January sales or premium pricing?

Once the holiday season is over, it’s the January sales! That’s the way retail always used to play. But the question if you’re selling on Amazon is whether it’s still going to work like that.

Price movements can be unpredictable. Different products behave differently. For instance,  in bricks and mortar retail, you rarely see discounts on staple food products or basic building materials. New cordless drills get discounted – cement doesn’t. Sometimes, particular brands have their prices slashed while others don’t.

Adding to the unpredictability of the situation, lots of Amazon sellers (particularly the mom-and-pop outfits) are taking a break right now. Some of them will have reduced prices before they take time off, others won’t. Whatever happens, they probably won’t be taking much decisive action in the next couple of weeks.

Fortunately if you sell on Amazon you have lots of real-time information coming your way on all your products and on your competitors’ products. So you should use it to the max. For instance, even if two of your competitors are discounting, if you see that your sales are holding steady, you can hold your price. That could make you a lot more profit than trying to match their price.

Of course you’ll want to reduce the price on any holiday-related product you have left. No one wants to buy Christmas cards or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer sweaters in the run-up to Valentine’s Day, after all. If you have these kind of products in your inventory, you’ll want to sell them off to avoid excessive storage charges (or even take them out of the warehouse). But for other products a price drop isn’t always in order.

You might use an automatic repricer. If you do, make sure you give it some strict rules. For instance, limit the amount that it can drop the price and make sure it alerts you if the price drops further. That means you can follow small price drops automatically, and you don’t need to track every product manually.

If the price drops further than the limit, you’ll need to investigate what’s happening. If the product is one where prices have been dropping continuously for a while, then you may need to follow the trend. On the other hand, if a competitor’s price drop takes the price way below average, and the trend has been pretty stable, then wait for February and regular pricing to sell your inventory at a better margin.

You also want to think about how much you have in inventory. If you only have a handful of units left in the warehouse, you don’t necessarily want to play the price drop game. If you have excess stock, maybe you want to shift some of it.

But just dropping your price might not be the right thing to do. Once you’ve marked a price down, customers will often take that as their ‘base’ level, and you’ll then see a negative reaction if you try to move the price back upwards again. It might be better to offer a limited time discount. Besides, if customers know there’s a time limit on the discount, that gives them a motive to buy now rather than wait till later.

You might also want to use a coupon discount on Vipon to just add a bit of spice to your sales. (Of course, Vipon can also help with those worrisome overstocks.)

Most importantly, don’t forget to take notes! Then, next January, you’ll be able to see how things played out this time round. The future may not be an exact copy, but those products which were most vulnerable to price pressure will probably be the same ones in 2024 that they were in 2023.

Getting ready for the New Year

FBA sellers have usually been rushed off their feet for most of Q4. It’s hardly surprising they want a rest when they get to the end of the year!

But you can’t take too much of a rest if you want the new year to be a profitable one. For a start, think of all those people who have gift vouchers they want to redeem. For them, it’s still the holiday gift season, just time-shifted!

You’ll also want to be thinking ahead a couple of months, as what you order from suppliers now isn’t going to get delivered till the end of February. So, for instance, if you’re in fashion, you’re already going to see a move away from winter outfits towards lighter clothing by then, except in the far north.

If you’re sourcing new products, remember January 22 is Chinese New Year, so not a lot is going to get done for a week or more each side. If you want inventory coming in soon, order well in advance and make sure your supplier knows you’re keen to get the goods in stock as soon as possible.

There will also be the January sales. As an FBA seller, this is a good chance to look at your products and see where you have slow moving product or excess inventory. You might want to use discounting to move it along or sell your remaining stock of products that have been discontinued, or replaced by an upgraded version. (Vipon can help you if you decide to offer discounts through coupons. Don’t forget, Vipon customers are hunting for discounts and ready to buy when they see the “money off” sign.)

And you’ll want to get your diary Amazon-ready. That means putting in all the dates you know already, such as Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day. Then, for those that are more than two months away, put “two months to go ” and “one month to go” in your diary, to prompt you in good time to source product or organize an advertising campaign.

If you haven’t done an overhaul of your PPC advertising recently, this might be a good time to do so as you’ll have plenty of sales data from Q4. Look at what worked, not just in terms of what advertising delivered sales, but in term of its cost (use ACOS, advertising cost of sales). If your ACOS is 20-30% you’re okay; if it’s as low as 10%, you have room to boost your better performing keywords.

If you have some keywords that just don’t convert, or are way too costly, it’s time to do some weeding out. Don’t forget to reinvest the savings in better performing ads.

You should also take a good look through your products. Often you’ll be able to divide them into three types:

•      growing like weeds,

•      steady sellers,

•      not moving.

Boost the steady sellers with a bit of extra advertising and see if they respond well to it. The inventory that’s not moving? Take a look at your competition and see if they’re having the same slow sales. If not, it could be time to discount those products and see if that pushes your sales up a bit.

By the way, your sales will fall off a cliff on January 1st, if you’re watching your seller account. That’s nothing to worry about – Amazon doesn’t ship on New Year’s Day, except (this year) for Same Day orders. You’ll see your sales pick up pretty quickly the day after!

Have a happy new year. And have a profitable new year too!

Understanding the Amazon A10 algorithm and how to make it work for you

More than 65% of customers start their product search on Amazon, and the A10 algorithm is the way Amazon helps them search. It’s similar to the way Google searches, using different parameters that are weighted to come up with the most likely useful results.

Obviously, one of those parameters is the combination of keywords used. But that’s not all.  There will likely be tons of products that answer to those keywords.

So Amazon brings in different ways of ranking products. These are all differently weighted, though we don’t know the weightings; the exact way a search engine works is always a closely guarded secret, otherwise people can try to game the system. The different parameters that Amazon uses include the following:

•      Your sales history. If you have consistent sales, rather than sporadic sales, you will tend to get a higher ranking. Basically Amazon is saying that if plenty of people buy your product, there’s likely to be a reason for that, so it’s a product that it can push a little further up the search rankings.

•     Organic sales count particularly highly in the A10 algorithm. An organic sale is when a customer uses Amazon’s search, finds your product in the results, and then clicks through and buys your product. This proves that your product fits the search term, that it’s just what the customer was looking for, so it’s a strong indication that the search engine got it right that time, and ought to continue showing your product as a top search result.

•      Your conversion rate. This is the ratio of the number of customers who see your product page to the number who actually buy your product. If you have a high conversion rate, that suggests the product title that customers see on search is highly representative of the product and gives them an accurate result.#

•      Your seller authority. This includes all kinds of information on how good your customer relations are; your reviews, your handling of product returns, how long you’ve been on Amazon. After all, if your product fits the search terms but you have terrible reviews, then it probably isn’t the product potential buyers want to see.

•      Inventory. The algorithm won’t reward you for having excess stock, but if you only have two items left, you probably won’t go to the top of the results.

•      Your click-through rate; how many customers who see your product in the search listings actually visit your page. This is where having a great photo and a good product title really pull their weight, motivating viewers to click through.

•      Sales from the ‘frequently bought together’ box.

So what changed since the last iteration of the algorithm? One thing became much more important than before: customers coming from off site. For instance, someone might come from Facebook ads, from your Twitter feed or your own website, from internet forums, or from a TikTok video. They might even come from a coupon promotion on Vipon. Amazon loves customers who come from off-site. External visibility gets rewarded, so use influencers to increase your footprint.

This is something that should help your sales anyway, but together with the impact on your search rankings, you should get a double whammy from investing in advertising and promotion away from Amazon. Keep doing PPC, but put new marketing money into beefing up your external ads and your roster of influencers. That should get you rocketing up the rankings.

How customers assess prices

Getting the right price is hard. But we have a simple solution to get to the most suitable price for your product.

When thinking about how a customer views your price, “How much would you pay for this?” is not the right question to ask.

Price is always relative to other options that people have. If you products are the exact same as your competitors – then you have very little pricing power.

If your product has some unique features, then certain customers will be willing to pay more.

The key is to understand what makes your item different to other sellers products. You need to highlight the unique features for your product in your title, listing text and images.

Next, think about who might want to benefit from the unique benefits your product offers. What problem does it solve for those users?

Imagine you are selling headphones – but yours are waterproof and can be used for swimming. Someone looking to buy regular headphones will compare them to the other options available on the market.

But, to swimmers, your product offers a unique benefit and they would be willing to pay a lot more to have great music while they swim.

Go through your item and try to understand what unique customers might be willing to pay more for a particular benefit.

Next, check if there are any competitors offering a solution to the same problem. You pricing can then be the average of the competition, a little higher or a little lower.

In the past, when setting the price for an item, we always priced it a little below the average for the market. But after running some tests at different price points – we found that increasing the price often increased sales and profits.

With Amazon, it is impossible to know exactly what will work best, you have to test different options and use the data to guide your choices.

When setting your price, be sure to ask yourself:

What are the alternatives for my customer, what other products solve this problem?

What are the pluses and minuses of this product? So you’re getting an idea of what customers see as the trade-offs, what are the issues you need to address with your product.

What range of prices are appropriate – what is the lowest price you think you could sell this item for, and what is the highest? What would be such a good price you’d snap it up?

Sometimes, simply having a higher price makes people think the item is better.

Overall, when launching a new product, it is best to start with a lower price to get the sales going. But once your item has over 20 reviews you can set the price to be what you expect people will pay for it.

Then the simple answer to what is the perfect price is to test a range of prices and see what matches your strategy.

The other main consideration when setting price is what is your goal?

If you are trying to rank your product, then keeping a lower price will usually help conversions and Amazon ranking.

If you are trying to maximize profits then you need to try to use a higher than average price to get the maximum margin but without a large drop in unit sales.

If your product is already ranked near the top of your category, then you can use a premium price and sometimes this will skyrocket sales even further.

It’s best to test new prices every 1 to 3 months as the market shifts over time, especially during key seasons like Christmas and Black Friday.

Hot trends for 2023

It’s the end of 2022, so it’s time to look forwards and see what is going to be selling like hot cakes next year.

Many of 2022’s best sellers will probably continue to do well. But there will be several themes that will become particularly noticeable next year.

For instance, with the economic environment still looking difficult, consumers will be looking for small treats. They don’t want to spend a lot of money but they do want to feel special, so this isn’t the same kind of thing as ‘cheap stuff’.

They’re looking for quality and luxury, but in tiny amounts. It’s like having a really intense  but tiny chocolate truffle, instead of a big slice of apple pie. In the tech crash of 2001, Estee Lauder saw lipstick sales rocket; women weren’t buying expensive handbags or shoes, or new outfits, but a new lipstick was both easily affordable and made them feel good.

So small indulgences might be products like

•      costume jewelry

•      lipstick

•      chocolate

•      aromatherapy oils

•      silk socks.

Customers might want to buy a new fruit bowl or coffee mug, but probably not a whole new dinner service.

Male grooming has been a really strong sector for a while, and there are plenty of small treats in this sector too; shaving foams, gels, mustache waxes, and so on.

Another trend we’ll see a lot of is “make do and mend“. The European Union has even passed laws requiring makers of electronic and mechanical products to ensure that products are easily repairable.

Repair products could include packs for repairing mobile phone screens or car windscreens, touch-up pens, or furniture reviver kits including different wood color waxes and scratch removers.

In this sector, you’re not providing craft materials so much as giving people an easy way to avoid a big outlay on having to buy things new. A leather dye and scuff remover is an easy way for someone to make their shoes last longer. Think about how you can present these products in a classy and user-friendly way, and make your customers feel really happy about using them.

Clothing has been all around the place since the pandemic started, with fashion oscillating between comfy onesies for the home and extrovert strut-your-stuff trends for back to the office. But athleisure has been an area that’s done really well. Now the trend seems to be for smart athleisure like Muji’s lovely soft gray pants and loose linen shirts.

In home decor, there’s a similar trend for hygge, for soft, welcoming, cocoon style stuff. Big chunky knit throws and shaggy rugs, for instance, warm a room up nicely. Yes, this trend has been around since 2017 but it’s still going strong, updated to include a more natural and decluttered style.

While sustainability isn’t top of mind for consumers right now, about half of all consumers have got used to buying sustainable and eco-friendly products. That market isn’t going away, but it might slow. However, cork and bamboo products will keep going, with new products joining the mix; cork yoga mats, bamboo bowls and plates, even bamboo pajamas and cork laptop wraps. The final word for this year is authenticity. Customers have got interested in local food, local producers, and local traditions, and they’re looking for things with an authentic feel.  If you can mix the local story of single estate teas or coffees with a sense of luxury, for instance, you have a really convincing product. A set of spices for a particular cuisine, like ‘all the Korean spices you need’ or ‘the Singapore box’ could do well

Creating a Pricing Strategy

One kind of strategy is just matching your competitors’ prices, and it’s one that a lot of FBA sellers use. Automatic repricing software can carry this strategy out effectively without your even needing to think about it.

But there are other kinds of pricing strategy that work, too. Each strategy can work for particular types of product and in particular situations, so we’re going to talk you through the different strategies and where they fit.

Premium pricing means you will always be a bit more expensive than your competitors. Does that sound stupid? Will anyone buy your product if it costs more than the alternative?

It works for luxury products. Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Chanel, Mercedes all use premium pricing. It also works where your product is clearly the best. For instance, if you sell a ruggedized computer that can deal with being used in sub-zero temperatures or in a desert sandstorm, can be dropped two meters without breaking, and is waterproof, you can charge three times what most laptops cost and still have buyers beating a path to your door.

Premium pricing works for brands which have taken the time to establish themselves as thoroughly reliable. If you want to get there, you will need to put a lot of work into it, but it can be a very profitable strategy.

Value-based pricing looks at your buyer’s needs and the way they assess the value of your product, and works backwards from there.

To do value-based pricing properly you need to look at one particular segment of the market, look at what your product does that the next best alternative doesn’t, and then think about how much customers might pay for that function. For instance, if you have a self-emptying cat litter tray, you want to focus on apartment dwellers with indoors cats, who need the function most; and you want to think what premium they will pay to have a completely clean apartment with no unpleasant odors or spilled litter.

Sometimes you might start by looking at what customers can afford to pay. If Ford wanted to introduce an e-car for lower income households, it would probably start by setting a price that would be attractive, and then try to design the car to fit.

Price skimming is a pricing policy that suits fashion products and tech life-cycle products. When you introduce a new product, you price it at a premium at first, and then you lower the price little by little to make the product available to other customers and more competitive. You’ll also probably be lowering the price as your competitors catch up with you, or new competitors enter the market.

The opposite is penetration pricing. You need to price low to start with to gain a market, if, for instance, you have an untested and innovative product. Once it’s become mainstream, you can increase the price.

You could also use mark-up or cost-plus pricing, and simply aim to charge double what you paid for an item. The difficulty with this is that customers really don’t care what you paid for your inventory; they only care about value, or about the comparison with other products. While you need to have a way of ensuring each product you sell is profitable, as a pricing strategy, this doesn’t work that well.

Competitor matching is a strategy that can do well. Some retailers will offer to match any competitor’s price, though you shouldn’t do that unless you’re certain that in 99 percent of cases you have got the best price. Go a little further, if you want to gain market share fast, and you could adopt a strategy of undercutting. However, the problem with that strategy is that you may end up never being able to raise your prices, and unless you are really smart with your sourcing, you could end up with low profit margins.

Whichever strategy you choose, you’ll also need pricing tactics for the short term. For instance, you might discount for the holiday season to expand your customer base, or to accompany a major ad campaign. Get the strategy right, though, and the rest will follow.

Defining your competition when you’re creating a pricing strategy

When you’re creating a pricing strategy, unless you have a unique patented product (and even then, your patent will only last a limited time), you’ll want to look at your competitors’ pricing as a guide.

For instance, if you’re selling colorful vintage style floral print dresses, you’ll want to look at similar clothing and see what kinds of prices customers are paying. There may be a difference between the top brands and others; there may be a wide range of prices, or there may be quite a narrow band of prices within which you’ll need to fit.

But should you really consider all those products your competitors? That depends.

For instance, you may have competitors who are very small sellers with only a few products in your product segments. It probably isn’t really worth thinking about what they charge, as they are ‘price takers’ rather than ‘price makers’. Their limited size gives them limited market power.

You can weed them out by simply looking for how much they sell on Amazon and what their sales rankings look like.

Competitors with poor reviews are also unlikely to limit your pricing. Potential buyers may be attracted by the low price, but put off by the negative reviews, or possibly by the lack of any reviews. Additionally, Amazon probably will penalize them for those reviews by ranking them pretty low, so buyers may not even get to see those products.

You may also find some competitors regularly price at a premium to the rest of the market.  Work out why that is. It may be because they have a well known brand name, or offer superior reliability or a unique functionality. A good example of this would be a fountain pen manufacturer that makes its own special nibs for calligraphy.

Some brands also sell at a premium price because buyers think they will become collectible; Lego special editions, for instance.

If these price makers have advantages that you don’t, then you can regard their prices as the upper limit to what you can charge.

Making a price map showing the prices at which each of your competitors sells, and the rough amount of their sales, should give you a good idea of how the market is laid out and where you might fit.

You might also want to look at substitute products. One example might be if you sell a sink plunger, look at the price of other ways of unblocking drains. That might also give you good marketing copy; “$50 a year on bottles of drain cleaner or a $6 sink plunger? You decide!”

Now you can evolve your pricing strategy. First of all, you need to decide where your product fits on the map. That’s not necessarily in the middle; if you think you have a high quality product compared to most of the others in the segment, it might be further towards the top priced sellers than the bottom.

Then you need to think about getting started. Right now, if you have no sales and no reviews, buyers are taking that quality on trust. One good way to get past that is to decide on a launch discount to encourage customers to try your brand. That can be particularly effective when there’s one big name, or maybe two, that you need to compete with.

Why not price lower? Because then, if you want to raise your price later, you may lose sales as customers feel bitter about the price hike. Offering a limited discount has the advantage that when it’s over, you can revert to the regular price with no hassle. (And of course Vipon can help you with discounts if that’s the way you want to go.)

As for the permanently out of stock products that seem sometimes to fill Amazon, you can go ahead and ignore them. If they’re not in stock, they’re not competition!

Urgency and discounts

If customers know they can always get a discount, they aren’t going to feel particularly motivated to buy right now. They know they can come back tomorrow, or the day after.

For discounts to work, you need to create a sense of urgency. Your potential purchaser needs to feel that if they don’t press the buy button right now this very minute, they’ll miss out.

One way some retailers do it is to email their customers with news of new discounts, letting them get ahead of the queue. Of course, for this to work you’ll have had to build your own email list – not particularly easy if your business is based on Amazon.

You’ll want to get used to copywriting that pushes all the right buttons, with phrases like “ends soon”, “hurry!”, “last chance”, “today only”, or “one time offer”. If you have your own e-commerce website you can add a strong call to action right next to the buy button.

But there are other ways to create urgency, too. You might have a flash sale or a lightning deal. Customers know that this deal will only be available for so long, so even if they don’t buy right now, they’ll likely come back before the end of the day or week. Lightning deals on Amazon, of course, last even less time, so they’ll probably hit the Buy button good and fast.

Preorders at discount prices can also work well to get new products off to a good start. “Order before Tuesday 19th for a special discount” will get buyers thinking about what happens if they wait till the day after…

When a time limit coincides with a special occasion, such as Thanksgiving, Veterans Day, or Black Friday, it’s particularly potent. These are great times to offer Flash Sales, particularly as buyers are often likely to be looking for deals at these times in any case. Of course, you’d want the special occasion to be relevant to your product; discounts on cement mixers, laptops or dehumidifiers probably won’t work their magic for Valentine’s Day.

On the other hand you might set a limit for the number of units available at the special price. One UK retailer uses the slogan “When it’s gone it’s gone”. That can actually be more effective than a time limit, as your buyer doesn’t know how much time they’ve got. Those 100 units might take till tomorrow to sell out, or they might all be gone in ten minutes.

Clearance sales are a particular case in point. Buyers know that you’re clearing out the last inventory, so they know there’s only a limited amount left. Limited-edition products are another way that manufacturers and retailers create scarcity in luxury items. For instance, a limited edition handbag might have just 500 units sold worldwide; the scarcity of the product allows the retailer to keep a high price and still build in the big FOMO factor.

You might also want to add scarcity by only allowing one purchase per customer. This also helps you defend your product against resellers buying it at sales price and then putting it on sale at the original price, making a nice profit margin.

Of course if you use Vipon, you can also get access to buyers who have already proven that they’re really motivated to get discounts. Motivated buyers plus scarcity plus time pressure is a really great way to get your products moving out of the warehouse!

Value Vs Price

Oscar Wilde once said  “A cynic is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”.

A lot of FBA sellers focus on price. They use automatic repricers, they try to undercut their competition, and they believe price is what’s going to get them sales.

In fact, buyers are looking for value, not price. If someone doesn’t have a cat, they don’t want to buy a cat toy at any price. If they do have a cat, and it only plays with catnip fish toys, they will only buy catnip fish toys. The value lies in the fact that choosy cat will play with it.

They might try other toys, but they feel they’re taking a risk. Choosy cat may not like it. So they’ll want to pay a low price to reflect that risk. If you happened to have a discount offer, they might be tempted.

With fashion goods, buyers might look for one of two different kinds of value. A woman who knows she looks good in black might see an asymmetrical cut black linen dress and instantly see that it’s going to make her look amazing. That’s the value to her. It’s personal. On the other hand a lot of buyers want to be in the trend, or they want to buy a particular designer brand so they can show that they own it. That’s a social value, in some ways.

The interesting fact here is that for some designer brands, sending the message “I’m rich enough to afford it” is part of the value. Of course, someone who’s not quite rich enough to afford it will jump at the chance to buy it in a sale. But if there are too many sales, the original buyers may feel the brand has been devalued; anyone can buy it now, and that exclusive appeal has gone.

Let’s think about another instance of value, the Swiss Army Knife. These are genuinely all-in-one tools which can open beer and wine bottles, fix loose screws, cut and file your nails, whittle or saw through wood, cut wire and get stones out of your horse’s hooves.

Their value is that you have one small tool which isn’t difficult to carry around and which can easily get you out of a fix. And they’re also known to be reliable and high quality. So they sell at a reasonably high price.

But some products that try to do everything just don’t sell. A fridge that’s integrated with your home entertainment system? Would you actually pay extra for that? Back in the old days before the internet, one telecoms company produced a component that could be both a router and a modem. That allowed a network engineer to order inventory without knowing how many of each they’d need, which was convenient.

The trouble was, it cost three times as much as either an ordinary router or an ordinary modem. The concept was great, but the price was way out of kilter. Of course, eventually component prices came down and now we all have little boxes that do both jobs sitting in our homes.

And then there are over-engineered products. For instance, a juicer selling at $400 that had all kinds of intriguing bells and whistles, but was actually slower than juicing your oranges by hand. The price, here, is higher than the value.

So when you’re setting your prices, do some hard thinking about the relationship between your price and the value that the product delivers to the buyer.

Of course, you might then want to offer a discount to give a very special extra value to the buyer or to get a product off to a good start. In which case, Vipon will be happy to help!

Pricing a unique Amazon product

Usually, if you’re an FBA seller, you’ll have plenty of competition. But sometimes, you may end up being the only seller of a particular type of product. For instance, if you get in early on a new health trend in supplements, you might be the only seller. This might not last long, so you want to set a price that will maximize your profits by giving you the best mix of high margins and plenty of sales.

You could just apply a mark-up, and that’s what lots of retailers do. But buyers don’t care how much you paid for the product. They only care about what it does for them. So while you will probably make some profit if you use a regular mark-up, you might not make as much as you could.

You can look at substitute products; that is, products which are not the same as yours but which fulfill the same need. For instance, one local food market has several great take-out stalls. They have burritos, Japanese bento boxes, Chinese fried rice, and just recently a super Ghanaian Afro food stall arrived, selling chicken and peanut stew on jollof rice with a side order of plantain.

Obviously, no one else was selling the same food, and in fact there’s no other African food truck anywhere in town. But most of the other stalls were selling around a four bucks price point for a snack and eight to ten bucks for a proper meal. So a box of fried plantain sells for $4, and the stew sells at $9.50.

The big decision here, though, was whether the customers at that food market were adventurous enough to pay a premium for Ghanaian food, or needed a discounted price to be tempted away from their regular stands. If I’d been in charge I think I might have nuanced things by pricing at $5 and $10.50, and offering a promotional discount for the first few weeks.

You can also look at the value your product delivers. If it saves buyers a hassle, even a low-level hassle like having too many cables around the office, that might justify a relatively high price. If it preserves something expensive – for instance, an acid-free mounting for a work of art or a stopper that can keep a half-empty bottle of champagne nicely bubbly – then it would get a premium for that, too.

Some photographers spend $50 a time on filters that don’t do anything. Does that sound stupid? It isn’t, because the filter goes on to a lens that might be worth $600, so if anything gets scratched or broken, it will be the filter, not the lens. It’s insurance!

Think about how important your product is to your buyer. If it’s a novelty green fingernail decal for Halloween, it’s not really important. If it’s a suit to go to job interviews, it is very important. Importance equals value and means, which you probably guessed, you might succeed with a relatively high price.

Think about how long your product will be a solo product. If you have a new kind of cocktail stick, you’ll probably just have a couple of months and then competitors will have organized their sourcing. If it’s a complex health supplement you might have quite a bit longer. You need to get those sales to make your best profits before the competition get there, so a higher price together with a bigger ad spend might be the best idea.

There’s no easy way to do this. You really do need to think it through. In fact, it’s probably not a bad idea to think through these issues even if you do have competitors.

And of course, if you want to offer a promotional discount, you know where to come: Vipon!