Pricing Your Product or Service

by margento | March 2, 2017


Correct pricing can mean the difference between business success and

Setting the price point for your product or service is not simply the
process of determining the cost of production then adding a mark-up. It is
more a matter of understanding the price the consumer will accept as the
value of your product or service and keeping the costs of production to a
level that will give you a profit at that price.

Consumers Buy for Value

Cost incorporates all the expenses incurred to bring a product or service
to a customer or client. Costs include: parts, labour, production
machinery, manufacturing space, administration, and transportation to the
consumer. These are the true costs of production and a starting point for
determining the price to the customer.

It is ultimately the consumer who decides the value of your product or
service to them and thus what they are willing to pay. This will be the
price that moves your product off the shelf.

Perception Is Everything

If a product is not moving and the price is reasonable given the cost of
production and the price of competitive products, it may be that the seller
has not provided enough information to the prospective purchaser to
establish value. For example, consider the common incandescent 60-watt
light bulb that traditionally sold for about 50 cents each. Newer LED light
bulbs, providing the same lumens cost $5 to $6, and yet they sell. Why?
Because consumers have been given information that persuades them that the
newer product has value. Governments and manufacturers have persuaded
environmentally aware consumers that long-life bulbs (LED bulbs are rated
to last more than 50,000 hours, which is about 35 years if left on for only
four hours per day, depending on the type of bulb) producing the same
number of lumens at lower operating cost is a value worth paying for.
Consumers are told the environmentally friendly LED bulbs will not only
help to save the planet, but also save money through reduced electricity

Pricing Strategy

Price is normally determined by cost plus mark-up or by estimating the
perceived value of the product/service. Neither method will move your
product/service if your competition is selling the same thing for less.
Check prices by visiting your competitor’s physical store or going online.

Shoppers are price sensitive. If your price is higher because of your
costs, you must convince the consumer your products are better, your
warranty is better, your service is better, or that you supply some other
advantage. Setting a low price is not the best course of action for any
business either. You may enjoy seeing your sales figures improve for a
while, but you risk destroying your brand if consumers unconsciously
reassign your product to a lower-priced brand category. If you constantly
discount, you will eventually be seen as a discounter. Customers will just
wait until you drop the price again. If the selling price does not cover
all your costs, your business will ultimately fail.

Price Changes

Changing prices should be handled with care. Regular customers are familiar
with your prices and if costs suddenly surge there may be a reduction in
sales. If you have to change prices, remove the old price tags and relabel.

Customers look at price but see value.

Provide Comparison

Shoppers may be looking at prices, but they are seeing value. Offer
products/services across a spectrum of values (i.e., extras cost more). The
automotive industry provides a classic model of this merchandising
approach: a base model with the price rising as features are added. This
approach connects the purchaser to your value proposition. Power windows,
heated seats and a high-end sound system are available on some models but
does the consumer perceive them as having value for them?

Boutique Niche

Once in a while, you may have a unique or trendy product/service or perhaps
you supply products/services associated with special holidays such as
Christmas, Chanukah, Valentine’s Day, special events such as weddings, etc.
These times may allow you to price on a value-added basis rather than
cost-plus-markup because the clientele’s perception of what is needed gives
them permission to spend more than they would if they were just making a
simple everyday purchase.

Know Your Customer Base

Pricing products and services should not be a mechanical process.
Owner-managers should examine their entire product line, determine their
customer base and the product/services expected, and identify the special
events that appeal to the environment they service. Knowing your customer
base allows pricing to be in line with your market and customers’
expectations. This will ensure your business will be able to cover all
operating costs and secure a profit sufficient to allow it to remain in
business for many years to come.

Contact Argento CPA today!


Disclaimer: BUSINESS MATTERS deals with a number of complex issues in a concise manner; it is recommended that accounting, legal or other appropriate professional advice should be sought before acting upon any of the information contained therein.