A goodly part of audio salesmanship is based on the insecurity of the customer. Most customers are going into the high-priced audio salon to seek advice from someone who, it is assumed, knows more than the customer and is experienced in hearing what's good and what's not so good...and who will guide the customer and recommend what will work best in that customer's environment and system.
So the salesperson plugs in a length of $1600 Placebo Ultra-Z4260 interconnect into a system, all the while extolling the benefits of the Placebo's Neutral-Frammus Geometric Phase Balancing and Continuous Wave Vacuum Propagative Grauncnik-Configuration. Then he plays the music and proclaims, "Now, doesn't that absolutely BLOW AWAY the Honest Bob's $400 cable we had in there before?
The customer can't hear a whit of difference but figures: "the salesperson knows what he is talking about"; and "why would anyone doubt the value of Neutral-Frammus Geometric Phase Balancing and Continuous Wave Vacuum Propagative Grauncnik-Configuration"; and "I can't hear a thing but he's been at this longer than I have so it must be true."
Never mind that the store makes $1200 profit on the Placebo cable, with the manufacturer kicking back $200 as a spiff to the salesperson. So our customer goes home with an interconnect that cost the dealer $400. The manufacturer gave back $200 of that to the salesperson, so it receives $200 for the cable. But the Placebo isn't made by the "manufacturer" at all. He sources it from the Low Buck Joint Venture Cable Company And Brick Factory outside of Guanghou, China which charges $25 for each interconnect.
Now, how about the Honest Bob's $400 cable? The store makes a "normal" profit of $200...100% markup is normal for accessories...on it. The "manufacturer", being "Honest Bob," relies on the cable's real performance to sell itself and doesn't believe in spiffs. So Honest Bob gets exactly the same $200 for his $400 cable as Placebo does for its $1600 cable! And guess where Honest Bob's cable comes from? Why, the Low Buck Joint Venture Cable Company And Brick Factory outside of Guanghou, China, of course. It's got a different color jacket but inside, the same wire is coming off the same big spools of wire from the New Capitalist Former Communal Wire Plant and Toilet Manufactory! If Honest Bob sells about the same amount of cable as Placebo, he's going to pay about the same to Low Buck as Placebo does.
So now our customer goes home. He plugs in his $1600 Placebo cable. He's not sure it REALLY sounds better or not, but is unwilling to admit to himself that he can't hear the difference. After all, the salesman could. But he leaves the Placebo in there anyway and listens to some music. Hey, it doesn't sound bad, so it must be OK.
Months pass. Our customer has never actually been BLOWN AWAY by the superiority of the Placebo Ultra-Z4260 interconnect, but is pleased that he's now paid off his credit card charge for it. After all, he really needed that money for such frivolities as homogenized milk and shoes for his kids, but the Placebo cable must have been worth it. Right? Hmmmm...
The phone rings. It's the salesman from the high-priced audio salon. He's calling because as a satisfied customer and user of the Placebo Ultra-Z4260 interconnect, our hero might be interested in Placebo's new interconnect, the Ultra-Z4261. For only $2600, it absolutely BLOWS AWAY the old Ultra-Z4260. "If you ever had any doubts about how superior good wire can be, this will prove it to you once and for all." Hey, the customer thinks, maybe THIS is what's needed to really hear the difference! And so an appointment is made and the customer goes back into the high-priced audio salon, once again to listen to cables that don't sound any different, except to the wallet.
Poor kids. The homogenized milk has gone sour. And no shoes, this month.