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Price Matching/Customer Service

Old 02-19-2015, 10:36 AM
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Default Price Matching/Customer Service

I just wrote this on another topic in the boating forum. And it always has me thinking. Who here calls around to price match and if you do, why don't you buy from the first guy that you found with the lowest price?

"I am not a fan of price matching.....with that said, do we offer it, yes. Why, because it ads some credibility. What I do not understand though, is why would a first time customer call me to price match? I can understand a repeat customer or someone that is calling to purchase multiple items that another company may not offer, but if you have never bought from us, why would you call us to price match? Why not just buy from the guy that shows the lower price.

When I shop online for a single item, 9 times out of 10, I go with the low price, do a quick search on the company if I have never heard of them, and then make the purchase. I'm not calling the next guy to get a price match.

Don't get me wrong, I want to sell more stuff than the next guy and like IMMike said, with so many products, it is impossible to make sure you are the low price on every product everyday (maybe I should create an app for that).

Of course I want to be the low price leader, because most of the time, price is what gets you the sale, but a lot of people tend to oversee the value of customer service. Sometimes, the best customer service comes without a price."
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:47 AM
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The main times I will do price matching shopping is when I need something that day. I would never do it to a mom and pop store but have done it a few times with Best Buy and West Marine. They will match internet prices as long as the item is in stock on line and the SKU is the same. I have saved hundreds of dollars on software at Best Buy doing this.
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Haken View Post
The main times I will do price matching shopping is when I need something that day. I would never do it to a mom and pop store but have done it a few times with Best Buy and West Marine. They will match internet prices as long as the item is in stock on line and the SKU is the same. I have saved hundreds of dollars on software at Best Buy doing this.
So you are saying you are a repeat Best Buy customer and like their service......I probably should have prefaced this with e-commerce. Let's say you don't have anywhere to drive to to purchase a propeller and you have to buy online. Steve in Florida has a propeller for $99 including shipping to you, and you will get the propeller in 2-3 days. And then there is John in New York that is charging $89 for the same propeller, shipped to your door in 2-3 days. Both guys are saying the item is in stock, do you call Steve and see if he will sell you the propeller for $89?
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:53 AM
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Don't understand it either. I'll spend a little bit more with someone I've done business with in the past knowing that I'll get service after the sale. Some people will pinch a penny anywhere they can I guess.
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Deep Blue Yacht Supply View Post
So you are saying you are a repeat Best Buy customer and like their service......I probably should have prefaced this with e-commerce. Let's say you don't have anywhere to drive to to purchase a propeller and you have to buy online. Steve in Florida has a propeller for $99 including shipping to you, and you will get the propeller in 2-3 days. And then there is John in New York that is charging $89 for the same propeller, shipped to your door in 2-3 days. Both guys are saying the item is in stock, do you call Steve and see if he will sell you the propeller for $89?

Same product same service with no previous purchases...John should get the sale.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by hybrid View Post
Don't understand it either. I'll spend a little bit more with someone I've done business with in the past knowing that I'll get service after the sale. Some people will pinch a penny anywhere they can I guess.
X2. I will spend a little more to deal with someone I'm familiar with.

Also if Ken offers a prop from his shop in Florida for $500 vs Kurt B Frome in Oregon who will sell same prop delivered for $480 I will buy it from Ken. I'd rather spend money as local as possible and I don't want Ken to see my boat at the sandbar and our conversation to start with Who the f-k did you buy this prop from!!!
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by hybrid View Post
Same product same service with no previous purchases...John should get the sale.
my thoughts exactly.....don't get me wrong, I like to have a chance at a sale and maybe we had a typo in the price on our website, but I don't get why A LOT of people call to see if we will price match like that.

I can understand if our price match policy was we will match it and give you "X" percent off, but we don't, we match dollar for dollar. Sometimes I wonder if the people that call ordered from the "John" before and didn't get what they bargained for. But if that's the case, maybe that is why "John" is $10 cheaper.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:10 AM
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I will always go with the guy who offered it cheaper in the first place, the only time I would call an unknown to see if they would price match is if i could drive and get it that day, if I had to have it that day.

I went to a store that had one of what I wanted just to see what it physically looked like, the salesman came over and I told him I was price shopping. I already knew were I would buy from I was just wanting to see it in person. He immediately told me they would price match and I told him the guy that priced it right the first time will get my business. He walked off in a huff.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:10 AM
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When West Marine would price match internet items I would find the best deal on line, print it out and take it with me. If I don't need the item right away I would have just ordered on line.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Deep Blue Yacht Supply View Post
So you are saying you are a repeat Best Buy customer and like their service......I probably should have prefaced this with e-commerce. Let's say you don't have anywhere to drive to to purchase a propeller and you have to buy online. Steve in Florida has a propeller for $99 including shipping to you, and you will get the propeller in 2-3 days. And then there is John in New York that is charging $89 for the same propeller, shipped to your door in 2-3 days. Both guys are saying the item is in stock, do you call Steve and see if he will sell you the propeller for $89?
When it comes to online, I would not even think about about price matching. I would just buy it from the cheapest place. If I am looking for something online I just want the best price. Seems like a big hassle to get companies online to do that.
The only thought i have is that maybe someone wants to give you the business but can get it cheaper somewhere else, so they want to ask you what you can do.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:27 AM
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I have said this exact same thing many times. When vendors offer to price match, I always tell them no thanks, I'm going to buy at the place that quoted me the better price the first time.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:30 AM
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I'm in the market for a windlass.....

The price range is from $1150 down to $811. That's a hell of a price range. I just want to make sure that when I buy it I get it from a reputable dealer and get it at what I feel is a good to me price.

We have stores advertising the lowest price on all kinds of things; appliances, flooring, cars and trucks.......it just seems to be where alll the advertisers are at. They are the ones trying to make sure we don't spend too much elsewhere.

When I go to buy it I just want to make sure that what I am buying is what I want and that I get it at the best price possible. Seems to me to be the American way. Will I take your best price and bounce it off someone else? Maybe...just to make sure you are offering me the best deal for me. Will I call up a dozen other retailers and ask them to drop their price to match you..? No.

What's funny is that in the over two years I have advertised my services here on THT I have yet to have ANYONE ask me for a lower price. Gee, I wonder why that is..??
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:40 AM
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I would guess that I take 2-3 or three calls a week about price matching. It would be fair to say that 95% of the time, the caller wants me to price match against someone that doesn't have the product in stock or can't ship the same day. It really amazes me the amount of online companies that can't or won't ship the same day.

Nothing gets to me more than ordering some shirts from Vineyard Vines and they ship them a day or two after I place my order. How hard is it to throw a couple of shirts in a box and stick a label on the box.

For us, for in stock items, if you place the order by 2PM, you can bet your butt it will be shipping that day. If you are trying to overnight something, if I still have someone in the warehouse, you can bet it ships that day, no matter what time it is, whether or not UPS always completed our daily pickup. We will find a way to get it to UPS.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:47 AM
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Price matching does not lend credibility. Actually quite the opposite. It means that you are willing to compete on price alone. Customers that shop based on price are neither loyal nor good customers on which to build a business. Positioning your business to be the cheapest in the marketplace means that you are participating in a race to the bottom. It also gives the impression that you have nothing else to offer but price.
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Elusive View Post
Price matching does not lend credibility. Actually quite the opposite. It means that you are willing to compete on price alone. Customers that shop based on price are neither loyal nor good customers on which to build a business. Positioning your business to be the cheapest in the marketplace means that you are participating in a race to the bottom. It also gives the impression that you have nothing else to offer but price.
Keep in mind, most of the price matching is small points. Our pricing is most of the time within dollars of everyone else. Unfortunately, in the e-commerce world, having one of the lowest prices is the key to sustaining your business, but at the same time, pricing has to be practical to turn a profit. Price matching is not always a race to the bottom either. If and when we price match something, we do not go and drop our normal price. We look at all of the factors involved in the price match. I know that for majority of our products, because of the volume that we buy in, nobody is buying at a cheaper rate than we are. So if you are selling a product cheaper than us, I know the competition won't be around long, they just can't afford to keep selling at that price. Sooner than later, the cost of business is going to surpass their profit margins.
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:09 PM
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I am with you on this one. You would have to beat the price for me to get it from you. I would rather reward the person who has normally low prices.

I can't think of the last time I price matched something. I have no problem placing multiple orders online with different companies.
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Double tyme View Post
I have said this exact same thing many times. When vendors offer to price match, I always tell them no thanks, I'm going to buy at the place that quoted me the better price the first time.
About 20 years ago a girl I was dating wanted a new car we went to a dealer and they said go and get your best price and we will beat it. I said either save me the hassle of going to 3 other dealers right now and give me your best price or F off.

I know retail is a bit different in the internet world but that always pissed me off. Go squeeze the crap out of 3 other people bring them to the alter then come back to us for $50-$100 less on a $20,000 item.
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:47 PM
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I definitely shop around for cars, but I don't let any dealer price match the other. When I car shop, I have a number in my head of what I am going to spend and I always plan on hitting up two or three dealerships. The one that gets me in the car for the lowest amount, I sign with. But I have never brought an estimate from other dealer to someone else to beat,
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Old 02-19-2015, 01:03 PM
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What I find is once I find the place that I got the best price/ service from I usually just go back to him. Now that being said once I get home with my purchase I find myself looking over the internet, not to see if I got the best price per se but to see if I screwed myself by not shopping around. If your price was close enough to make me a happy camper I am one. I don't necessarily need to have the best price available but I really don't like to feel like I'm getting gouged. Once I feel like you have gouged me I will not be back to your store.

Big ticket items I ask you for your best price. Unless I know without a doubt that it is incredible I then go to the next place and ask for THEIR best price. I do not "shop" the best prices but I go back to the best price, to buy that item.

Now once you have me as a customer, you pretty much have all of my future buys until I regret one.
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Old 02-19-2015, 04:18 PM
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I see it in the world of subcontracting a lot. Some subs I may price check once a year, others (like granite comes to mind) I shop more frequently. I hate negotiating quoted prices for work done because it gives the work performer an easy out on quality, time, or any other issue that arises.

I had a large crawlspace repair on the last house I bought. Contractor A (who I had past dealings with) said he would fix it for 16k. Contractor B said he would do it for $14,500. I went with contractor A for $1500 extra. When I told contractor B he INSTANTLY knocked $2500 off his quote.

Now what does that say? It could be a lot of things but I take it to say "I am going to gouge you for as much money as I can until you call my bluff".

I see it with appliances too. Nobody wants to advertise a low price but everybody wants to "match". I buy 10-20 appliance sets a year. Used to buy it from lowes religiously. Started working with a small local shop about a year ago because lowes was annoying me. I have a single point of contact, he is fantastic, and he always delivers. I'm needy too. I try to give him a week heads up generally but I've definitely called him on a Tuesday and said I needed something delivered the following morning. Sometimes there is a special at lowes/HD/etc but I don't care, because the company I now use has gone above and beyond the call to earn my business.
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