Is Price Matching Stupid?

13 Jun

Back in the day, when this industry was taking off in the early to mid 90’s, competition in the performance aftermarket was slim in comparison to the number of businesses out there today.

What was once a niche market is now far more familiar to the masses. You can “blame” the movies (we all know the ones), but markets won’t sustain such expansion on the back Hollywood alone. It’s the passion to make our cars better. It’s the simple fact that the pursuit of automotive performance and style is a disease, and it infects new hosts daily.

So, while the industry evolves, the customer changes as well. With endless vendors out there (many of them fly-by-night companies) the customer wields a bit more power these days. Therefore, it makes sense that prices have dropped for products and brands that just aren’t so rare anymore.

With that, the customer is more informed and eager to find the best prices. While I can appreciate the fact that nobody wants to “overpay” for a given product, I can’t wrap my head around the concept of price matching in this industry.

With stiff competition out there, it’s only natural that price has become increasingly important to the customer. I get it. However, if price is the main concern when shopping for product X, why ask a trusted vendor to price match when that customer has seemingly already found the lower price? Why not just buy the product from that vendor? Why would a customer get angry when the request is refused? Especially considering that most business in this industry occurs over the phone or on the internet. One location is no more convenient than the other. It’s not like asking your local best-buy to match the price a Sears location 30 miles away for the same appliance. I don’t get it.  There has to be a reason.  Perhaps it’s because the other vendor is not so trusted?  Who knows.

Would you ask a gas station attendant to match the price across the street? Why not pull into that station instead?

We’ve been operating far longer than most (13 years). While far from the perfect business, I’d like to think that some of our practices work as we continue to grow year after year and have evolved with the industry. I know we cannot offer the lowest price on every item at every time. Nobody can. Moreover, I’m NOT willing to make pennies or possibly lose money on a sale JUST for the sake of making a sale. It’s bad for my business…hell, it’s bad for any business. I’m willing to let the market drive how business is done, but I’m not willing to do business that doesn’t make sense.

Smart business. What a concept. Maybe it’s why we’re still going strong and I can name quite a few businesses that couldn’t survive a year.

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