Pricing Your Products

In our scramble to find a way to offer the lowest prices on the Internet, we often overlook the basic steps that we should be taking BEFORE we even offer a product for sale.

We also overlook something even more important: you don’t HAVE to have the lowest price in order to make great sales. Following are some things I do before and after determining my bottom line. I sell by having products drop-shipped for my sites, which works VERY well, but these steps should be covered no matter your distribution method.

Should you be selling this item now?

Snowboards don’t sell well in the summertime. You may have a hard time moving a pair of roller blades in January. Don’t waste your time and your site space marketing products out of season. Ask your supplier for a little historical information regarding the best time to sell their products. Believe me, to everything, there IS a season. They have the figures. If they don’t want to share this info with you, find another supplier.

Identify your costs

Profit isn’t just the difference between wholesale and retail. You have other costs to consider. Think about every penny you spend in order to get that product to the customer’s door, and plan accordingly. For example, your merchant account probably costs you about 2.2% plus 30 cents per transaction. On an item you’ll sell for $20, that’s 74 cents. Don’t forget that calculation when pricing the item. Are you warehousing the item? How much is that space costing you per item per month? Did you spend money stocking up on shipping materials? How much per unit? What about advertising? Monthly hosting costs? You may need to project some estimated sales in order to arrive at some of these figures.

This may seem very complicated, but it’s really not. Just take the figures one at a time, and you’ll arrive at a wholesale cost plus an amount that, when added together, becomes your initial ESTIMATE of “cost of goods sold”. Identifying all your costs is critical if you want to price your products properly.

Check out the competition

Search on the item you plan to sell. Check out the competitors’ prices. But DON’T get caught up trying to beat the wrong competitor. You need to stay within your “venue”.

My stores are built in Yahoo Shopping (http://store.yahoo.com). 90% of my traffic comes from there. When I seek out my competitors, I look for other businesses like mine ONLY in Yahoo Shopping. Then I compare.

If I’m thinking about selling a product, and I get 1,500 hits in 400 stores on that item in Yahoo Shopping, forget it. If I get a hundred hits in 20 to 40 stores, I’ll look into it further.

So check out the competition, narrow down your product list, make a note of the five lowest prices you find, and then ask yourself another question:

Is anybody going to buy this thing?

This doesn’t have much to do with pricing, but it should be said.

When considering products, there’s unique, and then there’s too unique. Yak Cheese may sound like something that nobody else has for sale on the ‘Net. There’s a reason for that. If you sell more than 3 boxes a year, I’ll EAT some.

Unique is Rain Barrels made in Maine. It’s Exotic Cheeses imported from Italy. Silk Parisian Lingerie. Things you don’t see every day, but would be proud to give as a gift.

Then there’s “common”. Everybody and their grandmothers are selling Alabaster Figurines on the Internet. Do they sell? Sure, in a limited fashion. Do you want to sell them? Not if you want to make any real money.

In my experience, unique products, like Rain Barrels and Parisian Lingerie, DO sell. So do Coleman Sleeping Bags, and Conair Hair Dryers. BRAND NAMES sell. Look at your potential product, and ask yourself honestly if YOU would buy it on the ‘Net.

Set your price

Take the five lowest prices you collected on a product in your list that has survived the above. Calculate your estimated cost, then subtract that from the lowest price. If you don’t see at LEAST 15% profit, don’t bother.

If you do, there are a couple of ways to proceed. You can undercut the lowest price in your “venue” by a bit, and hope to “kick off” the product and get yourself noticed. Chances are, though, that the following week you’ll find that someone has undercut YOUR price by just a bit. That becomes a losing game.

I generally set up a couple of “loss leaders”. These are desirable items (in my general product line) that I sell dirt cheap just to bring in customers. Then I price the rest of my products at the second or third lowest price in my venue. The customers come in for the loss leaders, and then I can market everything else to them via email. I spend a lot of time making my site look better and easier to navigate, and pay a great deal of attention to my customers.

That makes me more reputable in the eyes of the customer. You’ll find that people don’t mind paying just a little more if they feel comfortable in your store. They don’t like to worry that they’re buying from a “hack” who may not deliver. Nothing says “hack” like a cluttered, confusing storefront.

Follow up

After you’ve sold an item for a month or two, revise that “cost of goods sold”. Measuring past performance is just as important as setting the correct price to begin with. If sales drop, recheck your competition. If that’s not it, drop the product, or shelve it until the “season” comes back around. Don’t get sentimental about your products, and NEVER just let your store sit there in limbo once it starts to make money. This is a dynamic business; stay on top of it!

A last word (or three)

Retail pricing on the Internet is so fraught with permutations that it would be impossible to cover everything here, even if I KNEW everything. The steps above are just the basics of a process that works for me. Hopefully something here will strike a chord and work for you as well. Patience and persistence are the keys to a successful Internet business, so hang in there, and don’t quit the day job for at least a couple of weeks. ;o)

I hope this helps in your future marketing decisions.

Best Life Coach for Personal Productivity

How is your personal productivity? Are you satisfied with what you are accomplishing? Do you wish you could do more? Is doing more possible? Those are some of the questions a coach would ask. We use the phrase best life coach in the title to accentuate the concept of living one’s best life.

When people are happy with how productive they are on a daily basis, they have a sense of satisfaction at the end of every day. They may suffer setbacks. But they realize that setbacks are inevitable.

If they are constantly ending the day with a feeling of disappointment, something is wrong. They might have set goals that are too high, impossible to achieve on a daily basis. Often though, the problem is that they failed to set any short-term goals at all.

Setting realistic goals is important, but not as important as defining personal productivity goals in the first place. If you have yet to define your goals, take some time to sit down and put them on paper.

In a quiet, unstressed setting, think about where you want to be in 10 years. Then move backwards in time. Think of it as if you were planning a car trip. What are the paths you will take to reach your ten-year goal?

A business coach would tell a company owner to do the same thing. 10 years is not the longest period of time that can be chosen. It is just an arbitrary number.

An individual might want to think in terms of retirement. “I want to be able to retire in 20 years with ample income from my investments to support me for the rest of my life.” That’s an example of an individual long-term goal.

Companies have different goals. There are profits to be made. Sales goals need to be defined. Plans for expanding may be a consideration.

There are many different things to consider. A business coach might talk to owners about their own personal productivity. The owners may want their employees to be more productive. While we often talk about looking at the big picture, it is important to look at the smaller parts. Those smaller parts combine to make up the big picture.

A business coach is helpful because of the unbiased viewpoint. A person inside of an organization has preconceived notions. He or she might think that it is the person down the hall who needs to be more productive.

An unbiased person can look at the scene and see something completely different. Think your personal productivity is good? Ask someone else to take a look.

Exploring Anti Aging Skin Care Products

There are thousands of anti aging skin care products on the market as you must be well aware of. However, the quality of these anti wrinkle skin products will vary from exceptionally lousy to outstanding. Not surprisingly, many of the companies will claim their special brand is the best there is.

Obviously not every product can be the best. That means there is a lot of misinformation about skin care out there. No wonder consumers looking for high quality anti aging skin care products often are unsure as to which specific product they should buy and use.

In general, products containing ingredients that have been proven effective by clinical tests can credibly be called good products. Let’s take a look at a few of these.

Any product containing ingredients that are 100 % natural would definitely be worth exploring. That’s because all natural anti aging skin care products typically avoid harmful or even toxic, which are still often used by even brand name companies that base their products on chemicals and mineral oil.

They will use preservatives and synthetic chemicals in order to make their creams have a nice texture, smell good or make it stay good for years on the supermarket’s shelf. While such properties are great for the company’s profits, they are unfortunately harmful to the people using these products: possibly causing skin irritation, rashes and even cancer.

But when you use all-natural products that are free of these potentially dangerous ingredients, you can avoid a lot of potential health hazards.

Of course, it is also important to do some research when on the lookout for the best anti aging skin care products. Such research could consist of reading user reviews, doing a little customer service research, or simply taking the good advice of a friend. Great products will eventually develop a reputation for being great – regardless of if they are widely advertised or not. When you find a product with a reputation like that, it is definitely worth trying out.

However, remember not to take all anti wrinkle cream reviews as the absolute truth, because different people have different opinions on what equals “good”, and what may work for someone else, may not be ideal for you.

My tip is to try out a few skincare product lines that are 100% natural and have good customer reviews. Try to find products containing a mix of natural substances designed not only to moisture, but also to boost your skin’s collagen production.

Some of the best all-natural ingredients include, but are not limited to, C-enzyme Q10, Xtend TK and Phytessence Wakame. These are all powerhouse ingredients proven to smooth out wrinkles and keep new ones away. Look for anti aging skin care products containing these three, and you should be seeing anti wrinkle effects in no time!

To learn more about anti wrinkle skin products and natural skin care, please visit my website today for founded, reliable information.