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The influence of FREE

edited November 2010
The power of Free tattoos:
When we asked the people in line for the free tattoos if they would get the tattoo if it were not free, 68% said they would not. They were only getting it because it was free.
So people were at a club and in the moment decided to get a tattoo because it was being offered for free. That is crazy! We should talk about this.


  • What are you suggesting
  • I think that maybe a lot of people want tattoos in the world but don't get them because they are super pricey?

    (tl;dr They got to decide whatever tattoo they wanted, right?)
  • but definitely/obviously people will take shit they don't really want or never considered before if it is free. I myself have taken free mountain dew or whatever, offered on campus by some dumb promotional truck blasting music, even though I don't like mountain dew and maybe even had no intention of drinking it.

    Ditto promotional items of all kinds. Kleenex packages...candy? I hate candy! But if there's a free bowl of candy I'll stick some in my pocket.

    It is a weird impulse that I'm sure Malcolm Gladwell has written about or will one day write about.

    Still, tattoo does seem extreme.
  • I buy records I don't really want because they're in the dollar bin.

    Sometimes this works out really well; othertimes i get 10 records that don't bring me nearly as much joy as one album that I could buy for $10.
  • There is no free. You just aren't recognizing the hidden costs!!
  • edited November 2010
    The latest trend sweeping Dubai... : solid gold temporary tattoos for special occasions like weddings. They last for about a week and only cost $50.
  • I definitely will take any free food samples whether it is something I like or not. I think the Market at Anacortes is doing weird social experiments with their free samples. Like they had a big bowl of tzatziki with tortilla chips and I totally tried it even though it looked pretty gross. But tattoos are so much more extreme and permanent.
  • lady gaga solid gold face tattoo
  • I think we should be suspicious both of those giving away free things as well as those who take free things. Pay what it cost.
  • Don't understand that attitude, KmikeyM.

    Explain to me how it is suspicious that my company made notebooks and gives them out for free?

    Of course, not all free stuff is cool. Sometimes free stuff is not worth it, but sometimes it's actually really great and an indicator of people that you want to be involved with.

    Being that broad about it is incorrect and offensive.

  • With that being said, free tattoos seems weird.

    People want tattoos but they don't want to pay for them? It seems worth it to pay for something that will be on your body FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
  • I guess such people are just like fun-loving devil-may-care layabouts who are like "fuck it, sure." Which is a really difficult attitude w/r/t tattoos for me to grasp. But like, people also do heroin. WHY????? And probably many people's first try with heroin involved it being free. Hey kid you want some DRUGS? "sure why not"


    I agree with Steve (I also want more SSR notebooks)


    best lesson I ever learned, has never failed me.
    source: high school economics.
  • Drug Dealers don't offer drugs for free to strangers. You always do drugs with friends for the first time. Where the fuck did that myth come from?

    I'm not saying that all free things are evil. I'm just saying that there is a reason that someone is giving you something for free, and unless you know what that is, it is a hidden reason. A hidden reason is SUSPICIOUS. Why wouldn't a person just tell you? Why all the mystery? It's the very nature of "free" that makes it suspicious.
  • sometimes giving stuff away for free is fun!
  • I think that drug myth came to me from the "Sweet Valley High" books.

    Another wrinkle to this discussion is how sometimes you will AVOID something that is free, simply because it is free. I think I read a NYer about this at one point. They like offered people a free brownie and then a brownie for a dollar and more people took the dollar one.

    Or like in the airport there are always little kiosks of people yelling "HEY do you want a free airplane ticket? Do you want a free airplane ticket for 2 minutes of your time?" And everyone--EVERYONE--veers wildly away from them.

    I guess "2 minutes of your time" isn't the same thing as "Free," but still

  • i have 5 records up on my bandcamp (

    they are all available for download at any price, including free

    about 80 to 83% of people download the stuff on there for free

    the other 17% give me money, with an average purchase donation of about $4.35

    i did an experiment wherein i put an album up on there and did not give the option to download for free, and it really hurt the sales, so i quickly switched it, and now it is performing on par with the rest of the records on there

    but then again, all people, including myself, prefer their mp3s to be free.

    then again, some people like to pay, especially when they know 85% of the money is going directly to the person who made the thing.

    it is because of them that i can eat pizzas

    thanks those guys


  • incidentally, more people have bought the album "boring guitar music" than any other of the recordings up on there

    and its just boring guitar music with a boring new age cover

    this part depresses me, ever so slightly
  • Alan Frogtor

    Frogtor Comes Alive
  • I would do free drugs.
  • I would take something for free, but I'd rather pay for it.

    Free things create a social imbalance. Free means you "owe" the giver of the free, and in commercial enterprises that is often exploited at some point. When I see "free" I often assume someone is trying to take advantage of me. When I see something wildly overpriced I *know* someone is trying to take advantage of me, and knowing is half the battle!
  • It all depends on the context and culture! I've had some really interesting learning experiences within the Buddhist world re: giving things away for free. Very different ideas about gifts in other cultures/philosophies.
  • My roommate just found a FREE pair of Dansko shoes in a free box in SE. They were LIKE NEW!

    I love a free box. I also love a free coffee.
  • I got a free coffee this morning (but I tipped $1).
  • i think a very important element that is being overlooked here is that FREE not only means that you get something for free, but it comes with a free pass as well. for example:

    "wow, i never thought you were the type of person who'd get a tattoo"

    "yeah, i don't really like it, but i got it for free"
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