Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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"Pay 10% more" checkout

As well as a "10 items or less" checkout, have a "pay 10% more" too
  (+32, -5)(+32, -5)(+32, -5)
(+32, -5)
  [vote for,

Many supermarkets have those "10 items or less" checkouts, which are supposed to be a lot quicker and reduce waiting times. However, at my local supermarket at least, the lines still get quite long and people get frustrated by the wait.

Therefore, my idea is to have a "pay 10% more" line alongside the "10 items or less" line. This would allow people who are truly annoyed with waiting in lines to leave the supermarket a lot quicker, if they are willing to pay the extra. For extra busy times when queues get very long, the supermarket can simply open a "pay 20% more" checkout as well, to ease the congestion.

The added benefit of this idea is that if you are waiting in line for a "normal price" checkout, there's a higher chance that you'll be waiting with nice calm people who don't get irritated by long queues.

pmillerchip, Oct 02 2002


       I can start a near-riot at the drop of a hat
thumbwax, Oct 02 2002

       austere: I see your point, but the situation I had in mind was when the supermarket already had all the checkouts open. One of them would be the "10% more" one which would naturally be less loaded with people.   

       As for "pay 10% more to get normal service", I've just been to the USA for a holiday, and I can testify that the requirement to tip absolutely everybody ensures that that concept is fully baked already!
pmillerchip, Oct 02 2002

       That's just freaky. The freshers have landed at this here Uni and my lunch break shall never be the same! I was standing somewhere near the back of the students union shop, in a VERY long queue, about and hour ago, when I started thinking along these lines too. "Hey!" I thought to my self, "that would make a good half-baked idea, maybe I'll post it when I get back to the office!" Low and behold [pm], you've got there first, and I'm kind of glad you did, as [austere]'s point pole-axes it a little.   

       I was also thinking that there could be a special queue for people who have the exact money or don't mind not getting any change, and just go straight away without any tedious use of, <paraphrases sugarhill gang> checkbook , credit cards, (waiting for) more money, </paraphrases sugarhill gang>.<rant>Damn women and their bloody 'Boots' points cards. grr. </rant>
Zircon, Oct 02 2002

       <Apu> Express lane is not always fastest, Mrs. Simpson. Look here! All pathetic single men -- always pay in cash, no chit-chat." </Apu>   

       As Apu pointed out, the shopping ninja takes all into consideration. Top tip: old people are slow.
calum, Oct 02 2002

       Albertson's supermarkets used to bring your groceries to your car *and* load them into your trunk for you, tip-free and charge-free. In fact, there was a sign on the door telling people not to tip because it was their normal service.
BinaryCookies, Oct 02 2002

       Most/all the guidebooks we get in the UK say that tipping is optional in most of the US of A, except that in New York New York (home of DrCurry) tipping is expected. Maybe that's where pm went (he said knowingly). If I ever go there, I would want to try some cow-tipping.
PeterSilly, Oct 02 2002

       I enjoy stating "I don't take money" to customers when they try to tip, repay, or grease me. It's a great conversation-ender, and it gives me the opportunity to defuse manipulation.
reensure, Oct 02 2002

       As a resident of NYC, I feel obligated to ask, "where's my 15%?"
watermelancholy, Oct 02 2002

       Or, you could just stick your 10 items in your coat and walk out (pay 100% less checkout). If the cashiers are so busy with the mad rush of shoppers, they won't notice that french bread sticking out of your collar. On second thought, stealing might not be the best solution...
Mr Burns, Oct 02 2002

       I have problems with this one. I can't go for the concept of paying extra to get service I should expect normally.   

       If the lines (queues) are backed up and wait times are long, it's the shop's fault for providing inadequate customer service. I'll shop somewhere else before I'll give them 10% more to serve me as they should. I'm giving them my business.
waugsqueke, Oct 02 2002

       I think [austere] and [waugs] have very good points, but my original idea was related to my local place, where often they have every single checkout open, and still have long queues of people. I really don't see how that's the fault of the poor manager - what's he meant to do, grab some heavy machinery and build a whole new part onto the side of the supermarket?   

       Yes, I don't disagree that there are some places where the staff are just lazy, and you don't get the service you expect. However, the idea is for places where the staff are really trying their hardest to give you the service you expect, but because they're good at it, their supermarket is too popular!   

       And yes, such places *do* exist...
pmillerchip, Oct 03 2002

       ...or having more conveyer belts than there are checkouts. The extra conveyer belts would route your groceries out of the supermarket door and into the car park. Cunning, flexible conveyer belts would mean that the end of the conveyer belt could be pulled over to your car where a cashier would stand, adding up the items as they drop off into your car.
hippo, Oct 03 2002

       OK, if pmillerchip's store is busy *all the time* (and it already opens 8-10 or more), surely it's time for price differentiation by time of day, not queue length.   

       8am to 1pm + 0%   

       1pm to 2pm + 10%   

       2pm to 5pm + 0%   

       5pm to 8pm + 5%   

       8pm to 10pm + 0%   

       If the store opens 10pm to 8am or part of, -5%   

       On Fridays add 5% all day   

       On Tuesdays (quiet day) subtract 5% all day   

       Oh, and Christmas Eve +20% with the proceeds to a children's charity   

       Baked already for telcos, parking, and couriers.
SteveAdams, Oct 03 2002

       So, I'm Mr. Grocer and my numbers don't look so good this month. No Problem! Just cut down on cashiers! It's a double hit because I spend less on salaries and there ends up being more people willing to pay 10% more.   

       With all of the marginally interesting ideas that get beat to death here I'm shocked that this one is getting positive votes.
bspollard, Dec 11 2002

       In a lot of the stores here we have self checkout in addition to regular checkout, while this is putting people out of work, it certainly is a lot faster.
sin, Dec 11 2002

       The Pay 10% more lane would be great for snobs. They will load their cart to the brim and take that lane. "Look at me, I can pay 10% extra for this whole cart! While you losers waste your time in long lines" Soon this line will be crowded with snobs who want to meet each other in that line so they can look down on the other lanes *together*. Maybe set up a lounge with comfy Chesterfields to make the waiting together with the other snobs more comfortable... That would be the 'Pay 50% extra' lane I think... The more expensive lanes should also be higher so you can really look *down* on the 'cheaper' lanes. Why would you want to live up the hill in LA or Mexico City if there are no people living in the valley to look down upon? Same concept.
rrr, Dec 12 2002

       bpspollard: It's all about consumer choice. As long as there are other places to shop there's nothing stopping people voting with their feet.   

       I'd prefer to have both discount and a premium sections allowing people to choose the scrum, the luxury experience or just a normal shop. Choose your time carefully and you could get to use the discount section without queueing heavily.
st3f, Dec 12 2002

       [rrr] - if you were that snobby, why wouldn't you send your servant to the supermarket instead or get the supermarket to deliver?
PeterSilly, Dec 12 2002

       Simple; servant requires bus money. Supermarket delivers for free.   

       If you sent the servant, he/she'd call the supermarket to deliver, goof off for an hour and pocket the bus money.   

       Life is tough, but it gets easier if you plan carefully.
FloridaManatee, Jan 20 2003

       Ack! That's "10 items or FEWER." Bad English---I suspect it's brought on by dance music.
Ander, May 08 2003

       10% a bit too high. 5%? or how about a range of premiums?
LoneRifle, May 08 2003

       Will it reach the point where priority in the queue is decided by auction?
friendlyfire, May 08 2003

       What happens when some idiot unloads a cartful of groceries in the +10% line, only to realize his mistake when he's about to swipe his debit card? He didn't notice the sign which *clearly* said this line pays an extra 10%, but nevertheless, he doesn't want to pay more. Now he's pitching a fit, holding up the line. The manager comes out to see what the problem is. The manager either has to move this bozo to another line, and re-check him out, or just relent and let the guy pay normal price. The path of least resistance is to just let him pay normal price, which ticks off the growing line of 10 percent-ers behind him.   

       Think of all the jerks who pile into the 10 items or less line with about 30 items. If one guy gets away with it...
dijontoothpaste, May 08 2003

       It's a good idea, but I don't think it would work out in the real world. People in the regular price lines would feel the store was trying to gouge them into paying higher prices by making them wait in line. Instead of opening another 'regular line', the store would open another '10%+ line' and many of their customers would be outraged. I think until every single 'regular price' cash register was being staffed by an employee, people wouldn't want those employees going to the 'extra profit' lines.
ModernE, Jul 29 2003

       In order for the 10% line to work you would have to have it in a different section of the store and perhaps have a membership club for all of the ten-percenters. When you are a fully fledged member of the 10% club you have no excuse for misunderstanding.
Jscotty, Mar 01 2006

       [thumbwax] (first anno) what type of hat do you have? Can you send me one? Please?   

       This is a good idea. Have a (10% extra) bun.
dbmag9, Mar 01 2006

       only workable, ethically, if its the last open-able lane
Voice, Sep 07 2006

       Great, the rich get richer [+]
nomadic_wonderer, Aug 29 2010

       People form the notion that whatever they're accustomed to is theirs by right, and that changing it is immoral. There was a fellow named Johan de Witt, in 17th century Holland, who figured out how to calculate the value of an annuity, based on actuarial tables. He realized that the Dutch government was paying 7%, but it could pay 6% and the annuities would *still* be a good deal for the customer.   

       The customers didn't see it that way. They were accustomed to 7%, and viewed it as what [pmillerchip] calls //normal service//. De Witt was actually killed by an enraged crowd.   

       (Admittedly there's another way to look at the incident, according to which the annuities were really a form of welfare masquerading as an investment.)
mouseposture, Aug 29 2010

       //People form the notion that whatever they're accustomed to is theirs by right//

Well, by law, it is (in this particular instance). You are legally required to display a purchase price on the goods, so attempting to levy an extra 10% on top of the price if the customer wants to take those goods out of the shop is probably illegal.
DrBob, Aug 31 2010

       Bone. It's called retail. Service is supposed to come with retail.
nomocrow, Aug 31 2010

       I like the idea. But there are issues with legality of pricing. Why not reverse the idea and have a "10% off" checkout lane. Have it clearly labeled "Slow Lane".   

       Reminds me of signs I see in some businesses eg. barbers and mechanics: "Fast, Cheap, Quality. Pick two."
Bootbuckles, Aug 31 2010

       Here it is, 8 years after the orignal posting and pmillerchip seems to have anticipated much of what's happened in the airline industry. First there was Southwest Airlines - a Greyhound bus with wings. Then the European discount airlines (Easyjet, German Wings, etc) out-Southwested Southwest by charging for luggage, soda, using truly obscure airports, etc. Then, post-9/11, major USA airlines started viewing everything but ticket prices as a source of revenue - fuel surcharges, checked bags, carry-on bags, legroom, security line waits, etc. "Unbundling" they call it so. So now, Southwest is actually looked like a premium carrier - no luggage fees, no add-on fees, changes allowed - for what is really the same service they always offered.
DavidinKenai, Sep 04 2010

       (It's cool when these old ideas bubble to the surface. )   

       Only problem is, eventually you'll have: "for your added convenience, all our checkouts are now 10% more!"   

       Still, [+].
AntiQuark, Sep 06 2010

       Genius, although 10% may be too much. I'd also like to see a "pay less" checkout for those that don't mind waiting
simonj, Sep 07 2010

       I like this a lot, and would use it sometimes (though 5% would more reasonable, and would probably have the desired effect).   

       One caveat: it would be in the shop's interest to slow down the "regular" checkouts.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 08 2010

       // "for your added convenience, all our checkouts are now 10% more!" //   

       Then you just get it delivered and bypass the insanity alltogether
xxobot, Sep 09 2010


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