Maximising the income from customers in hard times

The best place to do this is in a technology shop because the majority of people aren’t on solid ground in respect of knowledge of the product.

This lack of knowledge makes it difficult for them to place a value on the products being sold. Added to this is the fast changing nature of the products which often leads to illogical pricing whereby better products can cost less than inferior ones.

I saw a great example of this in PC World (always an excellent hunting ground for this type of thing) at the weekend. A couple were in to buy a netbook for their daughter. The netbook cost £239 but they were talked into paying over £600 for it and that wasn’t even counting the software that they were subsequently talked into as well. All of this stemmed from the “small” payments of £25 a month and the potential to get another “free” laptop at the end of two years. Of course, by that time, they could have bought at least three laptops with the money.

The other problem that’s particularly noticeable in the netbook market niche is that a large PC shop can have anything up to around 20 different netbooks ranging from £170 through to around £370 with seemingly little to distinguish them. I question whether a normal customer would be able to tell whether having an N270 was any different than having an N455 or N550 and in reality few people would notice the difference in processing power. Even the battery life is a very iffy means of distinguishing between models as one shop can have a netbook with a 4 hour battery life at the same price as another shop with the same model but an 8 hour battery life.

The fast moving prices also creates anomalies with newer and better models quite often costing less than the older model even when discounted. Thus the “massive discounts” that were previously available on the Sony 300 and 600 readers barely brought them down to the price of the much improved 350 and 650 models.

So, lots and lots of ways that you can be ripped off!

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