Weathering the Economy the Bartering Way

I read that over the holidays that retailers are taking all sorts of measures to appease consumers’ demands for good deals, including allowing customer to haggle prices down.

The situation is giving consumers the upper hand, but from a CRM perspective, the fallout could also be detrimental to retailers that are adopting on-the-spot pricing policies, as opposed to maintain company-wide pricing strategies. It speaks to the same issues that franchise corporations run into when trying to maintain a consistent brand across all businesses.

Just this past week I learned this lesson first hand while pricing a digital camera at Best Buy. The first Best Buy I visited was willing to chop nearly 40 percent off the original price. When I informed an assistant manager of this price at the second store, he told me I must of have been mistaken to think I could receive such a generous discount.

While these policies are a great way to make money and clear inventory during tough economic times, they can also act as a double-edged sword, as Apple learned when they dropped the price of the original iPhone and previous buyers wanted a rebate for the difference.

That said, if the economy continues to deteriorate, what’s going to be next, bartering?

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