What tipping the valet parking guy has to do with Broadway discounting.
Have you parked a car lately? If so, what did you tip the attendant?
I asked ten of my friends that question recently and 9 of them said they tipped $1.
Then I asked them how much they tipped their parking lot attendant five years ago.
And I bet if I went back 20 years, the answer would be the same.
So either parking lot attendants were way over-tipped way back when, or some things just don’t keep up with inflation.
It really sucks for anyone in the parking profession, doesn’t it? Same would be true for anyone working a coat check ($1 a coat was the average in my office), or the pizza delivery folks, etc.
The perceived value of one dollar hasn’t changed, even though the actual value of one dollar has.
Same is true for $100.
I remember seeing my first “hundy” when I was a kid. It was like getting a glimpse of a gold doubloon. Ben Franklin staring at you with that, “You want me, don’t you?” look on his face.
And 30 years later seeing a hundred dollar bill, or someone telling you that something costs $100 incites a certain feeling in a consumer, even though the value has changed drastically.
As Broadway and Off Broadway continue to wage the discount war with direct mail and direct response email blasts, I’ve noticed a similar resistance from consumers. If they are not buying full price tickets, they have a dollar-like-resistance to certain price points.
Sure, prices have gone up, and discount tickets have gone up too . . . but that doesn’t mean that they convert.
If you’re not one of the big fat hits on Broadway, just try and convert a discount over $100. More than likely, you’ll sit in the $59 – $99 range. Even some of this fall’s brand new musicals came out with discounts this winter that topped out at $99.
As we proved yesterday, variable pricing when a show is in demand is driving our market to higher and higher grosses. Which is good, because our discount prices are reaching a ceiling that I don’t believe our consumer is willing to go beyond, no matter how much our expenses increase.
But it’s even worse for the guy or gal parking your car.
So tip ’em $2 next time.
Is there a top price you’d pay for a discount? Or do you think in %? Let me know in the comments below.
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