Most integrators complain, often intensely, about the impact of online pricing (see our real world camera markups survey results). This issue came up again in our recent discussion of Should Quotes Include Line Item Price Breakdowns?
For example, the integrator quotes $348 for a camera, they find it online for $307, they think the integrator is screwing them over, want to buy it from ebay or have the integrator match the online price, etc.
It's clearly a point of contention but a key problem is that the end user falsely assumes that he is getting the same thing from the online store as the integrator.
Here's what I think can or should be done:
- Offer the product at the same price as what can be found online, i.e., if a model being offered online from a legitimate retailer at $307, price it at $307.
- Then include separate fees for the additional services you provide beyond what the online retailer will do - e.g., shipping, validation testing, setup, one year service warranty etc. Charge the difference to your 'normal price'. Allow buyers to see and understand what else they are getting.
- Alternatively, if you are concerned about fees, just adjust your labor rates / hours upwards accordingly to get the projected overall margin while listing product pricing at the equivalent of online pricing.
Bottom line: if buyers are especially sensitive to the 'sticker' price of parts available on the Internet, why not restructure your proposals to show the additional value you provide or simply move it into a category that they are less offended by. Yes/no?