Shopping for the Best Price Isn't Always Simple

Shopping for the Best Price Isn't Always Simple

(Please note that this uses a specific pricing example, and that prices may have changed between when it was originally written and now.)

I'd like to take a moment for a quick lesson in comparison shopping. I had a customer reach out for a price match on a set of Pirastro Perpetual strings last year. She wanted me to match the price of a competitor who has a (self-stated) reputation for having the best prices on strings, anywhere - even going so far to overtly state that other stores are artificially inflating their prices (and, presumably, ripping you off.) 

Here's what she asked: 

"I am interested in a set of Pirastro Perpetuals and I noticed while shopping around that [OTHER STORE] had a better deal for a regular set. Now, I am also looking at the Stark upgrade on the G string and I can't tell if they are willing to swap it out like you guys do - so you may have them there. Anyway, just looking for a deal." 

So, visiting the other store's page, I see a price of $204 for Perpetuals on their site - they're $233.17 at my site, which is the factory-authorized advertise-able pricing for them. So we're almost $30 apart on pricing, it seems... 

No, they DON'T offer the set pricing with the Stark G string that she wants. So on that other site, she'd have to put each of the single strings into her cart separately to make up that set she wants. The Stark G is a good bit more expensive than the standard G, so that brings her total for the 4 strings to $246 at the other site. At Gollihur Music, I offer  combined "set pricing" for the set including the Stark G, and our price is $265.85. We're still looking to be about $20 higher, but we're getting closer... 

The other store CHARGES SHIPPING on strings; and if you put her address into their shipping calculator, you end up with a shipping charge of $14.40. Now, their total price comes to $260.40. Gollihur Music ships all strings (singles AND sets) to all 50 states FOR FREE. Every day. (Not for nothing, we also include our free 2-page tip sheet for installing the strings, and we ship the same day, and all of our strings are guaranteed to be authentic and sourced from authorized distributors. And we answer the phone when you call with questions or problems, and spend the time to make sure that you get the right thing the first time.) 

And even though these differences in service might be worth the extra $5 and change to many customers, I *DID* send this customer a link so that she could buy that set of strings for the same price as that competitor (including shipping costs and the upcharge for separate strings - after all, it's a MATCH of the real price, right?) 

Just a reminder to double-check your math - and don't be afraid to ask. The worst I can do is to say "no" - and I often say "yes."

Nov 28th 2023 Mark

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