Beware…The Incredible Deal

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The Meaning of Incredible

For the purpose of this post, we will assume all deals discussed are within the limousine industry. However, incredible deals are everywhere; restaurants, real estate, products for your home or auto, and even fireworks. But what IS “incredible”? Incredible is simply an adjective that means unbelievable, implausible, dubious, or doubtful. To the casual observer, incredible would seem to have a rather negative connotation. But wait…how cound an incredible deal possibly be a bad thing?

The Incredible Limousine Deal

As stated earlier, we will stay within the limousine industry for this post, and there are plenty of incredible deals being offered by limo services in Chicago, our main service area.  These deals can range from “astounding” throw-ins to “amazing” discounts for services.  As a matter of fact, there is a Chicago limo company that advertises on television and billboards that they will take travelers from O’Hare Airport to Downtown Chicago for $35.00, roughly half of what most other companies charge.  Deal hungry shoppers might find this incredible deal too good to resist, but one has to ask…”How can a company spend tens of thousands of dollars on ads each month, and be the cheapest company in town?

The Food Comparison

Take Burger King as an example.  As a big fan of The Whopper, getting two sandwiches for $5.00 is a great deal, but the savings to the customer is probably around 15%.  Still, this promotion brings customers out of the woodwork and likely pulls fast food from McDonalds and Wendy’s. Think of the buzz BK could create if they offered two Whoppers for $3.00.  Masses of people would stop cooking altogether!  But promos like this are short lived.  If BK offered incredibly cheap burgers every day, something would have to give to support the lower price structure.  Cutbacks in personnel, store maintenance, or product quality would likely be needed to offset the lost revenue.  The same is true for limousine services.  There are fixed costs associated with operating a vehicle that can’t be ignored…but they CAN be reduced by cutbacks in personnel, vehicle maintenance, insurance coverage.  Is the risk really worth the reward?

Remember; If It Seems Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is

If an incredible deal seems to good to be true, it probably is.  We have all heard this line before, and many of us have been the unwitting victim of its wisdom.  A $3.00 filet mignon isn’t worth eating, a house for less than $50,000.00 means a lot of work (or a really bad neighborhood), and a limo for less than $40.00 should be your cue to look elsewhere, or check to make sure your life insurance premiums are up-to-date.  No one is in business to lose money.  Offering car service that isn’t profitable will guarantee a company loses money.  Constantly losing money means…no more company.

Marketing…For Fun and Profit

The funny thing about marketing…it makes the impossible seem likely.  Television commercials with fancy cars and well dressed actors can give the impression that “what you see is what you’ll get”.  In reality, the only thing you can count on is what you get is NOT going to be what you saw in the commercial.

There is another way to define incredible; difficult to believe, or extraordinary.  Be careful, because it is difficult to believe the extraordinary claims some companies make.  It’s even more difficult for them to stay in business.

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Dale Schahczinski
Goal driven team leader, with industry experience spanning all aspects of operations and administration.