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QOTD: A company that makes electric razors

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QOTD: A company that makes electric razors [#permalink]

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 12: Critical Reasoning


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Which of the following best completes the passage?

A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model that offered various features that ensured a degree of precision not possible with older models. After a year on the market, the new model proved to sell poorly compared to its older counterparts, leading the company to conclude that precision was not an important concern for consumers. However, this view was seriously challenged by a later finding that __________.

(A) Around the time the new razor was unveiled, a consumer guide reported that many shoddy haircuts and shaves were the result of faulty precision features in razors.

(B) Razor users typically find that they get the best results from older razors because they are most familiar with their features.

(C) The company does a significant part of its business with hair salons and barber shops, which are frequented by people who do not own electric razors themselves.

(D) Despite the addition of new precision features on the new razor model, the razor did not significantly increase in price.

(E) Other razor-making companies introduced new models with similar precision features, and these went on to sell relatively well.

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Re: QOTD: A company that makes electric razors [#permalink]

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This question is really asking us to identify the finding that would most seriously weaken (or "challenge") the conclusion of the company, which was that "precision was not an important concern for consumers."

How did the company reach that conclusion? We can infer that the company had already been selling multiple older razor models when it introduced a newer model, offering various features that ensured a degree of precision not possible with older models. This newer model did not sell as well as the older models after a year on the market. The company concluded that precision must not be an important concern for consumers, since those consumers were seemingly not attracted by the improved precision of the newer model.

So, did the newer model fail to sell as well as the older models because consumers are not very concerned with precision? Or could one of the findings in the answer choices have contributed to the poor sales numbers?

Quote:
a) Around the time the new razor was unveiled, a consumer guide reported that many shoddy haircuts and shaves were the result of faulty precision features in razors.

This finding tells us that faulty precision features can cause shoddy ("poor quality") haircuts and shaves, but it does not tell us whether precision is an important CONCERN for consumers (or what percentage of consumers actually saw this report). If consumers did read the report but do not care about precision, then the report would not motivate the consumers to buy the new model. In that case, the finding would actually support the company's conclusion, not challenge it.

If we somehow knew that a large proportion of consumers read the report, are concerned about precision, but still did not buy the new model for some other reason(s), then the finding would challenge the company's conclusion. But without further information, we cannot determine whether this finding supports the conclusion or challenges it, so (A) can be eliminated.

Quote:
b)Razor users typically find that they get the best results from older razors because they are most familiar with their features.

The finding in choice (B) provides another reason that explains why sales of the new model were relatively low. If consumers are concerned about precision but feel that they will get better overall results from an older razor, then the consumers will not be inclined to buy the new model, despite being attracted to the enhanced precision that it offers. This alternative explanation does not require that consumers are indifferent to precision, so choice (B) does challenge the conclusion of the company. We'll keep this one.

Quote:
c)The company does a significant part of its business with hair salons and barber shops, which are frequented by people who do not own electric razors themselves.

This finding neither weakens nor strengthens the company's conclusion because it does not tell us whether the relatively low sales of the new model can be contributed to consumers' lack of concern for precision or to other factors. For example, given this finding, it is possible that, say, 40% (a "significant" part) of sales comes from hair salons and barber shops while 60% comes from individual consumers. If those consumers (the 60%) are not very concerned with precision, they might not have been enticed to buy the new model and sales would have been relatively low, supporting the company's conclusion. Or perhaps those consumers DO care about precision but chose not to buy the new model for other reasons. The finding in choice (C) may or may not challenge the company's conclusion and can be eliminated.

Quote:
d)Despite the addition of new precision features on the new razor model, the razor did not significantly increase in price.

if the razor DID significantly increase in price, then this finding would challenge the conclusion of the company because it would provide another reason why consumers may not have been inclined to buy the razor, despite being attracted to its enhanced precision. However, since the price did NOT increase, concern for precision may or may not have been a factor. Perhaps, as suggested by the company, consumers were not impressed with the enhanced precision and chose to stay with their current models. Or perhaps consumers WERE impressed by the enhanced precision but chose not to buy the newer model for other reasons (i.e., the new model may have been too complicated and difficult to use). Choice (D) can be eliminated.

Quote:
e)Other razor-making companies introduced new models with similar precision features, and these went on to sell relatively well.

We have no idea why those other models sold well. Perhaps the other companies had better marketing or offered much lower prices. Perhaps consumers were not interested in the precision features of those successful razors but instead were interested in various other features of those razors. We don't know if choice (E) challenges the conclusion of the company in the passage, so it can be eliminated. This leaves us with choice (B).
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Re: QOTD: A company that makes electric razors [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2017, 08:51
My answer is A, Close call between A and E, But by negation A wins for me :o
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Re: QOTD: A company that makes electric razors [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2017, 08:59
For me A
E is Also a good contender but we need to find why the view was challenging that precision was a matter of concern in buying razors.

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Answer Choice "B"

For me "B" provides concrete evidence as to why people bought the old razor instead of the new one. They were familiar with the less precise features than the new features. For A, just because a consumer report said the razor was no good does not mean people stopped buying it.
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Re: QOTD: A company that makes electric razors [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2017, 10:09
For me , the answer is E

A. Shoddy haircuts n shave doesn't explain why precision is not an important factor
B. This talks about customers' familiarity with older razors, not older models.
C. not relevant
D. Opposite argument


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Re: QOTD: A company that makes electric razors [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2017, 13:38
Ans E.
The question is why company could not sell the new precision razors. Is it because consumers don't want precision razors or is it something else? Ans E tells us that consumers do need precision razors and new razors were not sold because of some other reason.
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Re: QOTD: A company that makes electric razors [#permalink]

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New post 17 May 2017, 05:24
Need to prove that 'precision is important'.

a) Around the time the new razor was unveiled, a consumer guide reported that many shoddy haircuts and shaves were the result of faulty precision features in razors.

The coverage and acceptability of the consumer guide are not determined. May be the consumer guide has NO impact on the overall market. Morever, the argument clearly mentioned that the razor ensures a certain 'degree of precision'. So, it is certainly NOT faulty.

b)Razor users typically find that they get the best results from older razors because they are most familiar with their features.

Correct. This indicates that consumers are lacking motivation to buy new razor with precision features. Motivation is responsible for poor selling of this new razor NOT that the precision is not important.

c)The company does a significant part of its business with hair salons and barber shops, which are frequented by people who do not own electric razors themselves. Out of scope.

d)Despite the addition of new precision features on the new razor model, the razor did not significantly increase in price. Irrelevant.

e)Other razor-making companies introduced new models with similar precision features, and these went on to sell relatively well.

May be thses razor sell well because of other features NOT for the precision feature.
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Re: QOTD: A company that makes electric razors [#permalink]

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Answer should be B

B) Makes it obvious that razors users were at most familier with the old razor features than they were with features of the new ones.This led to the poor sales of new razors.

E) The fact that other razor companies have introduced new models having similar features and that they sold relatively well, means that users considered some other aspects than precison to buy these razors from the other razor companies. The other aspects could be less price, attractive design, overall build quality et c.

So saying that other aspects were considered, strengthens the conclusion that precison was not an important point as others too have similar features.


Choice B explains that clearly that more familarity with the features of old razors than the new ones caused the poor sales.This seems to be a clear cut obvious reasoning.


So in short...E strengthens and B weakens


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Re: QOTD: A company that makes electric razors [#permalink]

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The answer must be option B. This is a little confusing and I marked E initially. My take on this one :

Premise - A razor company came up with a new variety of blade that ensured higher precision which was not possible with other blades. An year later this model failed to do well on the business.

Conclusion - The author has concluded that precision is no longer a priority for consumers

We need to weaken this.

Pre-thinking - What if the fall in sales was not due to consumers loosing faith in precision but some other factor ?

POE -
a) Says many faulty haircuts and shaves were because of faulty precision. Does this weaken or strengthen the belief consumers have about razors ? No. Hence eliminated
b) This one draws a link between old razors and quality. In other words old razors were preferred because users got a better performance with this.The reason for better performance was familiarity and not precision as concluded earlier. Hence this identifies another reason. Possible answer hold it
c) This is irrelevant. Neither strengthens nor weakens the stand.
d) Whether or not the company increases the price the author's conclusion remains unaffected. Hence out
e) A trap !! I fell for this one. But read carefully it can't be the answer. Other companies sold razors with precision and did well. This does not prove that precision was responsible ! Selling razors with precision and doing well on sales are co-related and not necessarily causal. Hence this statement also does not serve the purpose.

The answer must be option B. Tricky one I would say !
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Re: QOTD: A company that makes electric razors [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2017, 10:05
For this question, more than finding the conclusion and a possible weakener, it is very important to understand the subtle relationship between the premise that after one year of the launch, the sales of this razor had dropped. So the qualities of the razor was perceived by the people initially as positive but some linkage should show that the reason behind the fall of the sales was not the lack of interest in that special feature of the razor but some other fact which is stated in option B.
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Re: QOTD: A company that makes electric razors [#permalink]

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E is wrong b/c "similar features" is not enough to tell whether "the new feature" is important to the consumer. Also, the argument seems to concern with the comparison between the new product and the old one.

A is out too b/c A talks about "the time the new product unveiled", while the argument concerns with 1 year after the new product released. A does not make any connection between the faults of the new product and the precision features in the eyes of customers. In addition, A does not discuss about the comparison between the new product and the old one.

In many questions, B is a pattern to spot for a wrong choice. That is, B gives reasons why customers like the old products. In this question, B uses another pattern; B gives an alternative cause for why customers prefer the old product.
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Re: QOTD: A company that makes electric razors [#permalink]

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New post 03 Nov 2017, 16:08
Hi GMATNinja,

Thanks for the great explanation. Could you please help me to bridge the gap in my understanding?

From the argument: The company concluded that precision must not be an important concern for consumers
.

A says: Around the time the new razor was unveiled, a consumer guide reported that many shoddy haircuts and shaves were the result of faulty precision features in razors

I selected A as my answer. My reasoning is, Precision is an important concern to the customers, however since the Precision feature is faulty, which creates a havoc, consumers rejected the razor.

Basically, I thought, A gives an alternate cause for poor sales - hence a weakener - hence my answer.
Am I reading too much between the lines?

Much appreciated
RzS


GMATNinja wrote:
This question is really asking us to identify the finding that would most seriously weaken (or "challenge") the conclusion of the company, which was that "precision was not an important concern for consumers."

How did the company reach that conclusion? We can infer that the company had already been selling multiple older razor models when it introduced a newer model, offering various features that ensured a degree of precision not possible with older models. This newer model did not sell as well as the older models after a year on the market. The company concluded that precision must not be an important concern for consumers, since those consumers were seemingly not attracted by the improved precision of the newer model.

So, did the newer model fail to sell as well as the older models because consumers are not very concerned with precision? Or could one of the findings in the answer choices have contributed to the poor sales numbers?

Quote:
a) Around the time the new razor was unveiled, a consumer guide reported that many shoddy haircuts and shaves were the result of faulty precision features in razors.

This finding tells us that faulty precision features can cause shoddy ("poor quality") haircuts and shaves, but it does not tell us whether precision is an important CONCERN for consumers (or what percentage of consumers actually saw this report). If consumers did read the report but do not care about precision, then the report would not motivate the consumers to buy the new model. In that case, the finding would actually support the company's conclusion, not challenge it.

If we somehow knew that a large proportion of consumers read the report, are concerned about precision, but still did not buy the new model for some other reason(s), then the finding would challenge the company's conclusion. But without further information, we cannot determine whether this finding supports the conclusion or challenges it, so (A) can be eliminated.

Quote:
b)Razor users typically find that they get the best results from older razors because they are most familiar with their features.

The finding in choice (B) provides another reason that explains why sales of the new model were relatively low. If consumers are concerned about precision but feel that they will get better overall results from an older razor, then the consumers will not be inclined to buy the new model, despite being attracted to the enhanced precision that it offers. This alternative explanation does not require that consumers are indifferent to precision, so choice (B) does challenge the conclusion of the company. We'll keep this one.

Quote:
c)The company does a significant part of its business with hair salons and barber shops, which are frequented by people who do not own electric razors themselves.

This finding neither weakens nor strengthens the company's conclusion because it does not tell us whether the relatively low sales of the new model can be contributed to consumers' lack of concern for precision or to other factors. For example, given this finding, it is possible that, say, 40% (a "significant" part) of sales comes from hair salons and barber shops while 60% comes from individual consumers. If those consumers (the 60%) are not very concerned with precision, they might not have been enticed to buy the new model and sales would have been relatively low, supporting the company's conclusion. Or perhaps those consumers DO care about precision but chose not to buy the new model for other reasons. The finding in choice (C) may or may not challenge the company's conclusion and can be eliminated.

Quote:
d)Despite the addition of new precision features on the new razor model, the razor did not significantly increase in price.

if the razor DID significantly increase in price, then this finding would challenge the conclusion of the company because it would provide another reason why consumers may not have been inclined to buy the razor, despite being attracted to its enhanced precision. However, since the price did NOT increase, concern for precision may or may not have been a factor. Perhaps, as suggested by the company, consumers were not impressed with the enhanced precision and chose to stay with their current models. Or perhaps consumers WERE impressed by the enhanced precision but chose not to buy the newer model for other reasons (i.e., the new model may have been too complicated and difficult to use). Choice (D) can be eliminated.

Quote:
e)Other razor-making companies introduced new models with similar precision features, and these went on to sell relatively well.

We have no idea why those other models sold well. Perhaps the other companies had better marketing or offered much lower prices. Perhaps consumers were not interested in the precision features of those successful razors but instead were interested in various other features of those razors. We don't know if choice (E) challenges the conclusion of the company in the passage, so it can be eliminated. This leaves us with choice (B).
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Re: QOTD: A company that makes electric razors [#permalink]

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TheRzS wrote:
Hi GMATNinja,

Thanks for the great explanation. Could you please help me to bridge the gap in my understanding?

From the argument: The company concluded that precision must not be an important concern for consumers
.

A says: Around the time the new razor was unveiled, a consumer guide reported that many shoddy haircuts and shaves were the result of faulty precision features in razors

I selected A as my answer. My reasoning is, Precision is an important concern to the customers, however since the Precision feature is faulty, which creates a havoc, consumers rejected the razor.

Basically, I thought, A gives an alternate cause for poor sales - hence a weakener - hence my answer.
Am I reading too much between the lines?

Much appreciated
RzS

Choice (A) is understandably confusing, but the consumer guide does not say that the NEW MODEL is faulty. Rather, it says that razors (in general) with faulty precision features can lead to bad haircuts. So (A) is not meant to suggest that consumers would AVOID precision features. Instead, it is meant to suggest that consumers concerned about precision would seek to find a razor that does NOT have faulty precision features. In other words, those consumers would want a razor that ensures a BETTER degree of precision than most razors.

Imagine that a study were released stating that cell phone chargers with faulty voltage regulators can damage your cell phone. Would this make you seek a cell phone charger WITHOUT a voltage regulator? No, you still want voltage regulation, but you'd be careful to select a phone charger with a voltage regulator that actually works well.

I hope that helps!
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Re: QOTD: A company that makes electric razors [#permalink]

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Thanks GMATNinja. It helps.
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Re: QOTD: A company that makes electric razors [#permalink]

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 12: Critical Reasoning


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A company that makes electric razors recently introduced a new model that offered various features that ensured a degree of precision not possible with older models. After a year on the market, the new model proved to sell poorly compared to its older counterparts, leading the company to conclude that precision was not an important concern for consumers. However, this view was seriously challenged by a later finding that ___________________.

Which of the following best completes the passage?
a) Around the time the new razor was unveiled, a consumer guide reported that many shoddy haircuts and shaves were the result of faulty precision features in razors.

b)Razor users typically find that they get the best results from older razors because they are most familiar with their features.

c)The company does a significant part of its business with hair salons and barber shops, which are frequented by people who do not own electric razors themselves.

d)Despite the addition of new precision features on the new razor model, the razor did not significantly increase in price.

e)Other razor-making companies introduced new models with similar precision features, and these went on to sell relatively well.

Every question of the day will be followed by an expert reply by GMATNinja in 12-15 hours. Stay tuned! Post your answers and explanations to earn kudos.


More people answer E rather than B (including me). This is a tricky one.

What made me thinking that E must be the answer is the "precision" part of the conclusion.

However, we must look for a complete conclusion : "this new razor proved to sell poorly because X".
What challenge this conclusion? Of course the evidence that there is Y reason that more convincing.
Just from this understanding I can reach to answer B.
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Re: QOTD: A company that makes electric razors [#permalink]

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New post 24 Nov 2017, 07:59
Hi, GMATNINJA,

The question stem notes that " the new model proved to sell poorly compared to its older counterparts". So if B is to be true, Then the consumers would have not bought even the older models right. Is the statement B saying that consumers bought older model of Razors or continued using their old razors.

I got mixed up with this word play.

Thanks,
Kamal.

Mahmud6 wrote:
Need to prove that 'precision is important'.

a) Around the time the new razor was unveiled, a consumer guide reported that many shoddy haircuts and shaves were the result of faulty precision features in razors.

The coverage and acceptability of the consumer guide are not determined. May be the consumer guide has NO impact on the overall market. Morever, the argument clearly mentioned that the razor ensures a certain 'degree of precision'. So, it is certainly NOT faulty.

b)Razor users typically find that they get the best results from older razors because they are most familiar with their features.

Correct. This indicates that consumers are lacking motivation to buy new razor with precision features. Motivation is responsible for poor selling of this new razor NOT that the precision is not important.

c)The company does a significant part of its business with hair salons and barber shops, which are frequented by people who do not own electric razors themselves. Out of scope.

d)Despite the addition of new precision features on the new razor model, the razor did not significantly increase in price. Irrelevant.

e)Other razor-making companies introduced new models with similar precision features, and these went on to sell relatively well.

May be thses razor sell well because of other features NOT for the precision feature.
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Re: QOTD: A company that makes electric razors [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2018, 01:14
I did choose (B), but I did not clearly figure out why (E) is wrong when I solved the problem.

Let me do it again.

Premise(Given Fact):The new razor did not sell well.

The blank should be something that weakens the company's conclusion:
consumers do not think the precision of a razor is important.

So, we can weaken this, perhaps, by saying that it was not consumer's perception about precision that caused the low sales, but there were other reasons, or by proving that consumer's perception about precision actually matters.

So now B and E,

B)Razor users typically find that they get the best results from older razors because they are most familiar with their features.
-> This does effectively weaken the company's conclusion by saying that 'consumer's preference with old razors' was the cause of low sales, not the 'perception of precision'

E)Other razor-making companies introduced new models with similar precision features, and these went on to sell relatively well.
->This is trying to weaken the company's conclusion by saying the precision does matter for the consumers. However, (E) cannot weaken the company's conclusion because the high sales of other companies' products with same degree of precision does not tell us the feature of precision was the main force behind their high sales. It could've been other factors that made them sell better.

Surely (E) is a tricky one, hope I can have this thinking process when I'm taking the real test
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Re: QOTD: A company that makes electric razors [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2018, 02:17
Wouldn't 'B' be a strengthener? It clearly strengthens the conclusions that that 'precision was not an important concern for consumers' as it states that according to users 'precision is not important', However, comsumer's 'familiarity with the razor is more important' GMATNinja
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Re: QOTD: A company that makes electric razors [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2018, 20:32
yhdiwujw wrote:
Wouldn't 'B' be a strengthener? It clearly strengthens the conclusions that that 'precision was not an important concern for consumers' as it states that according to users 'precision is not important', However, comsumer's 'familiarity with the razor is more important' GMATNinja

Why does the company conclude that precision must not be an important concern? Because the consumers were not attracted by the improved precision features of the newer model. So the new model had poor sales, and the company suggests that these poor sales were caused by customers' not being concerned with precision.

But is that actually the case? Did the new model actually fail because precision is not important to the customers? Choice (B) suggests an alternative explanation: the new model had poor sales because customers wanted to stick with their old razors. Why? Choice (B): "Razor users typically find that they get the best results from older razors because they are most familiar with their features."

(B) does not tell us that precision is not important to those customers. Precision might be a very important concern. But if the customers find that they get better results from their older razors, then they will be reluctant to upgrade, despite the fancy new features of the new model.

I hope that helps!
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Re: QOTD: A company that makes electric razors   [#permalink] 04 Apr 2018, 20:32

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