This week, as we watched the space shuttle Endeavour being carted across the country to its new home at the California Science Center, many wondered about the history of the shuttle, some wondered about the future of NASA and the space program and some just wondered in awe at the achievements of man. I was also filled with wonder but of a different sort. I wondered why…if a 747 can carry the space shuttle all the way across our country, dipping low over the Golden Gate Bridge and the Hollywood sign, why as I paying extra for my baggage? If I’m already subjected to a full-body cavity search by people I wouldn’t trust to change the oil in my car and I have to remove my shoes and belt like I’m a condemned man in a Texas prison, why are you charging me because I have a suitcase. It’s bad enough that you think 8 peanuts and a diet coke is a meal. Actually, I was on one of the last flights that did offer a meal but I had to eat it with this plastic something called a “spork” which they apparently invented by taking the worst characteristics of a spoon and fork and combining them to make one completely useless utensil. I couldn’t even stab the guy next to me and it broke under the weight of a spoonful of pudding.
I guess we all just want a little more truth in advertising and while the airlines are an easy target, all industries should share the blame. So if you’re upset because your carry-on now looks like a blowfish on steroids to avoid the charge or your bank is charging you for the customer service call you made while you spent all the time on hold without receiving customer service, it’s important we get to the root of the problem. I’ve discovered after minutes of painful research that most of these upcharges and fees are a direct result of some guy in 1920 that decided to make gas 18.9 cents per gallon instead of 19 cents. That may have been important then as a penny meant something so if you bought 10 gallons of gas you saved a penny and could feed your family that night. Now that it costs us $60-$100 to fill our tank, and a penny won’t buy a breath of air, the penny saved feels somewhat inconsequential. In fact I would go so far as to say the penny has become the Pluto of our monetary system. And there are no fractions of a penny so what’s with this practice of rounding up? Let’s say I go buy a gallon of gas priced at $4.04.9 and I give you $4.05. If you can’t give me change, you should lose a finger or I should at least get a free Slurpee. Here’s my solution…if I can’t pay you in fractions, you can’t charge me fractions. And let’s get real for a moment…if gas stations were forced to round down, the decimal would be gone before you got the nozzle in. When I go to buy a shirt or car or house and the price is $99, when I go to pay they don’t tell me they’re rounding up to $100. They got me in because psychologically I would rather see $99 instead of $100 and they’re willing to sacrifice a dollar to do that. I get that and I actually support that because there are actually people out there that think, “Thank God it was only $99 because it’s not worth $100” and some businesses rely on those people. But when I see $4.04.9 I know it’s really $4.05 and psychologically…you’re just making me mad.
It’s not really that different in business. Promotional product suppliers have ancillary charges and the best you can do is be clear about yours to avoid any surprises. IMC will always tell you what your bottom line is and we take every order personally. IMC treats every order with a practiced professionalism so the things that happen will be what you expect from a trusted supplier. We’ll explain our pricing and any price breaks, setup charges etc. so you know how to explain it to your client. We continue to expand our menu selections and brands to better supply you with what you and your clients need. And IMC continues our industry-leading practice of bringing new retail brands to the promotional products industry. Since introducing Waterford® Writing Instruments and MoMA years ago, IMC has presented some 30 retail brands from global suppliers to enhance the selections you can offer your clients. These include world renowned designers like Blunt and the unique offerings from Blackpen and Troika. We invite you to view any of our 2,400+ products to see items suitable for any occasion or event and pieces you can to personalize your relationship with your clients. We have promotional products for conventions, events, corporate stores and company programs that will keep your client looking to you for new ideas. And we’re always happy to offer ideas and provide case histories. So whatever your cause, event or launch, IMC has ideas and advice that will promote and support your client’s event. With 6 IMC collections and 30 retail brands, we have unique and quality products for all occasions and events. What do you think? Let us know with a comment here or on Facebook or Twitter. IMC wants to hear what fees fuel your fire.