Commentary

Why Pay Retail Wholesale?

Yield management has come to baseball. According to reports this past week, the San Fransico Giants are experimenting with software that weighs ticket sales data, weather forecasts, upcoming pitching matchups and other variables to help decide whether the team should raise or lower prices right up until game day. They are the first major league team to test the software, which some industry analysts say could transform the way teams adjust to the ebb and flow of the season, not unlike how airlines, hotels and rental car companies -- which also use dynamic pricing -- adjust to changes in the travel industry. The team felt that cutting prices to as low as $5 could entice more fans to occupy otherwise empty seats and oh, buy hot dogs, beers and other concessions -- an average of $22 a game (which at Yankee stadium will buy you a cup of Bronx tap water.)

Over the Line predicts this is the beginning of the end of static, one size fits all pricing across not only sports, but a host of other industries where. Here are the ones we're cheering for from our $10 $5 bleacher seat.

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Movies: Pay over 10 bucks for a crappy movie and you kick yourself all the way home. Let them all open on Friday for top price, but when the word of mouth starts to kill box office, there are lots of folks who'd pay $4 to see a shitty movie if only to get out of the heat for a couple of hours. And you can bet they'll never discount the already over priced popcorn and soda. Conversely, am I willing to pay $25 for a blockbuster? Nah, wait for cable.

Music: Yeah, there are a few of you out there still actually paying for new music in bricks and mortar stores. But what a pain when you find that there were only three really memorable songs on the disc and the rest was crap. So wait for the tail off in sales and pick up the same CD for $5 instead of the $15 opening bid. Or better yet illegally download the three good songs and send a message back to RIAA that they'll have to sue the entire planet.

Books: Bought a book lately? What used to be $16.95 is now $29.95 (plus shipping). While is it only a matter of time before they all end up out on the sidewalk in the remainder bin, why not accelerate the process by waving those crappy reviews under the shop keeper's nose and offer to buy it today at half price?

Online Adverting: Too much inventory chasing too little demand? Go in and offer .10 CPMs. What? You got that last week? OK ask .05 this week but don't come whining to me when your ad runs adjacent to a penis enlargement story (but send me a link to the story, thanks). Banking: Most of these guys are scrambling around trying to get your deposits to shore up their balance sheets. Tell them not only to kill all the fees on your business account, but infer that your office could really use a new mini-fridge and a half dozen color printer cartridges. An extra half point of interest would also be appreciated. Carpe diem. Someday the economy will improve.

Cars: Remember when the hybrids first came out and you had to beg to buy one or offer well over the sticker price? Heh-heh. Take your 10 year-old Town and Country van down to one of the few remaining dealers and tell him you want $10 k on the trade in or you'll buy from a company that is not about to enter bankruptcy. Tell him a seven year warranty is little incentive since you aren't sure who will honor it if things keep going the way they are headed. And tell him you still remember being charged by his service department $125 for an oil change.

Children: Tell your kids if they don't straight up and starting putting the dishes back in the kitchen and stop leaving skid marks in their underwear, they will replaced by Chinese kids who are so grateful to have three squares a day and a bed to sleep in that they'll gets straight As in school and won't complain then you don't buy them the newest X-Box game since they didn't even have electricity where they grew up.

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