Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tupperware's "Big sell" is now just a festering insult

I grew up in (Northern) suburban Adelaide in the 1970s.

Tupperware was a great product - one the first of its kind. A hermetic seal that they said "keeps food fresh" although a plastic bag does the same. But it promised a sense of order and tidiness - much the same as Ikea these days.

But Tupperware was freakishly expensive. A cupboard full of it could easily cost you $1000. As an innovative product in the late 60s early 70s they could justify it, and sold it with a party plan system ensuring some serious personal selling. 

When Decor started doing the same thing in the late 1970s the major price premium became harder to justify. So Tupperware really started thumping the whole "lifetime guarantee" idea.

I found that a dodgy sell, but at least I could kid myself into believing it added value. But of course, there were strings attached (for instance the microwave line was excluded) and getting your guarantee acted upon meant you had to be in touch with a Tupperware person. That meant entering the whole "high sell" environment again.

So I gave up on the Tupperware gig - no longer a buyer. I can buy the equivalent of $150 of Tupperware for $5 at Ikea and give how much gets left at school or work I can simply buy a new set each month and all the parts fit the last lot I had - mix and match.

But now, as I use the Tupperware with its broken bits, those broken bits taunt me. The lifetime guarantee still sits there if I wanted to engage with the system. But I don't - so I just remember "how fucking expensive" Tupperware is, mentally cut my losses, and slide further on the slope to being a stingy old man.

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