The 15% Delusion

15%Why does hearing “Save 15%” trigger the human brain to believe that’s a GREAT deal?  Step back and think about this for a second…15% of how much?  15% seems to be the magic number these days, but is it really that significant?

  • 15% of $10 is $1.50 (a 22-ounce bottle of soda.)
  • 15% of $100 is $15 (a movie ticket and a small box of popcorn.)
  • 15% of $1000 is $150 (3 tanks of gas in the standard SUV.)

Okay, so $150 would probably be worth it, but who can’t give up one soda or forego one movie per month and rent Redbox instead?

When I used to wait tables, 15% was the standard tip for really good service.  Today it’s considered an insult in the fine dining world to get less than 18%-20%.  How about insurance?  Saving 15% or more on car insurance sounds awesome until you put some real numbers to it.  If your premium is $300 every 6 months and you save 15%, the savings is $7.50 per month, or 25 cents per day.

Twenty-five cents per day is a great deal?   Really?  How about focusing on the value you receive instead of the incredible amount of savings you’re <NOT> getting?  Would you be willing to pay 25 cents a day for over-the-top, personalized service and technology that saves you time?


Author: Gary

I'm about as transparent as a person can get because I believe transparency to be THE foundational element of trust. Trust and honesty are what bond the most valuable relationships. I've taken pretty much every personality assessment available. Here are the results: Enneagram: Type 2: Caregiver Jung, Myers, Briggs: INTJ DISC: Initiator (DI)--Visionary, Charismatic, Dynamic Strengths Finder: Honesty, Zest, Creativity, Spirituality, Hope Values Assessment: Creativity, Responsibility, Spirituality, Concern for Others, Achievement Every ounce of content on my sites is personally-produced and represents my opinion and mine alone. Whether readers agree or disagree with those opinions and ideas is their prerogative and theirs alone. I do not seek approval or validation, only spirited collaboration with real people willing to open their minds to the possibility that things will never be "normal" again, then discuss ways to move forward instead of living in the past.