Monday, August 12, 2013

(empo-tuulwey) Why Useless PLASTICBOX 1.2 wasn't buy

Well, this tweet from @plasticjesusart is getting a lot of attention.

The Daily Mail explains what happened:

Best Buy stores have been targeted by a prankster who has placed worthless plastic boxes on the shelves complete with authentic labels.

The black boxes have product tags in the style of the American discount electrical giant that read 'Useless PLASTICBOX 1.2' for $99.99.

The labels read: 'Another gadget you don't really need.

'Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of use.'

The prank is attributed to the person who originally shared the picture, Plastic Jesus. P.J. was quoted in Melrose and Fairfax:

We are sold these gadgets in a way that makes us think that THIS new gadget is THE one. The piece of kit that will transform our lives. How often do we pay out hundreds or thousands of dollars and in-fact the product will not do much of what it is claimed. The frustration these things actually create in out lives is far greater than any possible benefits. It's only once you've purchased the item and you try to set it up and use it, often faced with long phone calls to overseas call centres, speaking to 'help desk' staff who read from scripts and leave us more frustrated.

We all need to make a strong statement to gadget manufacturers and demand products that work and customer support that actually support the customer and not the profit of the companies...

The Melrose and Fairfax writer wondered if any of these sold.

I'd be willing to bet that they didn't - not because everyone immediately realized that it was a prank, but because the Useless PLASTICBOX 1.2 wasn't attractive enough.

Oh, Plastic Jesus tried. These types of devices can only come in two colors - pure black, or pure white. While perhaps a little more drool would come from a tech-weenie's mouth with a white device, black is perfectly acceptable.

But the big problem is the $99.99 price.

It's way too low.

Ideally, to be lusted after, such a device would need a price closer to $1,000 than $100. Perhaps $899 would be good, with a $999 price for the future white PLASTICBOX 1.3.

Certainly for a true luxury good, the price would have to be much higher - in the tens of thousands of dollars, or maybe even in the hundreds of thousands. But you have to remember that the product was placed in Best Buy, and apparently was placed in the GPS aisle at Best Buy. Maybe Plastic Jesus could have commanded a higher price - $5,000 or above - if the product had been placed in the high-end audio equipment section.

But $100 is just too low for the trendies to take notice.

Thanks for Jack C. Crawford for the original share of the Daily Mail article.
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