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Empire Building Kit – Week 45 Review (To Discount or Not?)

Photo of Central Park South City View Across the Reservoir, taken by Joana MirandaIn Week 45 of the Empire Building Kit, one of the important topics addressed was whether or not you should offer discounts.  Chris Guillebeau, the program’s author, suggests that if you are going to create a discount coupon field on your website, you should be consistent and offer discounts.  If visitors to your website see a discount coupon field, they will assume that they can find a discount code somewhere for your product.  You don’t want to mislead them with the promise of a possible discount and then have no actual discount.

From my own small business experience, I’ve learned that it’s better to price fairly and not offer discounts unless they are for a specific event (holiday sale, inventory closing, etc.)  When I first started selling my jewelry, I told my family and closest friends that I would give a “Family and Friends” discount.  Initially, this was OK since I was market-testing my products and still trying to determine a fair pricing system.  However, as sales grew, I discovered that I was not only pricing myself too low to cover my costs and the time involved, but that the grey area of who should get the “friend” discount was a hard one for me to distinguish.  I love all of my customers and many of them have become friends; however, I still need to earn enough money from selling my products so that I can run a business!

As I’ve continued to add products to my A Talent for Design print and card shop, I’ve made every effort to price my products fairly.  I’m sure that the pricing will evolve as new products are introduced.   And if I decide to offer a discount, it will be open to all of my customers!

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