On a warm day, doesn’t an ice cream cone just hit the spot sometimes? A nice cold, flavorful treat can do wonders to break the heat.
Well, we had experience with something close to ice cream – gelato – which did a great job in cooling us down from the heat on a warm day a few years back. Nothing remarkable about that, right? Well, that’s certainly true, but the fact that we did not spend even a penny for multiple flavors of gelato made it even sweeter! This 15th edition of Squirreling Gone Wild explores how we got the gelato for free, and the merits of this approach.
First off, I have to say that gelato can be pretty darned tasty. I had never had any of it until I was fortunate enough to visit Italy some years back. After getting a taste of it in one Italian gelateria, I was hooked. It got to the point where I was having a scoop twice a day. One day, I had a double scoop in both the afternoon and evening.
Anyway, I don’t get gelato like this on a daily basis, here at home:) Mostly fond memories from a trip abroad. That said, a few years back – while vacationing within the U.S. – we came across a place that had gelato for sale. It was one of those types of days when you want a cold drink or an ice cream cone to break up the day, so this place was a welcome find.
The place was more like a free standing kiosk, shaped like a rectangle. Picture gelato being sold on each side of the rectangle, in the cold refrigerated displays, with a mini “wall” dividing the two sides of the kiosk. This divisor contained supplies, such as cones, cups, and other items. Essentially, if you were a customer or employee on one side, you couldn’t see what was going on over on the other side.
As we approached the mini-gelateria, we went off to the left side of it, and peered into the display. Lots of good flavors were there, and we couldn’t decide what to get. So, we asked for a sample “taste” of a flavor. Then another. Then, yet another.
At that point, you almost feel obligated to get something. At least I would. One sample is ok, but three means you’re serious:)
So, what did we do? We decided to go to the other side, just to see if there were any new flavors. There weren’t, as it was basically the same selection as on the other side. There was a different person working on the other side, however.
While on the other side, we decided to try out one more flavor that we saw initially, but didn’t try. That’s four total samples at this point. You just have to get something now, don’t you think?
Then, we looked up at the price: $6 for a scoop.
Yes, it was $6 for one scoop. $12 for two. Just for this glorified ice cream. Sure, the samples were good, but $12 for two scoops? Are you kidding?
At that point, I thought “Hmmm….you know, I have had enough of the gelato already. Why pay so much when the taste buds were satisfied by the samples, and I’m cooled down now. Besides, the guy here on this side only gave us one sample, so we won’t get that look that we would after walking from four samples….let’s just walk away?”
That’s what we did: we walked away. The net result: $12 in tasty (albeit overpriced treats), for ZERO! Not bad.
Now, I have to say that it wasn’t my intention up front to get free gelato and then to walk away without buying. The intentions were good, and totally legitimate. It’s just that the price was so shocking, that we walked away. That’s how I can rationalize it – I never would have paid that kind of money for the dessert if I had known the price.
While I didn’t do this intentionally, many folks do this with no problem. Anyone who has been in a Costco has seen people swarm to the free samples that are given away. They go from station to station, and eventually try to come back for more if they like what they sampled. There are plenty of other places where samples are offered – and some people take them without intending to even consider a purchase.
What do you think? Do you ever go for multiple samples with the idea that you can get a mini-meal for free? If yes, where do you draw the line?