Preparing for my upcoming Canada trip, I initiated an online chat with a Sprint rep to find out the roaming voice and data rates. Sending an average-length email would, according to the agent, cost somewhere between a few cents and a few hundred dollars. Transcript below the jump.

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Following up on the table of wine price markups at restaurants, here are a few current examples:

  1. If you must have Beringer White Zin, have it at Sperry’s ($30) rather than at Jim Kelly’s ($42, 40% higher)
  2. Jim Kelly’s is also not the place for Pinot Grigio. The 2005 Foley at $91 is 52% higher than at Park Café, and the 2005 Santa Margherita is 66% higher than at Mafiaoza’s.
  3. Why the non-vintage Veueve Clicquot is so popular I don’t know, but if you must, have it at P.M. for $80 rather than Park Café for $140 (75% higher)
  4. To really celebrate, have the 1996 Veuve Clicquot. You could spend $400 at Midtown Cafe, or $250 at the Bound’ry (and have $150 left over for dinner).
  5. J. Alexander’s has a bottle of Conundrum for $40. Saffire has a half bottle for $36.
  6. Mollydooker Maitre d’ is $36 at Watermark, but 81% more at Radius10.

    And the most remarkable difference:
  7. Bonny Doon 2003 Le Cigare Volant is $45 at Watermark. You can have two bottles for less than the price of one ($100 !!) at Sunset Grill.

Over all, for wines that appear on many of Nashville’s lists, J. Alexander’s, Watermark, and Mafiaoza’s tend to have the lowest prices, while Sunset Grill, Jimmy Kelly’s, and Acorn often charge fifty to one hundred percent more.

We all know that a bottle of wine at a restaurant is substantially more expensive than at a retail store. I use the example of a restaurant wine list in my pricing class to motivate varied concepts, from extremeness aversion to product-line pricing to price discrimination. But just how expensive are the wines at Nashville restaurants? The following attempts to answer this question. Sleep-inducing methodological details are provided for the overly-curious at the bottom.

I selected restaurants with online wine menus. From each menu, an average of 20 bottles were randomly selected, representing reds, whites, and sparkling wines at a range of prices. Additionally, some common wines were used as controls (a majority of restaurants have Conundrum and Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, for example). Prices are relative to national median retail prices.

In short, Café Margot is the best deal in town and Acorn has the dubious distinction of being worst, by a comfortable margin. Full list below the jump.

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Yesterday, we saw several examples of an intriguing discount plan at Wal-Mart. Not to be outdone, Target follows suit:

A behaviorist might argue that if you’re getting thirty cents of happiness thinking that you found a sale, then Target is actually making you better off. But behaviorists say lots of things. For example, don’t change the price, but tell them you did, as Mark Hurst discovered, lifting the sale price to uncover…the same price:

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I’m no marketing whiz, but this does not seem to be a sensible discount policy.

Walmart nonsavings

Why buy one when you can have two at trice the price? Read on for more Wal-Mart “discounts.”

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