Free information at a Price

Monday, August 31st, 2009 @ 7:31 pm | General

I’m in the market for something relatively big and expensive.  Call it a car or a painting or a piece of industrial equipment…it really doesn’t matter.  So, where do I start my search?  Why online of course.

The item I want is manufactured to customer order and as a result most manufacturers offer them in custom colors with custom add-ons.  They have websites that talk about how great theirs is, with pictures of it, and customer testimonials about how awesome their product is.  There are technical specs about how physically large it is, what capacities they offer, and all sorts of bits of information that will help a buyer make a decision.

The odd thing, however, is most manufacturers do not list a price for their products online.  Talk about annoying.  One manufacturer has a class form to fill out to submit an online price request, which I did last night.

This morning I get a simple form email asking me some obvious questions (questions that I believe I answered when I submitted the form), for which the answer was once again answered.  Then, instead of getting pricing, I got a 2nd email, once again with more questions.

At this point, I became more than a little annoyed.  How many times are we going to email each other back and forth, before this company salesperson decides to let me in on the secret of the price.  I began to feel like I was taking part in an infomercial, with the classic, “but wait, there’s more!”.  Finally, I got back a fancy color PDF for the 2 products that would obviously work best for me, and that included….the PRICE!

I’m still clueless as to why getting a price out of this company was tougher than pulling my wisdom teeth.  Oh well…every business can’t always operate under the mantra that their product needs to be great, price accordingly, and then you don’t have to keep the price a secret.  If that’s what “Great” costs, then that’s what it costs.  I still think this company’s product might be great…just annoyed that I jumped through hoops to get it.

If you sell, manufacture, or provide a service, and are offering that product online, do yourself a favor and list the price.  Online consumers expect to the see the price.  If, for some unexplained reason, you cannot list the price, then absolutely, positively give the customer the price the second they ask for it.



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