Why Wouldn’t You Put Prices On a Website?

December 30th, 2014 Paul Dekker

Conway Furniture Website

The advent of online shopping has been quick and many retailers are not up to where consumers want them to be. The goal is quick and complete information including prices with a button that says bring it to me. We are working toward that but it is certainly not easy for many industries. Here are the biggest reasons why you might not find pricing on a website.


Knock Offs

I once was asked this question by an online shopper looking at black leather sofas. My reply was that there are black leather sofas at $799, at $1799, and at $4799. In a small picture they would look pretty similar. Unless I’m selling the $799 why would I put a price on it?


Cost of Goods

Even if the items in question are identical, prices are often based on variable input costs that change substantially in a short period of time. Currency exchange, duty changes, variations in freight due to fuel surcharges, and increases in base costs from the manufacturer for the same reasons. Pricing is not nearly as stable as it once was. New payroll taxes planed for Ontario should probably add 5% to retail costs alone. For stores who want to offer the best price at any given time it is time consuming to say the least.


Retail Service

Some items are easily purchased on line. When you already know what you need and it is compact and easily shippable through couriers or post. Other products require you to touch and feel. From my perspective in the furniture business this is the case. It is not wise to buy a mattress without having tested it for at least 10 minutes. Would you invest in a quality leather sofa without sitting in it?


There are valid reasons why you should pay more for an item. Is the low price posted misleading? Perhaps to get that price you need to buy other pieces at higher prices. Is there an administration fee? Delivery Fee? Will this company help you get service on the item if something goes wrong?


Retailers invest a lot of money on the bricks and mortar side to display and demonstrate products and train people to assist in the customers purchase. It is always a concern that the customer uses all the services of the store then goes on line to purchase cheaper from a company who has no investment and has offered no services.


And what about after the sale? A cheap purchase from a “Buy Direct” or an auction and they sever ties with that furniture. A good retail store will help you select products that suite your lifestyle and will assist in looking after any issues that might come up. Today’s reclining furniture for example has many mechanical parts. It should be no surprise that these items might need minor service from time to time. On-line covers no cost of supplying that kind of service.


The consumer is in the driver seat these days but a good retailer is like the GPS that gets you to your chosen destination.

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