Oct 27, 2010

Pricing Vintage to Your Target Customer

Buying online can be tiring. Searching through endless listings, looking for that elusive item in good condition. When found, then the seller must be evaluated. Is their feedback acceptable? Did they price the item reasonably? Do they ship where you need the item to go?

Often, the answer to one of these is no. The feedback is generally fine. But often the price of the item is either too high, or surprisingly, too low. When sellers price items too low, it can make potential customers question, is there something wrong with the item? Are there flaws that aren't mentioned that I should be suspicious of?

Art Deco Ring by Laurenrosedesign

As sellers, it's vital for us to price items for the buyer, not for ourselves. You may not be your target customer. You may be worlds apart. Account for that.

Recently, I was helping a friend shop for an engagement ring on Etsy. She wanted a vintage ring, so we searched in that category. It was fascinating to watch what attracted her. If a ring had a great photo and was the right style, she'd be immediately drawn to it. Then she would analyze the price. I watched her discard a number of rings because they were priced too low-she assumed they were flawed. When she realized her pricing comfort zone, she actually settled on rings that were much higher.

Now I'm not suggesting that we all run out and arbitrarily raise prices. There is value in low prices-I've been having a sale and have found that out by quick sales. But I've also found that I've been able to sell things for slightly higher and sometimes much higher prices by climbing into the head of the target customer. Don't be quick to price your $2 yard sale find so low-think about who is likely to buy it and put a value on it that makes the customer feel good about their find.

 Trifari Studs by Smokyhollow
Take for example these Trifari earrings. They are priced at $3.00. They're cute, but the price immediately makes me ask, what's wrong with them? Will they look cheap in person? Trifari jewelry is collectible and fans love to wear and show off their finds.

But keep in mind it's not just Trifari collectors that are viewing these earrings-it's also just regular jewelry shoppers, or men buying a present. They aren't looking at what the book value is. They want a pair of earrings to use or give as a gift. Starting the price at around $20 or higher matches more what the market expects.

To sum up, don't make the customer question their judgement by undervaluing your item. It's gift giving season, and while people want a bargain, they also want a good value. (Very different things)  Be fair and price in a balanced way. Customers will thank you for it.

1 comment:

nora - treasurehuntvintage said...

Excellent article!!! We all walk the fine line between pricing too high (item sits) and pricing too low (perceived value)