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    1. cpeekel is offline

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      #1

      How to beat the competition

      Sometimes we have random offline support questions come in, pre-sales if you will, and the biggest question I get is "What about your prices compared to .....". Now I wonder how many others get this? Why is it that people are not aware the price difference between wholesale and not?
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      Cpeekel do you wholesale or retail? When you say: "What about your prices compared to .....", who are they comparing you to? Is it a seller in another country? A wholesaler also selling retail?

      Generally speaking:

      1. The current recession has brought some mid-level wholesalers to seek new sales avenues, by selling retail. You can counter this by buying from the official distributors, thus cutting out mid-level wholesalers.

      2. If the item you are getting compared to is in another country, emphasize in your listings that your items are stocked in the US (for example, "Support the US economy by buying locally", or, "All our items are stocked in the US and support US employment"). Strictly speaking this is against laissez faire principles, however some could argue that if work conditions were the same in developing countries, Asia prices would probably be the same as US prices (another usable sentence is: "Support fair employment practices").

      3. You could take another angle: "Thinking of buying from the Far East? Think again. We spend the money to evaluate product quality so that you don't have to. Our prices may be marginally more expensive than some other sellers, but our prices include all our work on testing the same product from multiple manufacturers, to bring you only the best quality. It is a known fact that manufacturers produce the same product in 10 different qualities, we supply only the best value for money ones, without compromising on quality".

      4. Stress your after sales support, or offer longer term warranties.

      There is an inherent obstacle all buyers face when buying online, and that is evaluating product quality. How to be sure that the quality they are receiving is the best their money can buy. This is easy with branded goods, because it doesn't matter where one buys the same Sony TV model. As long as the item is in the same condition, only the price matters. However with less comparable products, it is harder for a buyer to evaluate quality through a computer, and therefore to compare the product across competitors.

      Use good sales copy to convey your product qualities, and consider focusing your sales on products that are not so easily comparable to those of your competitors. For example, custom made rocking horses. You could be working with a local carpenter who makes the wooden horses for you, and then offer customization through your website. That is not easily comparable to some other seller's rocking horse range. Of course there are many other examples of hard to compare product lines, most relate to customization or handcrafted goods or patented designs.
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    3. BigTime is offline

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      I know what you mean-they see a price elsewhere that is cheaper, but often haven't considered other things. Perhaps the shipping is higher elsewhere, or perhaps those prices only apply when a very large amount of items have been purchased. I have seen this myself and all I could say was that if they showed me, and it genuinely was that price (and not made up by shipping or so on) then I would match it. I'd consider it a loss-leader, whilst trying to build trust with good customer service.

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      #4
      That's true, in some cases using it as a loss leader is the only option.

      Other factors to consider when getting compared to cheaper retailers is:

      1. Is your competitor's item coming from overseas? If yes, it will have additional costs for the buyer in your country (import duties). Explain in your listings that your items are located within country XYZ, and that therefore buyers from country XYZ will not have to pay import duties to receive your items.

      2. How can you best convey the quality of your items? Consider the use of video to compare your item's performance vs the performance of a similar but cheaper item from, for example, a Far East retailer (first purchase it from the Far East retailer, and then test its performance). Producing video for the web is simple, as long as you have a video camera and some video editing software to work with. Show the clip of the inferior item first, and then the clip of your item, and try to convey the realization that the quality of your item is superior.

      See create video for web - Google Search for articles and resources on how to create and edit video for the web.

    5. EyeBuy is offline

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      You could perhaps, even use the competition's materials against them? Presumably if they have an inferior product they won't be able to produce as glowing a website, with as compelling a sales copy and it should give you something to work with to show that your products are better.

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