Price should not be a mystery

I don’t like mysteries especially when pricing is involved. To this day, I have never understood why businesses continually publish and advertise items online in the hope of capturing potential consumers but reluctant to publicly display the prices.

Most who are reluctant to announce their prices usually follow up with a phone number or a “price inbox” response. Apart from this being another cost and inconvenience to the customer, he often feels that the apparent pricing strategy would be kept forever after following the protocol. In such a digital world, this is ridiculous.

For clothing stores in Guyana, I figure the reluctance to split the prices is because they don’t want their competitors to see them, but really if you’re inbox or calling for the price, does this not defeat all purpose? It only takes one person to make it public and then it’s there forever.

There is also awkwardness when you have to ask for the price. I personally hate it. Most times you just want to get the value because it’s all about quality, but often you’re made to feel like you can’t afford it if you refuse to buy it.

While I find that refusing to broadcast the prices may be a tactic to drive attraction and desire, only a small proportion of products are worth that kind of bourgeois marketing. For products that are resold from Shein and Fashion Nova et al, there is no need to be that unique. In markets that are so saturated, price points cannot be the only thing that separates you and this applies to most industries in general.

Research shows that users typically stay on a web page for an average of 15 seconds. That is a small timetable to have an impact on. Instructing customers to make inbox or phone inquiries could easily cause them to lose interest.

In a similar vein, as I was writing this article, I came across a viral customer review about a food establishment. It was a simple review, which, in my opinion, was supposed to help. There was a hasty and complete answer. The customer was then asked to take her business elsewhere (to a more prominent and expensive organization). It can only be concluded that it is code for ‘if you want to be treated better, go to places that would charge you twice as much’.

That comment left much to be desired. In such a pro-active, connected world where everything is more or less accessible and prices are visible even if you are just window shopping, why do people still feel that value can only be tied to dollar signs ? That whole fiasco could easily have been turned into a lesson on marketing. People, all over, still have a lot to learn.