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Money

Learn to overcome your resistance to raising prices.

Higher prices give you better profits and margins. Done properly they also boost sales.

Even in a downturn there are waiting lists for the most expensive private schools, queues at posh restaurants and price-is-no-barrier auctions for upmarket property in ritzy suburbs.

While many people have no choice but to shop cheaply, there’s always a demand for quality.

Here are five creative ways you can use the Internet to raise prices and boost profits:

Online auctions

Despite what their marketing says, customers pay more when they buy at online auctions.

It is partly a matter of connecting willing buyers and sellers and partly because auction fever bypasses sensible spending. That mint condition Abba vinyl album sitting in your spare bedroom might get $1 at a garage sale, but online an Abba fan might bid $50 or more.

Faster delivery

Buyers want quality products, sharp prices and they want them yesterday.

Your competitors probably have access to the same products and wholesale prices as you. If you can add value by guaranteeing quick delivery, customers will pay more. If you can get your products to customers faster than your competitors build your website around this virtue – speedyflowers.co.nz could be a hit.

Difference

Physical shops do this well. Think of the difference between an upmarket city centre department store with piano players in evening dress and discount outlets where an unshaven bloke shouts like a football caller through a low-fi sound system.

You just know which shop is going to make you feel better about emptying your wallet. Creating an online ambience that says ‘quality’ and ‘class’ can be worth as much as a 20 percent mark-up.

Stunning service

The best physical shops never stop delighting customers with good service. Customers understand gift-wrapping, handling returns, helping with fitting and so on comes at a price. Use technology to offer your customers stunning service and they’ll keep returning.

Knowledge

If you’re an industry expert you have extra sales power. People are happy to buy from people who know their stuff. Pack your website with unbiased, accurate information that adds value to your sales. If possible write this material yourself or hire a writer to ghost material.