Mar 09

Disorganization = bargain

Victor wonders if the disorganization of eBay adds to its appeal. Perhaps, “the amateur design communicates the idea of bargain?” I’m reminded (yet again) of my part-time job during college in a music store. We had tables filled with marked-down cassette tapes purposefully heaped into piles instead of stacked neatly. The received wisdom was that we sold more when so displayed. Neatly arranged cassettes in alpha order by artists for $2.99 each? Not a bargain. Big messy piles of cassettes that you had to hunt through to find that one precious $2.99 deal of a lifetime? Now that’s a bargain. The customers did seem to more readily march up to the register with their prey.

Now that doesn’t mean we didn’t arrange those cassettes. We did - everytime that one particular customer that just had to go through them and stack the ones he had seen and rejected into neat rows - we would carefully push them into piles again. Disorganization by design.

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