At the time, I thought I was getting an incredible deal. It was only after I stared at the number that I realized I had probably paid around $100 too much.
I spent the second week of my vacation to southeast Asia in Thailand. After receiving some great tips from a student I met on a Bangkok street, I was whisked away by my personal tuk tuk (a three-wheeled vehicle commonly found in Asia) driver to a rather impressive tailor shop. As soon as I walked through the shop's doors, I felt special.
The salesman welcomed me and offered me a complimentary beverage. I asked for a Singha beer, and in a quick moment another man brought me an unopened can and cracked it open. As I sipped on my new favorite brand of beer, the salesman showed me assorted fabrics in various patterns for some custom-made shirts.
This guy was smooth. He made me feel like both a valued customer and a friend at the same time. I ultimately ordered seven shirts, two pairs of pants, three scarves (as presents for the women in my life) and two ties. I had never purchased custom clothing, and I felt a little like a movie star getting my measurements taken. It felt great knowing I'd get some clothes that actually fit me perfectly.
Then the bill came. Close to $600. I said that seemed like a lot. That's when the salesman threw in the extra pair of pants. I agreed to the price, gave my credit card and off I went.
Later, I realized I probably paid too much. Ultimately, though, I didn't care. I had a pleasant experience in this shop, and the clothes were quality and fit me well. I walked away with not only a new wardrobe, but also the biggest lesson that I realized during my time in Asia:
1. Businesses that treat customers well and provide positive experiences can charge a premium.
Here are four other business lessons I was reminded of during my trip.