What to do when customers compare your prices

Price tags on liquor bottles

Photo by Becky McCray

One small town retail issue is dealing with customers who compare your prices to the prices with other far-away locations. A smart way to head that off is to create comparisons between different products within your store.

Sometimes customers compare your price on a single item with that item in a different store or online. “I can get this for $5 less in Denver!” That can be a hard comparison to win, so it’s up to you to reframe the customers’ thinking.

Bruce D. Sanders writes the RIMtailing blog about shopper psychology. In “Tilt Toward In-Store Price Comparisons,” he suggested you set up comparisons of prices of different items inside your store. That way, you have a better chance of making the sale no matter what price point the customer settles on.

In my liquor store, I could post a little sign next to the Pendleton whiskey that says, “$2 less than Crown Royal!” In your gift shop, you might try telling customers who object to a price “These candles are also handmade, but cost $1 less than those.” Try to get customers comparing two items in front of them, rather than some other items somewhere else.

Bottom line: lead your customers to compare prices within your store.

What do you think? Would this work in your store?

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About Becky McCray

Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband own a retail liquor store in Alva, Oklahoma, and a small cattle ranch nearby. Becky is an international speaker on small business.

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  1. Rick Skorupski says

    When I am in my stores in my small town county seat, I have to mentally add in the cost to drive to the mega big box store forty miles away. When i factor in the fuel and time, the local store price is a bargain.

    One more thing…

    When people look at the on line price the do not take int account the shipping costs. Those costs will normally drive the price above the local market.