Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"You're not doing it right!"

Actually, the customer complaint was: "You're not doing it like everyone else!" (with the implied, you're not doing it Right.)

As I've said before, I'm pricing almost everything at "Suggested Retail Price" these days. As it happens, when it comes to collectibles, prices change; up, down and sideways.

But if I price a product at the margin I need for my business to survive -- then I know that when I sell that item, I've sold it for a sufficient margin.

Changing prices up and down, according to collector whims, means that I have to pay a great deal of attention to the marketplace. It's not that I'm lazy, it's that I don't think in most cases it matters a great deal. If I have a product slightly overpriced, changes are that I have something equal that is underpriced.

I have a young guy who's been telling me my older Magic cards are underpriced, and my newer Magic cards are overpriced.

Of course the obvious answer is; buy the underpriced older cards. "But I don't want those!" he says. "I want the newer cards, and I can get them cheaper online."

(Well, of course; you can get Everything cheaper online. I can't be hostage to that.)

But I answer mildly, "Well, then you should buy them online."

It seems remarkable to me that customers expect me to do business the way others do business -- even though I've been around for 30 years, and most of my competition has disappeared.

What the customer really should be asking is: why aren't the other guys doing it My way?

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