Obsession with cheap (don’t let this be you)

One of my team members was telling me the other day about his family’s (of four) grocery budget.

“About a grand a month.”

Whoa. That’s high even for Ruhlin standards.

Must be eating organic produce, sprayed with organic pesticides, in organic dirt.

But he was telling me how his local grocer has an annual anniversary sale.

I.E., it was their 18 year anniversary so everything in the store is 18% off for the day.

And my dude STOCKED UP. (“A NEW FAMILY RECORD!” lol)

Say whut?? Ruhlin pondered aloud.

“Johnny… I’m saving 18%!! That’s, like… only four-fifths the normal price!” 

And it got me thinking:

Americans are obsessed with cheap

Cheaper prices.

Cheaper products.

Cheaper (or free) shipping.

Everything… cheap, cheap, cheap. 

And when it comes to strategic gifting, there is no worse policy than cheap.

Give a cheap gift and it makes you appear uncredible.

Because if the gift is perceived as cheap then you, as the gifter, are perceived as cheap.

It’s all about perceived value.

This was a lesson I learned early on selling CUTCO knives.

Most people judge knives based on sharpness.

But that’s, like, 1/200th of the whole story.

There are serious differences in product materials, craftsmanship, assembly, polishing, etc etc. 

Prior to me explaining the deets, customers assumed a new set of knives cost $100-$200.

But then they would hold a CUTCO in their hand and think: “Hmm. This feels good!”

They’d hear about the inventor of the handle (a gent named Thomas Lamb).

And how he studied over 700 pairs of hands to come up with the wedgelock handle, that you won’t find on any other knife.

How it’s got a Forever Guarantee, 100% American made, and not outsourced to China like so many crappy kitchen products nowadays. 

And the perceived value would go WAY up.

Their $100-$200 perception would skyrocket to $500-$1000+.

And, whether they bought or not, they’d realize very quickly:

“I don’t want cheap.”

(Don’t we ALL feel that way when we’re getting something for our homes?)

“I want the best of what I can afford.”

“And if I can’t afford it… then I hope Santa brings it to me one day.” 


Did you see the Gift·ologist opportunity right there?

To give a gift that somebody would never buy themselves… but would LOVE to own.

A $50 coffee mug (personalized).

A $100 phone charger (monogrammed).

A $200 knife (engraved). 

In the GIFT·OLOGY handbook, we call those things “practical luxuries.”

They are the absolute sweet spot when it comes to strategic gifting. 

Unfortunately, the obsession with cheap often times carries over to gift givers.

“I have fifty dollars in the budget. What can I buy for fifty bucks??”

Their brain doesn’t go to practical luxury because they project their own cheapness into the shopping experience.

And because they wouldn’t buy it for themselves, they don’t buy it for somebody else.

And then they give a gift that’s more standard (RE: unoriginal, not that nice, not that unique).

And it winds up in the donation bin… or worse, trash. 

‘Tis a shame, really.

If only they took the time to read the first 30 pages of this book

(The rest of it is pretty dang good, too.) 

Break up with cheap.

Be practical.

Be luxurious.

Ready to build your ultimate gifting system?

Schedule a (no cost) loyalty planning session today.