When it comes to pricing, what is the ‘right’ price?

It’s that forever debatable question, how much should an item be priced at?

One of the most unique things about charity shops is the differentiation of price between them. It’s part of the beauty of them that they can cater specifically to the communities that they are a part of. There have are always stories about ‘overpriced’ charity shops in the media, but more and more stories have been featuring focusing on the charity shops that are offering heavily discounted prices. I guess charity shops offering a fairly priced offering that gives the shopper a good deal whilst still getting the charity a good price just aren’t news worthy. But no matter the location can there ever really be a minimum price to charge an item at or a maximum.

Both images the ‘overpriced’ and the ‘exceptional cheap’ don’t present the image of charity shops in the best light and poses the question of what is the right price for an item, how does one get it right. Is there anything wrong with just being in the middle? Most charity shop pricing seems dependent on location that affects the pricing of the goods, whereas high street retailers like New Look or M&S don’t differ their pricing based on location, they will tailor their product range to suit the local market.

When it comes to collectibles, items that have a current market value ( books, cd’s, dvd’s, vinyl), or goods like designer wear that had a very high initial value, most customers would expect to be paying a fair amount for these because they are deemed to have a current ‘worth’. The items that cause dispute are the run of the mill products, you know that classic M&S plain t shirt that comes in every colour imaginable and retails at about £6. This item you could find priced from 99p up to £4.99 or even more in charity shops across the land. Why does the location of the shop really change what the item is worth? The higher the initial price of the item the more varied a price you could find, with price sometimes depending on what a shop has deemed the item worth or how quickly they want to sell the item.

In the way that an ‘overpriced’ charity shop can offend, do the exceptionally cheaply priced as well? By these I don’t mean discount shops where the message of ‘clearance’ is usually very well communicated to customers and donors. I mean those shops that prices everything very cheaply regardless of what its is or its initial worth. Something that might make your customers happy would probably affect your donors and the quality of the goods they might give you.

Of course nowadays the charity retail market is much more competitive in terms of competition so maybe dropping prices has become a result of this but this doesn’t necessarily make for a higher return or make you more attractive than your competitors.

Still it can seem just as bad to see an time priced to cheaply as it is to see an item being sold for almost as much as it cost new. But is there ever really a ‘right’ price?


2 thoughts on “When it comes to pricing, what is the ‘right’ price?

  1. Promotions of categories within a shop can mean lower prices for a set time. Eg. If your shop has been reorganised and you have moved a category to promote it or changed things around,.
    This is a good time to promote it with some tasty pricing. With our shop, General Fiction is not a good seller. Not unsurprising considering technology etc. We are trying to have a dedicated small Fiction team, who follow guidelines to introduce more range in prices. There is no point in trying to sell common authors at higher prices. However, prize winning fiction, fiction that has been adapted for TV, current films etc, can command higher prices. All our books are of a high quality in terms of appearance and a promotion is never an opportunity to sneak poor quality stock on to the floor.
    Hope this is helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We have a policy of pricing items at between 1/3 and 1/4 of what the item would cost new for things that would be pricey to start with – although there is always the thought when something like a dinner service goes out of the door within 10 minutes of being put out on the shelves whether or not we could have asked for a bit more. That, of course, still doesn’t stop people moaning occasionally about how “expensive” the shop is!

    Liked by 1 person

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