The elections have me thinking about promises and politics and how it applies to the small business owner and customer relationships.

The past few weeks I’ve had a few customers call and express outrage that we charge for delivery.  I’ve been so mystified by their anger that I haven’t really known how to respond. I really can’t understand how someone would expect me to insist my delivery driver work for FREE,  or insist that I pay him at the expense of my company being able to make a profit.  Delivery does have expenses associated with it,  things like  gas, insurance & repairs. I guess I could give FREE delivery and just absorb the costs, or I could give FREE delivery and hide the costs in the price!  Neither option seems very smart to me.

Now that I’ve  had a little time to think about it,  a few questions come to my mind.  I Hope you don’t mind if I share the questions with you and I really hope someone will give me a little feedback and share their thoughts.

1. If you see the word FREE,  do you automatically want to buy the advertised item just because it is FREE?

2.  If you see two advertisements, does the one that says FREE make you want to buy it more than one that doesn’t say FREE?

3.  Do you think FREE  is really FREE or do you think promotions  have  some strings attached to it?

FREE  is a VERY good price, and it will always bring people in to get the FREE  item. The problem is, just getting people in the door no matter what it costs is not why we’re in business.

We do need customers, but we also need to make a profit on those customers. Our ultimate job as a business owner is to make some money,  give superior  service and give our customers more than they expect!

I’m wondering if at some point this FREE  kind of marketing devalues the product in our customer’s eyes. Why should you pay $5 for this item today when it’s going to be FREE tomorrow? If a company offers a FREE  promotion for any length of time, then don’t you as the  customer grow to always  expect it?  Will you become angry when we decide it’s time to stop offering the promotion? Just wondering about the reasoning behind some business owners and their marketing schemes..it’s just makes no sense to me.  Am I missing out on something grand here?
I really believe that people value paying a fair price for a good product!

Absolutely Free

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