Being a successful merchant means many things, one of which is to determine what prices you’ll be selling your merchandise at. Price them too high, and you’ll be left with stock that sits around collecting dust while your business flounders. But price it too low, and things will be flying off your shelves so much, it’ll come at a cost to your profit. The key is to find that nice middle ground where you can profit nicely but still retain a good customer base. RepricerExpress goes inside to look at five tips and strategies you can use when repricing your wares.
1. Go with the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price
The main advantage of this is the price is already set for you and all you have to do is tinker with. The manufacturer has already taken into account things like product exclusivity, bargaining power and demand, leaving you with less work on your hands.
Another benefit of the MSRP is you don’t have to worry too much about what your competitors are doing. If Sony’s priced their HDTV at, say, £500, then you know all of your competitors are going to be fairly around the same price. And if you know that, then you don’t have to be worried about one of them undercutting you severely and taking all your business away.
The downside is, of course, less freedom and flexibility on your part to reprice your inventory when it’s mostly set to MSRP, but that doesn’t mean it’s entirely gone. Instead, use the MSRP as an opportunity to reprice your wares ever so slightly down, and then go a little deeper when you’re cross-selling products at their regular prices.
2. Lean Back on Keystone Pricing
At its most basic, keystone pricing means to double the wholesale price. The biggest advantage of keystoning is its simplicity — you cannot get an easier process than simply doubling the wholesale price.
But would keystoning really be the best strategy if you’re selling items heavily dependent on supply-and-demand? Probably not, especially if the market turns in such a way that your items garner a slow turnover. However, if you’re selling items that are hot (think fad items, like Beanie Babies or Tickle Me Elmo), then keystoning can be an easy way of sorting out a price for your products and “forgetting” about them.
3. Knock the Price Down and Put it on Sale
Your buyers love discounts and sales, especially if you tell them a particular item is being marked down. For instance, if you sell candles, you know that major holidays (e.g. Christmas, Mother’s Day, Easter, etc.) will be a good time to mark your candles down a bit and advertise it as such.
One thing you want to be careful of is not doing it too much. If you mark certain products down once a month or more, you’ll get a reputation as a bargain merchant and people will come to expect low prices from you (meaning, they won’t shop at your page the rest of the time because they know your prices will predictably come down). You can increase traffic to your listings, but just be careful of how often you employ this strategy.
4. Watch What Your Competitors are Doing
We’re going to tread into this strategy very hesitantly on the sole basis that it can very easily get away from you. Looking at the prices your competitors are setting can be an excellent way of determining what the market will bear, but it can very easily turn into a price war that hurts your profit at the end of the day.
One important thing to keep in mind is the wholesale price you’re getting from your suppliers, as that’ll play a big role in being able to match and slightly undercut your competitors. If you’re a small retailer, though, remember that this practice isn’t sustainable over the long-term and your profit margin will become thinner than you’d like.
Pricing Higher Than Your Competitors
As a variation to the above strategy, it can sometimes make more sense for you to price higher than your competitors. Look at designer stores, for instance, and how their prices are much higher than department stores. The effect of this is psychological in that it makes your buyers think that because your prices are higher, the quality of your products must be supremely better, too. Never discount the power of exclusivity when it comes to people, but do apply this strategy selectively depending on what product you’ll be selling—there’s no way you can quadruple the price of white cotton gym socks because everyone knows they’re cheap to begin with.
5. Occasionally Throw in a Loss Leader
As our last repricing tip, we introduce the loss leader, the concept where you massively undercut yourself on a particular item for a short period of time. Grocery stores are perhaps the best-known example of this, introducing loss leaders on a weekly basis in an attempt to get buyers into the store where it’s almost a given they’ll spend more.
The key to a successful loss leader is to keep it short and sweet. You don’t want to have it around for longer than a week, or else you’ll risk being thought of as only a bargain dealer. And to avoid losing too much money on your loss leaders, make sure to heavily bundle, up-sell and cross-sell so you can make some money back on your lost profits.
At RepricerExpress, our speciality is repricing, plain and simple. It doesn’t matter what strategy you use or what the occasion is, our repricing software is a handy tool to use every step of the way. What’s really awesome about it is it doesn’t discriminate and just does exactly what you tell it to do. But the greatest thing about our repricing software is it comes with a 15-day free trial to get you started.