Amazing receipt tip that will help you spend more money than you had planned (thus stimulating the economy). You won’t believe what happens next!


Up-selling is a great way for a business to generate additional sales by tacking on a vaguely relevant follow-up item to an existing sale.

Well-known examples:

  • Car industry: Adding on a fancy stereo system to a new car purchase.
  • Fast food: “Do you want fries with that?”
  • Consumer electronics: Buying an extended warranty (for example, AppleCare)

The issue:

Despite the ubiquity of up-selling in a few product categories, it’s relatively uncommon in most businesses.

Perhaps it is difficult for most businesses to think of a way to up-sell without seeming crass, or maybe it is just hard to think of relevant items that would go with a specific purchase.

Here is a proposal to make up-selling incredibly easy and not even require an additional transaction.


When you get a receipt for your purchase, there will be a mini-catalogue of other related products and a set of checkboxes. If you check the boxes, those items are added to your order and included in the original transaction.

Fig 1: Original receipt. So boring and unprofitable!

Fig 2: Receipt with checkboxes for add-on purchases. Here, the cafe patron purchased a jaunty scarf and a box of assorted chocolates in addition. Note that this receipt takes exactly as long for the business to process as the standard one (it takes the buyer a tiny bit longer, since they have to go up to the counter to pick up their new purchases).


  • At a fast food restaurant, you could buy a pack of gum via checkbox after your meal.
  • At a barber shop, you could buy a recommended shampoo / hair gel / conditioner via checkbox after your haircut.

PROS: Could increase sales and profit margins for struggling businesses. As an aside, this is one of the few ideas on this blog that is not incredibly horrible in an obvious fashion. Apologies.

CONS: Would cost a tiny amount more to print the slightly longer receipts.