From the Editors

How open are you about price?

“Price” can be a dirty little word. If it weren’t for price outweighing budgets, a lot more people would own motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides, snowmobiles and PWC. In fact, if it weren’t for price, I, along with a lot of other people, would own all of the above.

Especially in a sour economy, “price” has become ugly. Most people don’t focus first on the cool new features of a bike; they initially want to understand how much it will cost, then you can explain how cool it is. (See Steve Lemco’s blogs about overcoming the price issue.)

I ran across a blog this week that got me thinking about price. The blog, “Why we are afraid to talk pricing” from Small Business Trends (click here to read it) talks about how many businesses, especially service providers, are afraid to share their pricing with potential customers.

I thought immediately about how many times this has irked me as a customer. When I was car shopping last spring, I’d often see cars listed on websites that said “Call for pricing.” Did I call? No. I assumed the price was too high for my budget, and I was actually concerned about what my reaction would be if the price were just too much. Think about your dealership pages. How many bikes do you have listed that say “Call for pricing?” Do people call? Do you know how many don’t?

Another example that I thought of is when I was wedding dress shopping earlier this year. Wedding dress designers are notorious for hiding their pricing. They want, just like any other manufacturer, for a customer to go in, fall in love with the dress (or accessory, or gadget, or service) and then worry about how they’re going to come up with the $1,000. Bad idea? Yes, especially in the digital age. When I found a wedding dress I liked, I simply Googled “How much is a [manufacturer’s] dress?” Guess what I found? Answers galore! So as much as that designer tried to hide prices, I found them.

Think about how that could affect your business. Say you don’t list how much your oil changes at least start at. First, that’s frustrating for a customer. Second, there’s a chance they can find that information on the Internet, through Google, a forum or a number of social media channels.

In the era of the Internet, nothing is secret anymore. I’m not saying go online and post your prices for everything, but at least think about it. I’d like to get a conversation started about best practices for listing pricing and why businesses should or should not be doing it. In addition to this blog, I’ve posted the topic on LinkedIn.

Liz Hochstedler is the associate editor of Powersports Business, a trade magazine for the powersports industry. She reports on the powersports industry through Powersports Business’ varied media, including in the magazine and online. She assembles the brand’s twice-a-week e-news and handles a variety of assignments for the magazine. Powersports Business is known for its exclusive national dealer surveys, in-depth industry analysis and dealership conference, Profit Xcelerator.


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