Apologies in advance for this post; it’s not gonna be one of my usual upbeat, find-a-silver-lining-in-a-dark-cloud type of articles. It’s gonna be a bit of a rant about a topic that’s been boiling inside of me for a while now.
The topic is consumers and their attitude that they DESERVE discounts.
Me, Me, Me!
This gem of a communication I had with a user about a month ago is the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, and is what got my blood really boiling:
This user already had a 20% off coupon and brazenly asked for a better one. Seriously? She never responded to my question, but she did place an order 20 minutes later using the coupon she already had.
Then there was this email I got today from someone in the Navy, which is what inspired this article.
I became aware of WeMontage from an article I read online. I think I would love this product but have a hard time paying $20 for shipping to an FPO/AE address. I am active duty military stationed in Italy and I know that many Sailors like myself would love this product for our temporary homes while we are overseas away from the family. I was reaching out to you to see if you would make an exception to a military family and decrease the shipping cost to us. If not, I understand but I was hoping it would be more accessible to those servicing overseas.
Thanks in advance,
To which I replied:
There is a 20% discount code at the bottom of the page that pops up. Please fill that out to get the discount.
James Oliver, Jr.
I responded to her email within minutes and haven’t yet received a reply from her.
To make sure I wasn’t crazy, I shared this email with a good friend who is a military spouse and an entrepreneur servicing the military community, and she said the following:
She is lucky that you even ship overseas because many companies don’t even bother to do it.
It costs me $5 to beautifully and securely package my product for shipping. Maybe she would be happy if I just rolled up her collage and wrapped a rubber band around it and tossed it a box, without regard for its condition upon arrival. That way I could easily ship it for much less!
Don’t hate the player, hate the game
I get it. Everyone loves a deal-including me. And shopping for deals is the name of the game.
I get salty because interactions like the ones I shared above completely disregard ALL the financial sacrifices I’ve made to create a one-of-a-kind, innovative product. They also disregard the financial sacrifices my investors have made, and ALL the sacrifices my family continues to make daily.
I guess I’m just mad I haven’t figured out how to get my costs down low enough to offer a steep discount for steep-discount-expecting consumers and still make a good enough profit to grow my business. I see why so many companies outsource their product to low-cost countries overseas.
Or maybe I should raise my prices and offer more aggressive discounts, so customers FEEL like they’re getting a good deal.
There, I feel better now. Thanks for listening to me rant.
We will resume our regularly scheduled slate of positive blog posts with my next article…
Less than a week after publishing this article I got the following email from another user:
Do you guys have any free shipping promotions coming up? The discount of 20%, taking off $12.00 is great; but the shipping is $12.99, so it is a wash.
Let me know. I do want to purchase, but still unsure about it.
As you can imagine, I wasn’t thrilled to get this email. And Tyrone, my drunk alter ego, wanted to fire off a response to her that went something like this:
Why don’t I just give it to you for free and find more creative ways to feed my twins AND pay for their daycare?
Tyrone, James’ drunk alter ego
But I thought better of it and sent this beautiful reply:
Thanks for the note. Like you, we LOVE a great deal, too.
Would you believe me if I told you a 20% discount IS a great deal because you will absolutely LOVE your WeMontage?
Why? Because, unlike many other photo product companies, we use a premium, fabric-based material to print on, which costs us a lot more, but results in vibrant colors and great wall-adhesion, and your LOVE of the product when you get it.
We also take great care with special packaging and wrapping to make sure your WeMontage arrives in pristine condition. To do so costs us a little extra, too, but it’s worth it to us to make sure you love your WeMontage when you receive it.
And finally, we have a 100% money back guarantee, if you don’t love it. I’ve sold 2,000 WeMontages and have only had to refund money to two customers. That’s a 99.9% customer satisfaction rate.
I hope this helps you feel better about the 20% discount we’ve made available.
Please let me know if you have additional questions.
Cheers and be well!
How great was that reply?!!
I’ll tell you how great it was. It was so great, later that evening, without replying to my email, Kelly placed an order using the coupon she already had. BAM! And double BAM!
I saved my email response to her because I’m sure I’ll have to re-use it some day.
Feature image credit: wonderferret Selfish St Benedicts St, Newton, Auckland