Picking between two great options…


Saint Paul


Good day, how’s it bangin?

My coffee’s cooling —just the way I like it— and I’ve spent too much time this morning on “news” instead of working on my Change State book. Ah well, time to connect with you.

Exciting news IMHO:

Recently my wife and I booked a vacation to Puerto Rico at the end of March! We’re pumped for some time in the sun… and a short break from our lovely kids ; )

What to do during those few days?

I’m glad you asked.

I’ll certainly be taking photos (a favorite hobby) and posting them to my Instagram. (If you’re interested, you’re invited to follow along https://instagram.com/robodioxide/ )

We’re looking into booking some day trips to a Rainforest and maybe some Snorkeling.

What to do when all of the trips look equally as interesting, equally as highly rated as one another?

When people are presented with two very similar options, they tend to hesitate… and keep hesitating… until they walk away and purchase neither.

How can you interest buyers to move past this hesitation?

You have a few options:

  • If the two items are similar in price (even if they’re completely different in utility, i.e. they’re different items like a bike and a pair of shoes), you can introduce a third, lower-rated (or lower-priced) option (maybe a sweatshirt). That decoy gives the first two a higher draw, because at least someone isn’t buying that trash.
  • If the two items are similar in utility (i.e., they’re all kitchen knives), but not so similar in price, you can introduce a much-higher-priced decoy item, one that makes the middle-priced option more appealing.
  • If you’re selling band merchandise, consider what promotion it takes to upsell: a vinyl LP might cost $25, an LP and TShirt might cost $45, but an LP, TShirt, some stickers, and a keychain might pull people in for $55, when those additional items don’t cost much at all.
  • If all of the items are identical in utility, you can set up different price points which would often draw people to the lowest priced option.

I read this recently: if you’re selling something on Craigslist, consider making a few different posts selling the same item, using different photos and price points. Interested people will find the lowest item to be a bargain.

Buyer psychology: veeery intereeesting.

When it came to booking our Rainforest tour (Puerto Rico has the only tropical rainforest in the United States, did you know?), the utility of the offers was roughly the same: 7 hours in the rainforest to see private-land waterfalls and do some swimming. Many such options had 4.5 stars and glowing testimonials.

But of course, we didn’t want the 4 star option — even if the bad reviews were unrelated to our upcoming experience.

We booked an excursion. It’s slightly cheaper than another, it has 4.5 star rating… and we’re never going to wonder what we may have missed for that extra cash.