pricing dilemma

So recently I had someone contact me about buying something she’d seen at a festival. She wanted to know why the price in my shop was less than the price I’d been charging at the fair. I explained that it was to make up for the shipping cost, but I have to say that her reaction made me question my policy.

So, what do you guys think? I just listed these PJs, at the same price they are at shows, with free shipping. It makes the initial cost appear higher, but there’s no ship charge. Is this better? Or, do you think it only matters with people who meet me in person, and it’s better to have a lower sales price online, even if the shipping makes it cost the same in the long run?

oy, that made my head hurt. help?


12 thoughts on “pricing dilemma

  1. I’d personally rather see a flat price + free shipping than a lower price + shipping…

    Coming from the online-ordering generation, I always am suspicious of shipping charges on nearly everything (i.e. that CD I bought on eBay for $3 that mysteriously has a $8 shipping charge???)…

  2. We had the same conversation. We decided to make the prices the same everywhere. I think the same price with cheaper shipping should be fair or even the normal shipping price would be fair. I buy online expecting to pay for shipping.
    And its not like everything is 20 bucks different!
    So do what you think is fair.
    I didn’t help did i?

  3. I agree with the above. I’m a huge shopper and I can’t count how many times I’ve added more items to my cart just to get to that magical “Free Shipping” amount.

  4. I generally subtract the cost of shipping from what I’m willing to pay for something to determine whether or not I like the asking price, so it wouldn’t matter much to me. That said, I tend to buy in greater volume if I know the shipping rate is fixed regardless of the number of items purchase.

    I also make a lot of assumptions about buying online versus brick-and-mortar (even if it’s not so much brick as fabric tent). Online has lower overhead, so I’ll pay les but with greater risk of disappointment — i.e. no tactile exam. Brick-and-mortar costs more gives me the opportunity for instant gratification.

    I’m not sure where I’m going with this and I’m fairly certain it’s not helpful, so I’ll end with those PJs are really cute.

  5. I too consider the price of shipping in the cost of the item. As an example, I recently passed on a large yardage of taffeta for 99 cents because the shipping charges were $15. $15.99 is above my personal limit on something I cannot feel or see in person. However, I always feel like I got a bargain when something has free shipping, even if I know it all comes out in the wash.


  6. I would expect to pay more at fairs than online, or if not more at least different prices. At a fair, your items are in competition with other items at the fair. Even if no one else is selling anything like your offering, you are still all competing for the same limited resources of the fair-goers, and prices should be set to the point that the most sales are made for the highest margin. This, to me, has no relevance to the prices charged in your online shop, where prices are set in accordance to a web economy.

    If anybody asks why the prices are higher at the fair, time is money and if you are physically at the fair selling merch, you can’t be producing new items, so that has to be built in to the “fair” price.

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