If you sell products on the web as your home-based business, do you ever get price matching requests via email such as this?
“Can you match this price [link to competitor carrying this product]?”
Sometimes these requests come over the phone but the result is the same. I seldom entertain them. I will usually look at the item being requested just to make certain that our price for it is in the ball park, but I will not play that game unless the requestor is a government or corporate purchaser asking for a large quantity. That’s a bit different, but usually these requests come from Joe or Jane consumer who just want to purchase one.
The customer who requests the price match does, however deserve an respectful answer. I have a standard reply ready for this kind of situation which goes something like this.
Our pricing structure is designed with overall value in mind for you. Since we’re a small business, we aren’t able to match each and every price on the market, however our pricing is always very competitive overall.
Depending on the situation, I’ll go on to list some of the other benefits the customer will get, such as faster shipping, liberal return policy, superior customer service, etc. I will try to focus on the non-price benefits provided by our company (without belittling the competitor in question).
Resist the urge to play the ‘match that price’ game — it’s a loosing battle. For one thing, it’s more work! If you do it for one person, you’ll have to do it for everyone and then keep track of what you’ve done. Second, you just can’t always compete like that. What often happens is that some company is using the item as a loss leader and you certainly can’t be expected to compete with loss leaders. Third, you should focus on benefits to your customers above and beyond just price. Look to see what your competitors aren’t doing very well and do it better!
When this comes up, don’t just say ‘no no no’. Say ‘no’ thoughtfully and sometimes these people will buy the product from you anyway. If they don’t then just file it under ‘can’t win em all’.