over again because each fee is naturally starting from zero,” she says.

It’s especially painful when Americans are also grappling with 40-year-high inflation, which is already costing the average U.S. household $311.78 more a month. Just ask consumers like Pericak, who have taken to Twitter and Reddit to gripe about hidden costs that, in some cases, add up to more than the original price of the service or good.

“Unless Airbnb gets extra fees under control, and in the actual listed price, consumers are going to stop trusting them,” tweeted @JoshDance with a screenshot of an Airbnb charge that included $307.17 in cleaning, service, and occupancy fees—more than the $189 it costs to stay in the vacation rental for a single night.

Unless @Airbnb gets extra fees under control, and in the actual listed price, consumers are going to stop trusting them. pic.twitter.com/aUbqIQSrLo

— Josh Dance (@JoshDance) June 11, 2022

A hidden-cost economy can backfire

As effective as price dripping can be, it can also backfire, especially as a growing number of Americans find themselves living paycheck to paycheck.

Beasley says that industries sometimes name fees to provide transparency in pricing, but this emphasis can do more harm or good—especially if it’s something that buyers don’t want to pay for.

“Restaurants that add an inflation fee are going to help fuel frustration about inflation because they’re making it even more salient, and that could have consequences in the next election,” she says.

It’s the same case when an Airbnb rental separates the cleaning fee, which Beasley says may actually discourage the renter from cleaning up after themselves, resulting in higher cost and time for cleaning for the owner.

Businesses also run the risk of losing customers, depending on when we use the good or service. It’s a cognitive bias known as the peak-end effect in which the most intense moment (the peak) and the last moment (the end) of an experience are the most impactful.

Beasley compared the timing of paying for a concert ticket versus a meal at a restaurant. As restaurants tack extra fees onto bills, they’re increasing the pain of paying because the meal, the best part, is over. She anticipates this will put a bad taste in diners’ mouths, potentially stopping them from choosing to eat there again.

But with a concert, says Beasley, the best part typically comes weeks or months later after buying a ticket. This counters some of the purchasing pain. “People mumble and groan as they go through it but what they really hold on to in their memory is the end of the experience: the concert,” she says.

Perhaps that’s why Pericak hasn’t ruled out attending MUNA just yet. But she’s also trying to avoid the service fees by purchasing a ticket from someone re-selling on Twitter. Hopefully for Pericak, the Twitter seller won’t be trying to reap an inflated profit.

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