You know the setup: you’re walking by the bandsaw booth and you really don’t need any more bandsaw blades or gizmos, but there it is, a circle cutting attachment, regularly $49.95, with a big sign “Show Special $25!” At what point do you give in and buy it? (Category “nice to have, but wouldn’t use it much…well, maybe at that price”.) I’m wondering how many items to lug to a show this winter. I may have to fly, so freight costs are a factor.
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor K:
For smaller items such as the one you referenced, I usually find myself ready to purchase when they have demonstrated it in front of me (or had a video) and then I to try it.
I'll never forget a purchase I made about eight-ten years ago at a show. It was basically a horizontal drum sander. On one side was 60 grit and the other side 220. He would grind it on 60 to make it rough and then 220 to show the difference - no big deal. He showed how it would be useful for edging smaller parts, and had me try it. We make a lot of our components to minimize waste, and this appealed to me at the time. Enough so, to drop $400 on something I could have made for half that.
I should say, since you are an exhibiter apparently, I am going to woodworking sows less because of the costs. Even the hobbyist shows are now getting $10 to park, $10 admission and that's after a 50-100 mile trip that costs $30 in gas, so I am into it for $50 by the time I get into the door. If I get inside and there aren't any real deals, I'm not much in a mood to spend.
The same company (a large - still in existence machinery vendor) was not very cooperative when it came time to sending me installation specifications. All I had to work with was a color brochure that showed the entire line of sanders. Whenever I would call it seemed that everybody was in a meeting.
Two weeks later my electrician was in the building and I still did not have the data I needed. I then became very belligerent on the telephone (emphasis on belligerent). I told the poor woman who was talking with me that I didn't care if they had to get the president of the company out of the meeting and that I was going explain what their post-sale behavior was like. Miraculously it only took about five minutes for the meeting to end and the fax machine to start spitting out what I needed.
One quarter was always $250 off the retail price, and the other three quarters were at full price, with a $250 free something or another. Not only did we always sell more machines at full price with a free accessory, but surprisingly people who purchased at full price would also purchase more add-on items! I suspect the folks who couldn’t afford full price would sit and wait for a discount price before biting and that’s all they could afford, while those who were getting something for free felt justified in spending a little more.