#7 The Sibyl, Increasing Price with Every Rejection

So we were talked before about the Tarquinius Superbus who was the last King of Romans, before the Roman Republic was found by overthrowing him.

Michelangelo’s rendering of the Erythraean Sibyl

One day, a woman arrived to Tarquinius Superbus, claiming she has nine prophecy books, with a huge price. Thinking the price is too high, Tarquinius rejected the offer. Instead of leaving, the woman burnt three of the books, and repeated the offer with the same price, for the remaining six books. This time Tarquinius was a little bit hesitating, but he rejected again. The woman burnt another three books and offered the same price for remaining three books. Tarquinius purchased the books and reserved them in the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill.

This is a very interesting story, we can see similar patterns in different movies of today, but not by decreasing what is sold, but increasing the price when asking the second time.

I think it simulates a discount, the other way around. We feel stressed, because we see that we could buy something cheaper if we didn’t reject, and it will become more expensive the next time, which means, if we buy it, it will be buying the same thing for lesser price.

While seeing it as an impressive way of negotiating, personally, I have never seen it working in real life, not because it doesn’t work, but nobody tried. But also maybe nobody tried because it doesn’t work?

At the end, these are all stories. Not real life.



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