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February 14, 2007

Coffee without a price tag (part 2)

Read part 1 

I became really fascinated with the idea of coffee without a fixed price. After about one minute of internet research, I found out that some people really do pay to avoid guilt, like the comment-writer on the Kirkland Weblog who wrote:

"Katie and I had this plan to just go in, get coffee and not pay because we wanted to see how it felt to just not pay. We ended up feeling so guilty that we drove back paid double what we would have and I offered to put a bumper sticker on my car to help advertise...it's a crazy mind game they have going there."

Other people see this the way I did in my original post: as an economic experiment.

"My initial excitement was later tempered by the thought that we've done this before and it has failed miserably (pick any communist state that has tried to force economic equality by spreading wealth). But then I realized that this was fundamentally different. It's not a government forcing us to distribute wealth. It's about relative worth measured by US. It forces US to look at the larger economic picture and assess how we fit in. I wonder what I'll pay when I get a cup of coffee?"

After checking out Terra Bite's website, I realized that they do rely on more than faith in their customer's logic in order to get money: they encourage people to pay what they would normally pay and let their customers know that they plan to support charities. They also sell game consoles with fixed prices to boost revenue.

Posted by Julie at February 14, 2007 2:33 PM

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