Would you provide a discount for low-income individuals to boost sales?

by db11
7 replies
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For instance, Amazon offers Prime for 50% off to anybody that can provide an EBT card - if there were an easy way to validate that a shopper had an EBT card or was on some similar type of government assistance, would you be interested in doing something similar? My thinking is that it could benefit a store owner by

1) driving more sales volume and profitability (assuming the discounted price is above marginal cost of the product you're selling them)
2) providing good PR material for your brand/store
3) providing an opportunity to help out people in need.

Curious to hear anyone's thoughts on this!
#boost #discount #individuals #lowincome #provide #sales
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    Good, humanitarian thought. It might open a can of worms with people who do not have EBT cards, though - especially people who might be offended that a welfare card (and their taxpayer money) is being used for non-essentials (if that is the case).

    You also have to wonder whether some people with EBT cards are already buying from you at your normal prices and that in the long run, what you gain in orders may be lost in profits you might have otherwise gotten from those same people.

    There's no way to know for sure without split testing it.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    No because it disempowers able-bodied humans, it levels me down on the earnings side and it also emits a poverty conscious, fear-based vibe. We live in abundance. I only raise my prices progressively. I never lower them from an energy of scarcity. Good for me and every human living in the Universe; forces us to up our game continually.
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    • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
      Originally Posted by ryanbiddulph View Post

      No because it disempowers able-bodied humans, it levels me down on the earnings side and it also emits a poverty conscious, fear-based vibe. We live in abundance. I only raise my prices progressively. I never lower them from an energy of scarcity. Good for me and every human living in the Universe; forces us to up our game continually.
      Wow, Ryan, you're the last guy I thought I'd hear that from. It is what I was alluding to when I said "It might open a can of worms with people who do not have EBT cards".

      A very large portion of the U.S. would be extremely offended that people who are already getting government assistance (a.k.a. those offended people's hard-earned tax dollars) are getting a discount when they bust their butts every day and aren't getting it.

      Not sure you want to offend people who actually do have money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
    It would be completely subjective as to what the discount is potentially being applied to.

    Student discounts are absolutely rife offered by Apple, Amazon and Adobe to name just a few.

    In some cases, some people might even give their product or service for free.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    That is one amazon policy I do not support - especially as the cost for Prime increased recently.



    Not against offering a lower cost - fewer benefits - Prime membership...but I'm with Ryan on this one. Giving lower prices to those on govt benefits increases the value of the benefit. It reduces the motivation to move beyond poverty and off benefits.
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  • Profile picture of the author palmtreelife
    I wonder how long after Amazon became big that they offered the EBT card discount? I would be surprised if it was in their inception.

    I think Amazon is a good business model for us to adapt - and many have by opening up their own ecommerce websites. However, I don't believe all of their business practices work for "small" business owners.

    Amazon can get away with offering discounts to different demographics because they kill the game with insane volume. None of us have the volume or traffic that Amazon does. They can have very small profit margins and still make millions more than competitors. This is how they squeeze out the competition.

    I would not offer discounts and devalue your product. Having said that, if you really want to be a Saint and want to help them, maybe offer discounts when buying multiple products. That way you still make money from volume based purchases and the little guy still gets their discount.

    1) driving more sales volume and profitability (assuming the discounted price is above marginal cost of the product you're selling them)
    2) providing good PR material for your brand/store
    3) providing an opportunity to help out people in need.
    1. I don't think you'd get a significant increase in volume to make it worthwhile...unless your store has a LOT of traffic
    2. Do you honestly shop on Amazon because of their good heart for offering discounts to people of lower income?
    3. That's noble, but I don't think it will pad your pockets, so you need to decide why you're building the store in the first place.
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  • Profile picture of the author brucey666
    Generally, that would be a good if you want to help people and boost a little bit of profit for any kind of business that you are doing.

    The second thing is that you are building your brand and customer relationship which is good long term.
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