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October 19, 2021

Study proves, once and for all, women can use flirting to get deals

There is so much in this world we know but cannot prove.

For instance, science helps us plenty, but where is it when we need backing to say it’s a 1-1 tie heading into Monday’s third presidential debate, or that Brian Austin Green – come on, dude – is way too old to be the dad of Megan Fox’s first kid?

In any case, sometimes research comes through and supports what many of us think but don’t say.

So now, whether PC or not, we’ve got you: women, you do  get deals on things by flirting with men.

A recent study by University of California, Berkley professor Laura Kray is making its rounds on the Internet, and should, frankly, be stirring things up more than it is.

Kray researched flirting, and more specifically how women can use it for their fiscal advantage.

*Bing: Why do men earn more than women?

The study’s end result is a daunting paper, but one extractable experiment draws a fine microcosm about its findings.

In one scenario designed by Kray, survey participants were asked to imagine they were selling a car worth $1,200. Twelve hundred bucks. Keep that number in mind.

Next, a woman named Sue, in on the ruse, played the buyer of the car. The first time, Sue was flirtatious: upon meeting the participants, she smiled warmly and said, “What a pleasure to meet you.” She looked the seller up and down and leaned forward when speaking, briefly touching the seller’s arm. “You’re even more charming in person than over email,” she says before playfully asking, with a wink, “What’s your best price?”

The next time, Sue turns neutral. Upon meeting the sellers of the fake car, she says, simply, “It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Later, she says, “I’m looking forward to talking over the financials with you and hopefully working out a deal today. Let’s get down to business.” At the end, somewhat seriously, she says, “What’s your best price?”

Subtle differences in Sue’s approach, but drastic differences in outcome.

In the first scenario, male participants were willing to sell Sue the car for $1,077, on average. Without flirting, Sue was forced to pay $1,279, on average – about $200 more.

A contrived experiment, you say, and you might be right: pit any man against a hot girl, and he’ll invariably turn to mush.

But remember. Sue, in this case, was portrayed by the same woman, so her looks never play into it. Behind the $2,000 savings in car price, then, is proof that flirting has its value, tangible and real.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...