10 tips for perfect pricing

Energy, fuel and raw materials: everything is getting more expensive. At the same time, minimum wages are also rising. All these changes affect the price of your product or service. But how do you figure out a good price? 10 tips for pricing your service or product as the economy changes.

There are several ways to respond to economic changes. For example, by raising your prices or launching a new product that is suddenly in high demand. In the last case, you have to calculate a cost and sales price. Do you want to increase your price? Read the tips in this article.

1. Use a price index

Are your costs going up? Then increase your price using a price index. In the video, you can see how it works. If you have extra costs, you can calculate them into your price. And you can explain the price increase to your customer, because you know how the price is built up. 

Adjust your prices with a price index

The main ingredient of your product price is the cost price, a summary of all the costs you incur. This can include raw material costs, the price of semi-finished products, and the time you spend making the product. You then mark up these costs with a profit margin. You need profit to pay for your operating expenses, to develop new products, or to digitalise your processes. If your costs are rising, increase your price according to the price index. If your expenses are rising, price them into your product prices. If you know your price breakdown, you can always substantiate price hikes when asked. 

2. Familiarise yourself with pricing rules 

Are you are a supplier selling a product or service? Then check the the pricing rules of the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM, in Dutch). Suppliers can recommend any retail price they want, but your buyer is not obliged to use your recommended retail price. Retailers who purchase products from suppliers can perform a recommended retail price check (ACM, in Dutch). Make sure to look into the rules on advertising and promotions, too. 

3. What is your customer paying for? 

Figure out the customer value of your product or service. In other words, determine what your customer gains from buying your product. Apart from quality, customers also pay for emotional value, such as a brand name, a good feeling, or service. On top of that, customers also pay for speed and convenience. People looking for a photographer for their wedding or newborn baby have different expectations than someone who wants a quick passport photo. Do you want to discover your Unique Selling Point, the reason that customers pick your product? Then fill out a Business Model Canvas and decide on a revenue model

High prices and price hikes have two consequences: your profits will increase and customers will believe that your product is worth more. Watch the video to see how 2 entrepreneurs chose to inform their customers. Continue to read below the video.

Video: Announce higher prices or just introduce them? | Costly dilemmas

4. Map your position 

Compare the price or hourly rate you want to charge with the prices of your competitors

  • With a lower price, you are likely to sell more products than your competitor.
  • With a higher price, you are likely to sell fewer products than your competitor. Think carefully about why customers would be willing to pay a higher price for your product or service. The reason you come up with is your so-called Unique Selling Point, or USP, which should also be a big part of your marketing.
  • If you charge the same price as everyone else, you will be in direct competition. Find a way to stand out from sellers offering the same product to give customers a good reason to pick you.

Satisfied with your positioning? Show it with your own corporate identity (in Dutch) or personal brand. 

5. Vary your profit margin 

Remember that you do not have to make the same margin on every product or service. Margin is what remains when you subtract the purchase price from the selling price. If you buy an apple for €0.70 and sell it for €1, for example, your profit margin is €0.30.

Take a good look at all your products or services. What is your highest-margin product or service? When you have the answer, do everything you can to sell that exact one.

6. Vary your prices

You do not have to charge fixed prices. Rush orders (in Dutch), weekend jobs, custom products: you can charge different prices for each one. Make your prices variable and dynamic. Charge different rates for off-peak and peak hours or for extra service options. Some cafés, for instance, charge less for coffee when business is slow and many cinemas have special offers on Mondays. Pricing variation can help you influence customer behaviour.

The more data and information you have on your customers, the better you can use this tool. It comes in particularly handy during the digital ordering and shipping process. Airline tickets can change in price by the hour, you pay more for plumbers in the weekend, and pay higher rates for prime-time services. At the same time, you can also offer better prices to regular customers or subscribers. 

7. Need more turnover? 

Increase your sales. You can also increase your turnover by increasing how many products you sell. Drawing up a marketing plan can help you boost sales, enabling you to:

  • find more customers.
  • increase your order size. On average, a customer spends a higher amount each time.
  • have your customers make more frequent purchases.

8. Down payment for in-demand products and services 

If demand outstrips supply, ask your customers to make a down payment. For example: if your restaurant has to deal with lots of no-shows, ask them to make a down payment to reduce the odds of last-minute cancellations. 

9. Use the psychology of price 

Another way to influence sales is by leveraging intuition and emotions. Our brains, for example, are better at rounding down than rounding up. For that reason, we buy more products with a price ending in .99. On top of that, research has shown that customers want to minimise ‘pain’ while making a purchase. Using a smaller font will literally make the price feel lower. Similarly, leaving out the euro sign makes a price seem more reasonable. Do you have paying subscribers? A big annual bill hurts less than a fixed lower monthly payment. 

10. Want to sell more? 

Give extras instead of discounts. Tip #3 told you that customers believe that more expensive products are better. Conversely, discounted products seem inferior or can make your previous price seem inflated. You can avoid this by offering customers extras for the same price. Consider surprising your customer with a memento, beautiful packaging, or VIP Services. 

Importantly, a law was introduced in mid-2022 to combat misleading discounts. You are no longer allowed to temporarily increase the price of your product only to lower it later and claim you are offering a discount. The price advertised as the ‘was price’ has to be the lowest price you charged in the 30 days prior to launching your promotion. 

Getting Started 

With these tips, you have all the tools you need to figure out a good price. Remember: if your prices are too high, no one will make an order. And if they are too low, you will not make enough to cover your costs.