Many of you know that I started Flash Drive Canada after having one of those “Aha” moments.
I noticed that the USB industry as a whole was not doing a very good job in how to attract and retain customers. As a long term promotional distributor and flash drive customer myself, I was frustrated by the big companies and industry “experts” who treated everyone like an idiot for asking simple customer oriented questions and for questioning why things had to be the way they were.
One of the large Canadian USB suppliers (who is now a competitor), told me it was not possible for them to give me the info that I needed, in order to help my USB customers. Remember, this was a prominent USB supplier, who was unwilling to help me, in turn, help my USB customers.
What was it that this flash drive supplier could not, or would not do?
Well…I had asked for regular pricing updates on the changing cost of the USB’s that he supplied. The supplier said that they would simply match any pricing that I got from other suppliers. (Remember this statement for a bit later in this post!).
They were not interested in providing this information to me as their own distributor, so I could only imagine how they were responding to other USB customers and distributors.
Fast forward to now. At Flash Drive Canada, we offer fully disclosed USB pricing updates on our website, as well as an unpublished online Price Guide for all of our flash drives and USB packaging. All updated regularly and in real time. With Canada’s best pricing, best service levels and overall best value.
All are a result of knowing our business, our market, and our partners…and responding to the needs of our USB customers in a proactive and positive way that works for both parties. We call it…Keeping it Real!
Which brings us to another taboo flash drive topic: USB Price Match Guarantees
Look, nobody wants to lose your USB business.However, as suppliers, nobody wants to lose their own business either. Even as a small family business, a lot of people depend on our success as a business.
I’m not going to list the circle of influence here, but I can tell you that it boggles the mind when you draft it out and really think about it in human (or real) terms. In a small business, it is a constant balancing act to be both profitable and fair in your pricing and expectations.
So in the spirit of “Keeping it Real”, here is my opinion on USB Price Matching Guarantees:
It is a seriously flawed business and consumer strategy. There will always be “lower” pricing if you search long enough.
However, many of you already know, or should know, that this industry still has a very high flash drive fraud rate for unwary consumers. You may be matching or comparing to “lower” priced USB’s that do not function, or have the wrong capacity, or that may never actually be delivered. Still a sad state in the USB industry, but still very true.
Remember, it takes zero care, zero thought and zero strategy to implement a USB Price Match policy, and it reveals much more about the character, confidence and heart of a business. It takes real courage to do your homework and to put your best USB offer or flash drive pricing out there and stick by it.
In reality, I think that a price match policy actually insults the consumer’s intelligence and it only serves to devalue a business and it’s people. It just seems so unprofessional and tacky, to boot!
At Flash Drive Canada, we know exactly what we have to do, in order to function and to compete. If we cannot serve and function at a certain profit and service level, we simply cannot (and should not) be in business.
But the fact is, that even by posting our best quotes and offers without a Price Match guarantee, we are able to function extremely well and to compete very favourably in the global USB marketplace.
So we must be doing something right!
Check out our USB customers’ comments. Thousands of very happy and very satisfied new customers, repeat customers and referred customers, can’t all be wrong, can they?
Look…I believe that it is perfectly OK to be flexible (or creative!) if client budgets need to be met, or if there are a few pennies or dollars separating a deal from no deal. Or if a special circumstance arises that you feel you have to work out with your client.
This is business, after all, and not about being stubborn or unbending.
But proudly displaying a “We Will Match Any Price” banner on your flash drive website does not seem to convey or instill confidence within your own business, your own strategies or yourself.
Perhaps more importantly…It does not guarantee the customer anything, in terms of actual service and total cost. Yes, there is a “real” total cost to every deal, for both parties, regardless of the USB “price”.
That is another subject for another day!
One final thought…We have never offered or posted a Price Match guarantee on our website. We simply offer you our best pricing and best value offer that we can, every time.
So who do you think the competition is Price Matching with?