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Steve -- I didn't know about the straw! Maybe I wasted my two-buck Chuck experience. It's those little cultural aspects that are so hard to pick up on when traveling.

I did enjoy the fact that the cork came out so easily, almost on its own.

Actually, I thought Trader Joes had a pretty nice wine selection, not to mention the whisky.

I usually charge a fixed price for, say, a bridge fit -- assuming that if it takes longer on one job then another, it balances out in the end, assuming that the price is reasonable. I had not thought of the price itself as an aspect of the perceived quality. That to me was the interesting part of the story.

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My brother shared with me a tidbit he picked up in a marketing class: a wine company (local, I think, but I could be mistaken) had been selling their wine at $6/bottle. They decided to change clientele, but did so by simply tripling their price to $18--and the sales doubled.

I find that sort of thing perplexing...as the story went, they did not even change the label, or anything to change visual perception. I guess this is why I do not understand marketing...

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I spent a summer in an artist colony quite a few years ago.

There I met a carpenter from Ontario.

He had just spent the spring building a newer, bigger workshop for

a violin maker. An "awesome shop" , as he described it.

This carpenter told me that the violin maker had doubled his prices

the previous year, in order to get taken more seriously as a maker.

And because of that, his sales jumped up to the level that his old

workshop was too small to keep up with demand. He is presently

going just as strong, last time I heard.

So I guess it worked, in this instance.

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Certainly one should set prices that are commensurate with those of their peers who are operating at a comparable level, but it seems there are two main types of commodities in question, and one has to first make a distinction.

I was mad as hell when I had to pay almost as much in brokerage fees to bring something in from another country, and I did not have any more respect for UPS because they acted like robber barons. And likewise, I had no more regard for the furnace repairman who tried to charge me $700 for a part my intuition told me (correctly) could be obtained for $150, so clearly there are some things that are not subject to this purported law of pricing. The question is, why are some things subject to the illusion of higher pricing equals better, and other things are not.

I contend that it is all an illusion, and those who were much happier with the same wine or violin at double the cost were simply dupes who are lacking the faculty of discernment, and/or common sense to do some research and checking. Apparently, there are plenty of such people out there.

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David -- Spanish wine, I'll put it on my list. We had a fellow from Spain here one winter, made Sangria on the spot at a party. It was marvelous. I've never been able to match the taste, and he did it so nonchalantly.

I used to joke about doubling my prices, losing half my customers, but making the same money doing less work. Now I don't know if I dare. Some of the testimonials here are quite something. I'm glad we luthiers would never fall for such a thing. Now, where'd I put that $100 soundpost tool? Ah, there it is, next to my $800 book.

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quote:


Harrumph! Can't possibly compare with the wine from Burgess Cellars in Napa Valley.

Wow -- over $20 a bottle. I'm guessing they come with their own plastic straws. I've heard it's a California tradition.

Old vs new -- hard to say. A bottle doesn't last very long around here.

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quote:


I was mad as hell when I had to pay almost as much in brokerage fees to bring something in from another country, and I did not have any more respect for UPS because they acted like robber barons. And likewise, I had no more regard for the furnace repairman who tried to charge me $700 for a part my intuition told me (correctly) could be obtained for $150, so clearly there are some things that are not subject to this purported law of pricing. The question is, why are some things subject to the illusion of higher pricing equals better, and other things are not.

I know what you mean. It probably has to do with the inconvenience factor. If your car breaks down most people would rather spend $1000 to fix it instead of $2000, but if they were shopping for a violin, I bet they would rather spend $2000 instead of $1000 (assuming it is within their budget) because to them the $2000 violin must be twice as good.

I am taking this into account when I begin to sell more of my instruments. I sold my first violin last year for $1000, the only violins I can think of in this price bracket are mid-range factory/mass produced imports. People will most likely think my violin's quality must be on par with these imports if I price them the same, so I will price my next much higher.

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Too often we stuck in the mindset that we must charge for our time.... Somewhere on a previous post, I think it was Mr D. who said something to the effect that he does not charge for his time, but rather for his knowledge and experience...and I agree absolutely.... but if you don't have knowledge or experience, upping the price won't help you or your customer!

In the marketing world, perception is reality, and in the production world that perception must become reality...

Cheers, Mat

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