I have a variety of colorful responses to this remark, but they tend to boil down to one of the following:
- "Okay, then give me ten dollars right now." As you might expect, this does not often result in the production of a ten dollar bill. But if nothing else it can be entertaining to push the point: "Oh, so if it's my money it's only ten dollars, but if it's your money, it's a big deal, huh? Why is that?"
- "Oh, so it won't be difficult to waive this fee, then? Since it's only ten dollars?" Believe it or not, I once got a bank to stand down over an interest rate dispute with this approach (they made a mistake calculating the rate, which would have added "only" an additional $35 to the cost of the loan. No thanks).
And sliding in lower-cost items after an expensive item has got to be about the oldest sales trick known to man: for whatever reason, fifty dollar cufflinks don't seem like much when you're dropping $2500 on a suit. "They're a real steal at only fifty dollars."
Or sometimes when you buy a car, your perspective shifts even further: "It's only a hundred dollars."
But hey -- if you agree that it's only ten dollars, then do me a favor? Give that ten dollars to the next homeless person you see. 'Cause it's not much money to you -- but even given the lousy state of the dollar on the world market these days, ten dollars will still buy most people a pretty nice lunch with enough left over for a bottle of ripple.