Is it just me, or is $1997 pricing in this economy insane?

104 replies
Hi -

I've noticed that in my niche, trading, some competitors are now copying product launch style business models; many with horrible products, all uniformly priced at the magic (too high imho) $1997 price point w/affiliate contests etc, like the IM crowd pioneered 5-7 years ago.

Is it just me, or is trying to make $2,000 upfront sales in the world's worst economic climate in 50 years, a) a bad deal for customers, and b) overpriced, and c) simply not the right way to do business?

From what I'm told, my competitors who use this model are accustomed to horrible 25%-28% refund rates, and are now starting to use "conditional refunds", eg "send me brokerage screencap proof you actually tried to use this for x weeks, and then we'll give you your money back". I think conditional refunds are wrong, as is pitching things way up at $1997 price points with the 4-video launch model, from what I've seen offered.

Making apple-to-orange comparisons like getting the price of getting a college degree, compared to their junk offerings, to price-justify, is misleading and who would "buy" that pitch line anyways?

Now IF the offering was something by a) people with credibility, proof and testimonials, and b) included high-value content, like regular coaching webinars (that's something I do for all my high-end products), Then I could understand $1997 or similar price points. But charging $2,000 for simple access to downloadable videos? wtf. Who in their right freaking mind pays that much money for stuff?

I mean I'm well-off, my business is successful, I've spent 10k+ per year on instructional stuff in years past, but at more reasonable price points, like $295-$795 for multi-dvd courses, lots of books (all under $30), and membership video access sites (up to a few hundred).

So I understand, exceptionally well, how to launch high-ticket items (I've done so for over a decade); but frankly in my niche I've seen overpriced garbage, that's not even worth $300-$500 imo, much less $2,000. Are people mesmerized by $1997 prices, and find value at that price point, for big-ticket items, anymore? It seems so, now I'm seeing even up to $3000 product launches.

How about You? I'd rather incrementally buy modules of stuff at $200-$300 if I found value in it, rather than $2,000 upfront, as that's a fortune. Just like I thought those "large" IM seminars that were thinly disguised pitchfests that charged $1k-$2k were a rip (they've since disappeared, mostly - thankfully). I'm a value buyer, and many people who are smart, also are in this economy. For me to charge $2k+, it would include personal phone coaching calls or other high-value content, at least that's how I see things.

I'm really good at pointing out the elephant in the room, I kill my competition with that. Is it just me, or is it time for the "death of overpriced $1997 stuff?", in favor of modular lower-priced courses? I'm just beyond puzzled why someone would buy something for 2 grand. And I can afford it. Part of staying wealthy, is not overspending. Invest in yourself, sure. For 2 large I could buy 70 300-page books from world's top experts, a big library to learn from. Or a few hours of video. Sheesh. Thoughts, folks?

thx,

k

p.s. back in the 2005-2007 era here, I brought up similar questions about the $2K IM seminars, and finally most of those went away, as people realized they were being "took". Sure, create an avatar, recruit high-list size jv buddies, do reciprocal launches, but offer value. And yeah that's in the eye of the beholder. The koolaid of overspending and "you've gotta take action" wears thin when value proposition is low.
#$1997 #economy #insane #pricing
  • Profile picture of the author webfighter
    I don't know about bad economy or charging $1,997 upfront, but I don't really get what you're saying about "conditional refunds".

    I myself never offer a no-questions-asked money back guarantee on any of my products. People have to prove that they found my product "not worth it" or my support lacking.
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    • Profile picture of the author LittleHelp
      Originally Posted by webfighter View Post

      I don't know about bad economy or charging $1,997 upfront, but I don't really get what you're saying about "conditional refunds".

      I myself never offer a no-questions-asked money back guarantee on any of my products. People have to prove that they found my product "not worth it" or my support lacking.

      Good point.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by kencalhn View Post

    Is it just me
    Yes. Yes, it is.
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    I've noticed that instead of offering unconditional MBG like they should, my competitors are now offering "conditional" refunds, meaning prove you tried to use it or no money back (which I think is bad, and maybe even not ftc-compliant, or at least frowned upon). That's in their "conditional refund" terms, wording to the effect of prove you tried it or no money back (which I doubt many people will do, jump through the 'proof' hoops) that they set up. Another red flag, in addition to the $1997 price tag.

    They charge that much because of the math, eg payouts to affiliates. And they use first-cookie aff tracking, which favors only the guys with big lists, since leads overlap a lot, vs smaller affs.

    On the positive side, it makes it a lot easier for someone like me to compete against them at lower, better value price points that offer genuine content at reasonable pricing. $1997 means no product ladder to add value over time for customers, it's email blitzes hit and run for maximum dollars upfront, which doesn't lead to repeat sales. That's good for me, that they do this.

    lol cd, thanks that's good to know... not.. In my webinars I have funny slides about "don't get ripped off by the $1997 crowd, get better value from me, with better content and better prices". And that works very very well. I'm adept at marginalizing/putting competitors out of business, thats why I'm at top of my niche all these 12 years. High-value content at reasonable prices, in a marketplace that has bad content at high prices.. easy to compete against.
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by kencalhn View Post

      lol cd, thanks that's good to know... not..
      I know several people selling $2,000+ programs. They are selling plenty of them. The material is worth the money. And the refund rates are near-zero, not because it's so hard to get a refund, but because nobody even asks.

      Are there idiots out there charging $2,000 for $20 products, mismanaging their affiliate programs, and abusing their customers to prevent refunds? Yeah, sure. They're called "dickheads." We've always had them and always will. They'll outnumber the legitimate, honest, trustworthy businessmen any day of the week.

      But the problem isn't the price tag. It's the dickhead pointing to it.
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      • Profile picture of the author Justin Says
        Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

        I know several people selling $2,000+ programs. They are selling plenty of them. The material is worth the money. And the refund rates are near-zero, not because it's so hard to get a refund, but because nobody even asks.

        Are there idiots out there charging $2,000 for $20 products, mismanaging their affiliate programs, and abusing their customers to prevent refunds? Yeah, sure. They're called "dickheads." We've always had them and always will. They'll outnumber the legitimate, honest, trustworthy businessmen any day of the week.

        But the problem isn't the price tag. It's the dickhead pointing to it.
        Ha.

        I'll be honest, I agree.

        We just need to try our best to teach people to do things the right way.

        If you're honest, you can charge a higher price for a product.

        I just personally don't like charging that high.

        If I wouldn't spend the money, I'm not going to charge it.
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        • Profile picture of the author Tiffiney Cowan
          Originally Posted by Justin Lewis View Post

          If I wouldn't spend the money, I'm not going to charge it.
          This is great advice! I also liked in your earlier post how you mentioned one price was too low, another too high, and finally you hit on the right amount to charge. Just goes to show it's worth monitoring the effects of different aspects of your business (in this case price) and tweaking if needed.
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      • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
        Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

        I know several people selling $2,000+ programs. They are selling plenty of them. The material is worth the money. And the refund rates are near-zero, not because it's so hard to get a refund, but because nobody even asks.

        Are there idiots out there charging $2,000 for $20 products, mismanaging their affiliate programs, and abusing their customers to prevent refunds? Yeah, sure. They're called "dickheads." We've always had them and always will. They'll outnumber the legitimate, honest, trustworthy businessmen any day of the week.

        But the problem isn't the price tag. It's the dickhead pointing to it.
        Post of the month.
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        • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
          Banned
          Overpriced garbage is overpriced garbage, no matter when it is sold.
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    • Profile picture of the author trevpen
      Originally Posted by kencalhn View Post

      $1997 means no product ladder to add value over time for customers, it's email blitzes hit and run for maximum dollars upfront, which doesn't lead to repeat sales.
      Yeah, and there isn't always the support that's required either; and I'm guessing the ones who are willing to pay this kind of money and probably end up not recouping their investment are the newbies - who would probably think, at that kind of price, it must be good, right?
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    • I'd say yes it is bordering on insanity, however it does depend what you are getting out of the course.
      I mean, if it comes with a guarantee that you will make $2,000 a month or your money back, then it's not too bad. For most part though, yea, it's a little steep.
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  • Profile picture of the author Justin Says
    In one of my niches, competitors charge $5,000, I don't.

    Don't focus on competition.

    Focus on creating your own product, service, course, and price it at what you feel is adequate.

    If you feel that $1,997 is the right price for what you have, then that's what you price it at.

    But, DO NOT SCAM people.

    You'll know when something is too high and when something is too low.

    I once charged $100 for a product. It was too low. I then charged $500 for the product, it was too high (competitors charging $5,000+). I now charge $300 for the product and it's perfect.

    Be reasonable. Be fair. Be real. DO NOT SCAM
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    The insane thing is not having these people OFFER the $1997 product... the insane thing is people BUYING a $1997 product in this economy. But if you're a millionaire or if you earn $100,000 a year or more... i guess this is chump change for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author hardnova
      Originally Posted by Randall Magwood View Post

      The insane thing is not having these people OFFER the $1997 product... the insane thing is people BUYING a $1997 product in this economy. But if you're a millionaire or if you earn $100,000 a year or more... i guess this is chump change for you.
      Trust me, even if you earn good money, two grand is NEVER chump change. Matter of fact, what is "chump change".., is that like "spare change"...lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    well said, cd.... that's I guess my frustration, has been for many years, in many niches, is seeing low-value overpriced stuff from competitors, because I "inherit" a lot of former customers of competitors who tell me how bad their stuff was, overpriced and didn't work, from competitors.

    Staying Relevant to your customers means working your rear end off to deliver solid world-class value time and time again. I love business Darwinism, the overpriced bad value stuff tends to disappear over time.

    And yes there's probably a handful of programs that are well worth $2k-$5k... but the thing is, what my point in the post/thread is, Lots of people are now offering things at that price point, to parrot the pricing, even if the value or credibility or results isn't there... and that's bad for the entire industry, causing a lot of well-placed skepticism from customers, who felt they got ripped off for $1997... I see it on forums in my niche all the time.

    So I'm not saying $1997 is blanket/uniformly "too much", it's more, that there's a LOT of stuff that honestly isn't worth anything near that, from snakeoil competitors, polluting the marketplace... I try and speak out against that, is "caveat emptor" for stuff when people are asking a lot of money for it. Good point Justin, I spend too much time worrying about shopping the competition. Customers are getting smarter, more selective, and that's good.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jay Levine
    I think there are still plenty of well to do people who will buy at any price point, even in this economy. So if your product is worth $2000 and you know how to reach those people, than by all means, go for it. On the other hand, ripping people off by selling crap at high prices is definitely not good business.
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      that's I guess my frustration, has been for many years, in many niches, is seeing low-value overpriced stuff from competitors, because I "inherit" a lot of former customers of competitors who tell me how bad their stuff was, overpriced and didn't work, from competitors.
      Ken, that's a good thing. People are always going to be gullible and toss money away on things that turn out not to be worth it. You can't single-handedly save them from that. But you can serve them well when they've been burned.

      The process happens the other way, too. I'm reminded of the story about the barber who watched, unconcerned, when a competitor set up shop across the street. "$5 haircuts!" A week later, he put up his own sign, "We fix $5 haircuts."

      Marcia Yudkin
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanmilligan
    Banned
    People will buy anything. As long as it's marketed properly somebody is going to buy it.

    Think about all these multi-millionaires, get the product infront of them and in no time you will be one of them!
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    • Profile picture of the author Justin Says
      Originally Posted by ryanmilligan View Post

      People will buy anything. As long as it's marketed properly somebody is going to buy it.

      Think about all these multi-millionaires, get the product infront of them and in no time you will be one of them!
      Yea... see I want to say that that's bad judgement.

      If you value a product by the marketing, you're going to be overcharging people.

      Value the product by what's inside of the product, service, course. Be realistic. Yes marketing should be a factor, but don't just charge a high price because you know how to market something.

      Be realistic on the value.

      P.S. Also don't use someone else's price as the reason you price so high or so low. Sometimes people overcharge and sometimes they overcharged. If you provide a solution, charge what you feel is necessary for your customers and what they feel is reasonable.
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      • Profile picture of the author ryanmilligan
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        Originally Posted by Justin Lewis View Post

        Yea... see I want to say that that's bad judgement.

        If you value a product by the marketing, you're going to be overcharging people.

        Value the product by what's inside of the product, service, course. Be realistic. Yes marketing should be a factor, but don't just charge a high price because you know how to market something.

        Be realistic on the value.

        P.S. Also don't use someone else's price as the reason you price so high or so low. Sometimes people overcharge and sometimes they overcharged. If you provide a solution, charge what you feel is necessary for your customers and what they feel is reasonable.
        Hmm I suppose you are right. But I don't really see where you got any of that information out of me from. I totally agree with your philosophy, always have agreed to that approach.

        I was simply just stating that knowing your market makes things easier to sell. If you can get an offer infront of the right people they are going to buy. That's all I meant by it :p
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        • Profile picture of the author Justin Says
          Originally Posted by ryanmilligan View Post

          Hmm I suppose you are right. But I don't really see where you got any of that information out of me from. I totally agree with your philosophy, always have agreed to that approach.

          I was simply just stating that knowing your market makes things easier to sell. If you can get an offer infront of the right people they are going to buy. That's all I meant by it :p
          Yea I don't know, I guess while reading what you said, it came to mind.

          It does relate in the fact that you are charging according to the value.

          If I told you that I could help you make $15,000 in a week (and you did) and charged you $7,500 for that, to most, it would be totally worth it.

          But the same can be said if I taught you how to make $15,000 in a week (and you did) and charged you $30,000 for the knowledge, so you could repeat the exact same process the next week.

          The biggest obstacle is proof and the client taking action.

          That's one reason why many products/services get a bad reputation, because the clients don't implement the knowledge.

          Again, no clue where that came from, I just love examples.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Barrs
      Originally Posted by kencalhn View Post

      Is it just me, or ....
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      Yes. Yes, it is.
      Never start a conversation with ... "Is it just me?" LOL.

      And while, no, it's not just you, you are among the many who judge other people's finances by your own.

      It was a hard lesson to learn, but many years ago I had an explosion in my business - that explosion came when AI realised that just because "I" wasn't willing to pay $X-thousands for my products or products that my competition was selling, didn't mean that my CUSTOMERS weren't will to pay it.

      People pay for perceived value only! They DO NOT pay for actual value. Actual value is what's determined AFTER purchase and determines the refund rate of a product - perceived value determines the sales volume and sales success.

      Paul Barrs
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      • Profile picture of the author MrMaxx357
        I don't care what you charge for your product or service...Its really not up to us...Its up to the client who's willing to pay it...But we all know that there are waaaaaayy too many people who have garbage products that don't have a chance at ever being valued as a high-priced item...But nevertheless, there are consumers for these products as well...THE MARKET DETERMINES THE PRICE!!!

        As far as conditional guarantees...I like them...It keeps tire-kickers from doing the "let-me see", especially when its a high-priced item....YES!!! The Seller has to have some integrity & stand behind his product, but we know that there are a lot of people out here who just wanna see a product with no real intention of ever trying to implement it....If a client is legit, then they shouldn't mind showing that they at least tried...Its the equivalent of bringing your receipt for a cash refund
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    • Profile picture of the author Claire Koch
      that's not true people will not buy anything

      Originally Posted by ryanmilligan View Post

      People will buy anything. As long as it's marketed properly somebody is going to buy it.

      Think about all these multi-millionaires, get the product infront of them and in no time you will be one of them!
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    Perception is often reality, many people think something must be better because it's more expensive, obviously w/in some reason.

    I think many people who buy this stuff are unemployed and looking to buy themselves a job.

    I think the market for small biz ideas in a box for pt/ft income opportunities will be huge.
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  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    Looking for people who are willing to pay $2,000 is tougher than selling a powerful product or service at a reasonable price, IMHO.
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  • Profile picture of the author DonHuevos
    It's had to say. If the product can convey enough value, then the price point is right. What I think you're really pondering is a question of price elasticity. Would return rates and demand increase at a lower price point? In almost all cases, the answer is yes except for some luxury goods. Finding the sweet spot involves market testing (test groups) and working a few price elasticity formulas.

    Personally, I like taking a straightforward approach to pricing. What is my development cost plus fixed cost, plus any other material adjustment (marketing/advertising expense). I then add in whatever I think is the appropriate velocity rate and viola, my price. If I do it well, I can produce and market a better product at a lower price than my competitors. That is value.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    The price point is not the problem - whether the value matches (or exceeds) the price point in the value of the buyer is really all that matters.

    I have a friend who just paid 50k pounds for a porsche - would he pay $2k for a course that helped him buy another one? Sure.

    I've paid (and been paid) thousands of dollars for things over the years and in most cases been happy with what I got.

    IM is a little different because some people will just charge whatever they think some unsuspecting person will pay, regardless of the fact they know it's rehashed stuff that's available for $27 somewhere else. Some people would say that's fair game and not a problem - so it mostly comes down to scruples and whether the buyer feels the value or not.

    If someone pays $2k for some crap and is happy with their purchase - who are we to tell them they shouldn't be?

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    nothing to see here.

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    • Profile picture of the author Justin Says
      Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

      The price point is not the problem - whether the value matches (or exceeds) the price point in the value of the buyer is really all that matters.

      I have a friend who just paid 50k pounds for a porsche - would he pay $2k for a course that helped him buy another one? Sure.

      I've paid (and been paid) thousands of dollars for things over the years and in most cases been happy with what I got.

      IM is a little different because some people will just charge whatever they think some unsuspecting person will pay, regardless of the fact they know it's rehashed stuff that's available for $27 somewhere else. Some people would say that's fair game and not a problem - so it mostly comes down to scruples and whether the buyer feels the value or not.

      If someone pays $2k for some crap and is happy with their purchase - who are we to tell them they shouldn't be?

      Andy
      I do agree on this statement for sure.

      Another example that I took from what you said, was this.

      If someone bought a Porsche for $50,000 and you could help them save $5,000, you could charge them $2,000.

      The concept is very similar to that of Groupon if you think about it (I've never used Groupon but that's what I take from it).
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    • Profile picture of the author Nightengale
      Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

      The price point is not the problem - whether the value matches (or exceeds) the price point in the value of the buyer is really all that matters.
      Bingo! I think Andy's post was the best take on the whole issue.

      And Ray Edwards made an excellent point about pricing not being an exact science.

      It's not about the price you charge. It's about the value you give for the price you're asking. And yes, in this economy, I think people DO demand more value for what they're paying. But it doesn't mean you can't find a market for "expensive" products.

      Personally, I'm no longer willing to shell out $1997 for a course. Partly because I think it's too expensive given the many cheaper alternatives out there and partly because I'm past that "learn-everything-I-can" stage.

      I'm in a stage now where I'm actually willing to spend MORE money but I also want more for that money: namely, one-on-one time/coaching/handholding. At this time, I'm no longer willing to be one of a huge crowd where I'm just learning something with no personal access to the coach/creator.

      Case in point:

      Alexandria Brown (of Ezine Queen and Online Success Blueprint fame) did her biggest launch ever in December. It was for a year-long online course called Elevate. The course is primarily video-based. The total "charter" price was $3K with an option to upgrade to group coaching with her for an UNSPECIFIED sum AFTER you became an Elevate "member."

      Ali's Online Success Blueprint is the awesome A-Z IM course I bought for $1500 back in 2008 that really gave me the serious info I needed. I loved it so much I bought it again a year later (the newer version) for ANOTHER $1500.

      It is (was) EXCELLENT. (She's discontinued it.)

      I'm no longer willing to do that though. I used to feel a connection to Ali in spite of the fact that I'd never personally met her or spoken with her. She's since grown so big that I no longer feel that connection and really feel like just one of a HUGE crowd of her fans. She seems very unapproachable to me which is a huge turnoff. In some ways, she's gotten so big that I feel a bit "used." That is, she KNOWS the value building of building and nurturing a list. So I feel like I'm being asked to buy from her all the time, yet there's no way she'd ever take any time to speak with me if I had a question specifically for her.

      HOWEVER, I just paid my mentor $7K last month for 6 months of coaching. So I paid more than DOUBLE what Ali was charging. But that coaching includes 1) a one-on-one component and 2) a group-coaching component. The one-on-one is very important to me, but even the group coaching is OK because it's a very small group and I really CAN connect with my mentor. She'll actually personally answer my questions. She knows my name and who I am.

      I also liked the fact that she laid out the two coaching program options she offers, what's included and the price up front. There was no "pay-$3K-now-then-find-out-how-you-can-pay-me-more (amount unknown)-to-coach-individually-with-me" shenanigans.

      So it's all about value in "this economy." But no, I'm no longer willing to buy $1997 courses. I don't want to attend seminars or join "programs" with huge numbers of people in them either where I'm just one of a multitude. I want the one-on-one help.

      Michelle
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  • Profile picture of the author TopKat22
    It really depends on your market. While the news has been saying this is the worst economy in years, most of my business friends are making record sales and income since 2008.

    Some times a price can be too low for a particular market.

    Once I was selling something with a $6500.00 up front, non-refundable price and some of the people who did not buy from me turned around and bought what I considered an inferior product for $25000.00.
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    great dialogue, thanks... and hey Marcia it's good to see your thoughts, you're one of the good folks to learn from, I remember from years ago. You're right about I can't save them from overspending, it's just I don't like seeing injustices/people taken advantage of, so I speak out about it... though it's probably best to not do that to customers, instead just focus on what my value proposition/deliverables are, vs hollering about competitors when they offer bad value.

    It's a hard habit to overcome, I've done that for years, but it's best to simply focus on the dialogue of helping my customers, quietly, correctly, and letting them make their own value judgements about worth, or not, of 2k products from competition... thanks all, good tips here as always.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    I don't think that pricing is an exact science. The $1,997 price
    tag may seem random but if that the value prospects see in the
    product the slow economy is not going to prevent them from
    buying.

    It's interesting during a slow economy (as was true of the
    Great Depression) people spend more money on entertainment.
    How can they throw away their money on entertainment
    when they can scarcely afford food? Doesn't make sense,
    but it reality.

    My understanding is that Apple sells its products at at whopping
    40% profit whereas other electronics firms are about 1/3 of
    this value. How can Apple overprice their products like that?

    Price, like beauty, seems to be in the eyes of the beholder.

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  • Profile picture of the author Martin Lee Jr
    Personally - I don't think I can ever buy a product (especially a digital product) without a no question no hassle refund policy. Now with that being said I agree with CD because even if the product is not to my satisfactory I rarely ask for a refund for anything, but I always want to feel like on the front end, there is an easy way out if the product is not for me.

    For example - I joined an IM private monthly membership site several months ago, and one of the first things the creator did, was show me how to cancel to my membership if I ever chose to cancel. When he did that I immediately knew I was in the right place.

    a lot of people would hide the cancel button, and make you jump hoops to find it.

    IMO - who do these people think they are, that make you actually need to prove their product doesn't work, especially with a $1997 price tag. I hope to see these conditional refund policies go away also, because I have never been a fan of it, and I can imagine there are many people that feel the same way.
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Pulling out my 30-year old calculator ...

      $1997 with a horrible 28% refund rate works out to a "real" $1438 net sales price.

      The 1st question is: what is the net revenue at that price versus other prices?

      The 2nd question is: what other benefits derive from the pricing?

      For instance, low price to increase customers and contacts? Or a higher price to stake a premium position in the market? Purposefully dealing with a certain number of customers?

      It also depends on who you are making offers to and what the product is.

      For instance, there are plenty of people here you couldn't sell a $97 product to because it is way too much. Who cares about the benefits. But that same product can be sold for $997 to others and they will be overjoyed at the deal.

      Ken, when you get an offer from me in the mail I'll make sure it is not $1997

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author Tony Marriott
        A lot of peoeple here seem to assume that a $1997 product is not worth it.

        That seems extrordinarily sweeping. I'm sure there are some products sold at that price that are rubbish as are products sold at all prives (even $7).

        I don't see the economy has anything to do with it. In fact more people than ever are desperate to make money.

        It depends on how you look at the worth of the product

        amount of weeks training?
        How many videos?
        How much bonus?

        All rediculous measures BTW

        I paid $5000 for some training about 2 years ago and it turned me from a struggling affiliate to well paid product creator and all round IMer. In retrospect it would have been a bargain at $25K or even more.

        The value of a product is not what's in it but how much you can make from it's learning and application.

        If a $1997 product can show you how to make even $4000 then its worth it. If you could double your investment every couple of months it would not take you long to be making a lot of money.
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  • Profile picture of the author algrant
    Everything has it's price and if your target market is people that can pay that type of money then good on you. As i understand the majority of people are lookig at getting started, but then what do you think the quality of information you get for say $20.00. I would pay that type of money if it was a well known trusted marketer but then for my customers i would probably do a survey befor i launched to gage how much money my list was willing to invest. The other side of course is that if you invest in your education, and providing it's good content then you are probably more likely to take action, Cheap and FREE stuff lies in the draw and gathers dust. Ultimatly you must Learn to Earn.
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  • Profile picture of the author accendo
    I wonder if what you are doing is applying your domain knowledge to what your competitors are selling. As stated, anything properly marketed can have an audience. The difference is you know it is basic or even crap information they are selling. Even in the investing marketing business, there appears to be an inner circle that just market each other products.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Gram
    The economy has nothing to do with it. Case in point...A few weeks ago, we went to a very high end expensive restaurant and it was jam packed and this was on a weeknight.

    In this or any kind of economy, there will always be people with money who are ready, willing, and able to pay A LOT of money for value.

    So taking the economy out of it, then it's simple...if someone has a great product that is high quality and provides tremendous value, $1997 might even be too low of a price, it just depends on the market, product, situation, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    outstanding points.... I agree too that support/systems/coaching programs that offer Personalized help can be priced much higher than 1997, and likely should be, if the person offering the help is a genuine expert.

    but mass-marketed products that don't include phone coaching or other types of opportunities to get Q&A with a genuine expert, seem to be overpriced at $1997 in general, from what I've seen. That's two different types of products, and markets; what I'm seeing in my niche is things like a single software program or single "box o stuff" at $1997 (plus monthly fees in some cases), which have high return rates, bad industry reputation, as seen on the forums in that niche, and little or no support or personal coaching help.

    I've spent many thousands in hourly fees for specific mentors, and professional/legal/other advice and help over the years, and that's all been well worth it... but mass-produced content package launches with no individual help, seems that 2k is a bit steep, given the alternatives, particularly when the content is low/poor quality.

    I would for example Much rather spend $2000 for 4 hours at $500/hour with a top expert on the phone, with specific Q&A for me (and I have done so on numerous occasions), than that same $2000 on some mass-produced video product. Of course the very top guys may nowadays charge $2k+/hour or more, or not be available, so that's a limit.

    An interesting insight, of the thousands who've attended my live webinars, and paid events, seems like just a fraction actually ask a lot of questions, maybe 15-20% at most will actively get involved, vs spectators approach. That would be another good topic, of building higher interactivity w/structured exercises, homework, activities, in a coaching thread.... that type of support with real guidance, could and should be priced much higher, 2k-5k+ range... it's just the launches of bad stuff at 1997 that needs to go away, or be restructured into modules at lower price points.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jon Patrick
      Originally Posted by kencalhn

      Is it just me, or is $1997 pricing in this economy insane?
      Is $150,000 pricing on a car in this economy insane? If it's a Ford Pinto, yes. If it's an elite, high-powered sports car which meets the quality and performance standards of people who are willing to spend six figures on a car, no.

      Is hundreds of thousands of dollars for a painting in this economy insane? If it's one of my paintings, yes. If it's a painting by a world-renowned artist whose work art collectors clamor to get their hands on, no.

      You get the idea.

      The real problem lies in the fact that some people are gullible enough to pay the equivalent of $150,000 for a Ford Pinto, or hundreds of thousands for one of my paintings, when purchasing IM products. Not that the price point, in and of itself, is too high for any product to be worth it.
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    @Ken - glad you're posting here again and poking the elephant.

    The plastic monopoly money orgy of the mid aughts is long dead and I don't think it's coming back any time soon.

    People are measuring value much more closely now. IMO, that's healthy - if inconvenient for those who measure their success by how little they can get away with for as much as possible.

    I think the elephant is really about value exchange versus price point.

    Surely we can all agree that there are lots of things worth $2k, oversold infoproducts notwithstanding.

    @Michelle, thanks for being so open and honest about your choices. That was a really instructive post about the reality of a reasonable customer.

    Brian
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben Gordon
    High end pricing is far from dead.

    Usually, though, people offer high end offers in their backend -- after they build trust with their customers. Front end offers aren't really the 'best' way to make high end sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author rondo
    We're talking about traders here - 2k is not very much to guys who are prepared to take financial risks every day. And most of them prefer volatile markets so they don't really care about the state of the economy.


    Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author paul_1
    If there are people who still buy a $1997 product and refunds are low, damn, the product must be worth it...
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  • Profile picture of the author cashtree
    I think it's only insane if no one will pay it. Fortunately there always seems to be someone, somewhere who'll pay high prices for quality products, but you may want to give them a taste before asking them to commit.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    2000 dollars? Isn't that about the price of a term at a community college? Lololol.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nightengale
      Originally Posted by Michael55555 View Post

      2000 dollars? Isn't that about the price of a term at a community college? Lololol.
      No, a term at a community college is half that. Or even less if you're not going full-time. (Ask me how I know...)

      So it becomes about which is more valuable to you (IF you have to choose one or the other.)

      Originally Posted by im1217 View Post

      I honestly would never buy a $2000 IM product. You can join a coaching site like I did for $40/month and learn WAYYY more than any product could teach you. You can learn way more in this forum for FREE than any product can teach.
      Geez, guess I shouldn't have shelled out $2K for Jeff Walker's Product Launch Formula in Nov. (I forgot. I guess I DO spend $1997 for infoproducts still... :p) Why didn't you tell me sooner????

      :rolleyes:

      Michelle
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      • Profile picture of the author im1217
        Yeah, you got suckered by good COPY. And, I never have spent $1997 for a product and never will! I can tell you now and you will still get suckered tomorrow. So, how many tons of product launches have you applied it to? Let me guess.....


        Originally Posted by Nightengale View Post

        No, a term at a community college is half that. Or even less if you're not going full-time. (Ask me how I know...)

        So it becomes about which is more valuable to you (IF you have to choose one or the other.)



        Geez, guess I shouldn't have shelled out $2K for Jeff Walker's Product Launch Formula in Nov. (I forgot. I guess I DO spend $1997 for infoproducts still... :p) Why didn't you tell me sooner????

        :rolleyes:

        Michelle
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    • Profile picture of the author Justin Says
      Originally Posted by Michael55555 View Post

      2000 dollars? Isn't that about the price of a term at a community college? Lololol.
      Each person lives their life how they want to live it.

      I personally disagree with our current educational system (on most levels and for most fields).

      $2,000 might be the price of a term at a community college, but when it comes down to it.. what do they really learn.

      If someone wants to be a guitarist.. teach them how to play the guitar. If that means they are going to learn more in your course than they would at a community college (which they probably will) then so be it.

      Does that mean people need to charge these prices? No.

      But I don't totally disagree with it. I feel a product should not be priced on competition (which includes college), but instead on what value is given and how much that value is worth to the customer.

      As someone else said. It's not the seller who decides on the price. It's the buyer.
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  • Profile picture of the author kimfal
    I agree with the majority in here, it all depends on the product, the value people put into it and what the seller feels his/her product is worth. People are all different so what one sees as expense and not worth it another person will think the exact opposite. I think the best thing is to have something of value that you are selling then put a price on it. If the product doesn't sell adjust the price like Justin Lewis posted earlier in this thread:

    "In one of my niches, competitors charge $5,000, I don't.

    Don't focus on competition.

    Focus on creating your own product, service, course, and price it at what you feel is adequate.

    If you feel that $1,997 is the right price for what you have, then that's what you price it at.

    But, DO NOT SCAM people.

    You'll know when something is too high and when something is too low.

    I once charged $100 for a product. It was too low. I then charged $500 for the product, it was too high (competitors charging $5,000+). I now charge $300 for the product and it's perfect.

    Be reasonable. Be fair. Be real. DO NOT SCAM "


    And if the refunds are high...well then I think you better take a look at the product you are selling and the price you are selling it for!!! lol ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    yes there are some great posts in here so you should read through them again.

    I will add my input.

    You aint gunna get rich selling those $17 ebooks. Plus, when we sell those affiliate programs over $1000 they are damn easy to sell. You might think this is BS, but it is not, you need to sell the right products, to the right high targeted people, at the right time.

    By the way, when I said "the right time" just means you should build a list and build a relationship first and them hit them with the offer. This works for us.

    The ECONOMY right now stinks and will get worse, trust me on that. Do not listen to Obamas lies, they are getting tired and lonesome. The economy will get worse, but we make sure we put ourselves in the niches we knew would do well.

    So realize no matter if the ECONOMY is in BOOM or BUST...... it doesn't matter, ....price is irrelevant. You just need to sell Good products to the RIGHT target market. Finding the right target market is the hardest, not selling the product.

    This is how we do it.

    Stop trying to get rich off those $17 ebooks, and sell a good $1000 product as an affiliate. You only need 1 sale a week to make $4000, like i said, if you are targeting the right market, that shouldnt be hard at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve McBride
    The seller does not set the price. The BUYERS set the price. They prove what the product is worth by what they are willing to pay for it. The buyers' perceived value of the product is greater than the cost of the product, therefore they hit that buy button. Once they have used the product, they now decide if it was worth what they thought it was, which dictates whether or not they ask for a refund.

    Any good marketer never relies on his own guesses when selling a product. He tests the product. He lets the market decide. This way he's not leaving anything to chance. He can test and tweak and test and tweak until he has maximized the money he's bringing in for a specific product.

    Remember, the map is not the territory. Just because something seems a certain way to you, it doesn't mean it's like that for others. I told a friend that I've sold video courses for $200, all digital download. He couldn't understand why someone would buy that because he never would. It's simple: Because it solves a problem for the people who buy it, and that solution is worth at least what I'm charging.
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  • Profile picture of the author im1217
    I honestly would never buy a $2000 IM product. You can join a coaching site like I did for $40/month and learn WAYYY more than any product could teach you. You can learn way more in this forum for FREE than any product can teach. I never have paid over $100 for any product and have made $$$ from the 2nd hour of my IM career. The only thing I paid $997 for was a LIVE seminar last week. I like to be able to confront the people teaching if I pay a lot. They can't hide on the internet.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Chicas
    It all depends on the value you get from a product. I wouldn't mind spending 10k on a seminar if I knew that it would help me get 100k. At the same time, if I'm low of funds, I'm not going to be crazy enough to get myself in that kinda debt. If I have the money to spare I would do it.

    There really aren't any "secrets" out there. The best approach anyone can take is to learn while doing and not just fall back in a learning mode for a long time (only reading/studying), and thinking that's productive.
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  • Profile picture of the author J Bold
    There's absolutely nothing wrong with that pricing, in any economy.

    As long as your target market has the money, that's all you should care about. You should not be targeting people who have to max out their 5th credit card with a $2000 product.

    If you are targeting people with that budget, it makes perfect sense.

    Now, do people sell $2000 products that probably aren't good enough to justify the price tag? Of course.

    So, if your market has the money, if your product is worth it (preferably over-deliver and make it worth even more than $2000 but still keep it at that price point), and if it converts for you, there's no problem.

    If it's bad enough that you get really high refund rates either due to poor quality or over-promising in the sales copy, then that's not good. But in the end, it's not your product so you have to let people sell how they want to, or you can start a thread on warrior forum complaining about it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Christines Dream
      Isn't it kind of backwards to let someone or something else decide the value of your product / service?
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      • Profile picture of the author Witty
        Originally Posted by Christines Dream View Post

        Isn't it kind of backwards to let someone or something else decide the value of your product / service?
        That "something" should be supply and demand.
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    • Profile picture of the author Keith Everett
      I think one point that hasn't been mentioned here is that no matter what price someone pays for something. If they don't do anything with it, - it will always be "in their opinion" too expensive..

      One person can pay a $1000 for a course and turn it into $50,000, another can take that same course and lose their shirt..

      Just Sayin!..
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      Are there idiots out there charging $2,000 for $20 products, mismanaging their affiliate programs, and abusing their marks to prevent refunds? Yeah, sure. They're called "dickheads." We've always had them and always will. They'll outnumber the legitimate, honest, trustworthy businessmen any day of the week.

      But the problem isn't the price tag. It's the dickhead pointing to it.
      There, fixed that for you. Now I can go back and read the rest of the thread...
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  • Profile picture of the author kayshaw
    Originally Posted by kencalhn View Post

    Is it just me, or is it time for the "death of overpriced $1997 stuff?", in favor of modular lower-priced courses? I'm just beyond puzzled why someone would buy something for 2 grand. And I can afford it. Part of staying wealthy, is not overspending. Invest in yourself, sure. For 2 large I could buy 70 300-page books from world's top experts, a big library to learn from.
    I think this is a really valid question. I'm a bit newer to IM, but I've quickly learned to see the "red flags" of a bad product. A price of $1997 is definitely one of those red flags. I can't see any product being worth that much money unless it included a 3 day seminar at the spa . With that being said, I am a very frugal person. However, I have noticed that these "secrets" (another red flag) they try to sell you on can be found with a little bit of digging.

    Anyways, just my thoughts and I could be wrong.
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  • Profile picture of the author nicholasb
    the mindset that everyone in the world is broke is more insane to me than that. fi you think that everyone on the world is broke you have no right trying to sell anything on the internet, cause literally what would be the point.

    I am one of the people who sells high priced offers in that range in many niches and I can verify that the entire world is not broke and people do buy those high end offers, and I do not feel bad about it because I am offering high quality products that get people results.
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  • Profile picture of the author JamieSEO
    I don't see an issue with that pricing.

    My measurement is always Return on Investment.

    If I spend $2,000 and end up making $5,000 from using that info/software then it was a good investment.

    If I spend $300 and end up making $100 from using that info/software then it was a bad investment.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jere Kuisma
    I honestly think it would be extremely dumb to offer "no questions asked" refund on a products priced at 2000$ . It's so high amount that 95% of the refund askers only ask for refund to get their money back, even if the product was good.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom B
      Banned
      haha I enjoyed this thread!

      I love the 2k price point being a red flag for some.

      Oh, and the economy. lol

      I can see why some people are not doing much in business. Instead of basing their purchase decisions on ROI, they concentrate on refund guarantees and price.

      Just imagine all the wso's you can purchase for 2k! You will be millionaires in no time. :p
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  • Profile picture of the author thekaver
    if every market you will always get people selling high priced rubbish products!

    I wouldnt let it worry you! Id focus on making your product set aside from the competition.

    for example you could add in your sales page that you dont offer a condition refund guarantee like your competitors instead you offer a complete satisfaction guarantee.

    So just use this as an advantage!

    thanks

    TheKaver
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom B
      Banned
      Originally Posted by thekaver View Post

      if every market you will always get people selling high priced rubbish products!

      TheKaver

      In every market, you will get people who love your products and people who think they are rubbish.

      Which group is correct?
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  • I dont see anything wrong with high-ticket products in ANY economy conditions. If you've got the valuable content (and the marketing savvy to pull it off), why not?
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    Some backstory: I have done very well by implementing this last twenty years in business, based off of resources I've acquired at much more reasonable pricing, from top guys who are world-class resources. Most everything, 90%+ of what they sell, is all to wider audiences, at lower price points.

    Whether it's their latest $20-$30 book, or $97 teleseminar or video, the pricing is always much lower and the quality much higher than what I've seen in both the IM and trading market spaces, dollar for dollar. So I think that higher price points (for things that include personalized coaching or webinars with Q&A access) are fine to offer, but only AFTER you've built rapport and delivered value at lower price points. And I don't mean with 4 cheesy launch videos. I mean, I bought your $30 book last year (or $47 video mini-course) and used the tips to make more sales, and now you're offering a 12-webinar series for $795 that's a great deal, is better.

    I "don't drink the kool-aid" of buying into the idea of insane $2000 price points for initial purchases; I believe that pricing between $200-$800 or so is reasonable for most products and serves the marketplace well, while still maintaining healthy, honest profit margins. Just because marketers are able to incentivize/ Pay Off affiliates big commissions to mass-email their lists during launches with $1997 price points does Not mean it's ethical or correct or a viable long-term business model, unless you're in the "cliche" of gurus with big lists who endlessly cross-promote to each others' lists. If you're not in that small group, it's not a viable business model for most. And I certainly don't do that, nor advocate wasting huge sums of money on dubious-quality courses.

    Coaching, personalized support, yes that validates higher pricing, if it's from a proven, trusted expert... but $2,000 for access to downloadable videos only? You've gotta be out of your mind to buy that, or promote it, imho. Deliver value first, to stay RELEVANT and TRUSTED to your audience. Sell them overpriced $1997 stuff and you don't keep them as customers for years.

    Advanced tip (I'm a very successful IMer btw): by positioning yourself as the "guy who pokes the elephant" as one earlier poster adroitly commented (thx), you place yourself in an advocacy role with your lists, which a) builds your credibility, if you're telling them dont get ripped off with $1997 products, and b) helps you grow your business, by offering solid value at more reasonable price points, which earns trust.

    Of course my competitors hate me - and that's a good thing. My business has grown while they get desperate. I don't even market much w/affiliates; I've got a huge list that I market to with integrity, at lower price points, with top content... that's a success formula.

    Racing to the bottom with pricing is a bad approach, of course, but for example my product ladders start at $47 and go up to $1495, with most offerings in the $495-$795 range, to thousands of buyers. Most of my sales revenue comes from the 6th+ sale I've earned from a customer who has been to several or more of my no-cost preview webinars, who then started buying from me. Keeping your customers and adding value to their lives is a journey and a process, that builds revenue strategically over time. Not one-shot $1997 pitchfest launches that drain their wallets and offer little value, as some of my competitors do. It's funny, on the trading forums now, hundreds of folks talk about how bad that approach is, which kills my competitors' business model, which is great for me. Offer value first, of authentic content that works.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom B
      Banned
      Originally Posted by kencalhn View Post

      Some backstory: I have done very well by implementing this last twenty years in business, based off of resources I've acquired at much more reasonable pricing, from top guys who are world-class resources. Most everything, 90%+ of what they sell, is all to wider audiences, at lower price points.

      Whether it's their latest $20-$30 book, or $97 teleseminar or video, the pricing is always much lower and the quality much higher than what I've seen in both the IM and trading market spaces, dollar for dollar. So I think that $2000 price points (for things that include personalized coaching or webinars with Q&A access) are fine to offer, AFTER you've built rapport and delivered value at lower price points.

      I "don't drink the kool-aid" of buying into the idea of insane $2000 price points for initial purchases; I believe that pricing between $200-$800 or so is reasonable for most products and serves the marketplace well, while still maintaining healthy, honest profit margins. Just because marketers are able to incentivize/ Pay Off affiliates big commissions to mass-email their lists during launches with $1997 price points does Not mean it's ethical or correct or a viable long-term business model, unless you're in the "cliche" of gurus with big lists who endlessly cross-promote to each others' lists. If you're not in that small group, it's not a viable business model for most. And I certainly don't do that, nor advocate wasting huge sums of money on dubious-quality courses.

      Coaching, personalized support, yes that validates higher pricing, if it's from a proven, trusted expert... but $2,000 for access to downloadable videos only? You've gotta be out of your mind to buy that, or promote it, imho. Deliver value first, to stay RELEVANT and TRUSTED to your audience. Sell them overpriced $1997 stuff and you don't keep them as customers for years.

      Advanced tip (I'm a very successful IMer btw): by positioning yourself as the "guy who pokes the elephant" as one earlier poster adriotly commented (thx), you place yourself in an advocacy role with your lists, which a) builds your credibility, if you're telling them dont get ripped off with $1997 products, and b) helps you grow your business, by offering solid value at more reasonable price points, which earns trust.

      Of course my competitors hate me - and that's a good thing. My business has grown while they get desperate. I don't even market much w/affiliates; I've got a huge list that I market to with integrity, at lower price points, with top content... that's a success formula.
      Yeah, you're not drinking the "kool aid". :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    And that's why I've sold millions during this last decade, while competitors fold. By marketing with integrity to a large worldwide audience that I'm well known to (and am published often in industry journals, featured speaker at industry events etc, some positioning/fame), at reasonable price points. Thanks everyone for keeping it positive. It's good to hear professional, honest comments that add value.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom B
      Banned
      Originally Posted by kencalhn View Post

      And that's why I've sold millions during this last decade, while competitors fold. By marketing with integrity to a large worldwide audience that I'm known to, at reasonable price points.
      What experience do you have selling higher priced products?

      Competition folds for many reasons. How do you know they priced themselves out of the market? If that is true, they could simply drop prices and be competitive once again without failing.

      How are you able to decide a product is rubbish based on price point alone? Amazing Kreskin... I can see why you sold millions if you have that power.

      I think you're drinking your own kool aid. It sounds like you differentiate yourself from the competition very well but started believing the horse sh*t.

      Microsoft sells billions and not exactly cheap by your standards.

      Apple sells at 40% profits and they are killing it. Does that mean that Apple products should be sold for less since they are making too much money? Or they are ok since they haven't moved pass this 2k price point on some of their products.

      Surprisingly, different business models with different pricing points work. It isn't a one fit all sort of thing.

      This is whole high price = bad products is just idiotic.
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Ken,

        As Mani said, you've always been consistent on this point. I think some of the people making snide comments (Hi, Thomas!) are missing some context. That said...
        Whether it's their latest $20-$30 book, or $97 teleseminar or video, the pricing is always much lower and the quality much higher than what I've seen in both the IM and trading market spaces, dollar for dollar.
        I would tend to agree with this, except for the word "always." There aren't a lot of exceptions in this market, but there are some. Jeff Walker's stuff, for example.

        On the whole, though, I would say this is an accurate general statement.

        Thomas,
        Yeah, you're not drinking the "kool aid"
        I find it annoying when people classify a legitimate difference of opinion as somehow indicative of something more. When it's a fault, rather than something to be considered. Or just ignored, as being non-relevant to one's own business.
        What experience do you have selling higher priced products?
        Ummm... He's got quite a bit of it, actually. At least as products in this market are considered "high priced." But you joined right about the time Ken stopped posting for a while, so you wouldn't have known that.

        Ken is one of those guys whose experience is not reflected in his post count...

        You can scale back the sarcasm any time now, sir.


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        • Profile picture of the author Tom B
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          Ken,

          As Mani said, you've always been consistent on this point. I think some of the people making snide comments (Hi, Thomas!) are missing some context. That said...I would tend to agree with this, except for the word "always." There aren't a lot of exceptions in this market, but there are some. Jeff Walker's stuff, for example.

          On the whole, though, I would say this is an accurate general statement.

          Thomas,I find it annoying when people classify a legitimate difference of opinion as somehow indicative of something more. When it's a fault, rather than something to be considered. Or just ignored, as being non-relevant to one's own business.Ummm... He's got quite a bit of it, actually. At least as products in this market are considered "high priced." But you joined right about the time Ken stopped posting for a while, so you wouldn't have known that.

          Ken is one of those guys whose experience is not reflected in his post count...

          You can scale back the sarcasm any time now, sir.


          Paul
          Paul, I find it annoying when someone tells me how to post. I will continue to comment as I see fit. I am not breaking any rules, sir.

          He was the one making the correlation between high price and rubbish product.

          Actually, I do know of Ken from prior posts.
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          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            Thomas,
            I find it annoying when someone tells me how to post.
            Then consider it a friendly suggestion. You are missing context for Ken's comments, and pushing things in ways that don't actually fit.

            You know... like people sometimes do with your comments when they don't look past the sarcasm.


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            • Profile picture of the author Tom B
              Banned
              Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

              Thomas,Then consider it a friendly suggestion. You are missing context for Ken's comments, and pushing things in ways that don't actually fit.

              You know... like people sometimes do with your comments when they don't look past the sarcasm.


              Paul
              I really don't think I missed the context of his post. Unethical behavior, poor products and scamming people is nothing new. Ken has been around long enough to know that. I don't think he was necessarily commenting on that in general.

              Ken already stated he has distanced himself, competitively, from others by selling lower priced and pointing out to others that high priced items are a scam. Sounds a little like the "guru" haters who knock down others to make themselves look better and thus sell more.

              I would tell anyone they are drinking the kool-aid if they thought all high priced items were scams and rubbish.

              Now, Ken has later clarified more in which I agreed.

              No worries, people tend to miss my context because of the shine of my noggin. It happens and life goes on.
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              • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                Thomas,
                I really don't think I missed the context of his post.
                Possibly not. I was referring more to the historical context of his previous posts."The body of work," as opposed to "a single page."
                people tend to miss my context because of the shine of my noggin.
                I was trying not to bring that up...


                Paul
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                • Profile picture of the author Tom B
                  Banned
                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  "I was trying not to bring that up...


                  Paul

                  Now that is a first! Pass the kool-aid, I'm buying. :p
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    But Ken didn't (don't) you charge over $3k+ for some of your day trading "coaching"? Courses etc? With many upsells etc?

    I see many of thee posts "them." created by peopel who do it them-selves?

    Am I wrong here?
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    Aslso didn't you go into "online adverising" to Businesses about 4 years ago? Bit of a change from day trading.
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    Yeah I know what you mean....I see many poor courses or just plain scams marketed greatly for $2k+ But on the Net it does seem about "perceived value"

    Whether it's their latest $20-$30 book, or $97 teleseminar or video, the pricing is always much lower and the quality much higher than what I've seen in both the IM and trading market spaces, dollar for dollar. So I think that higher price points (for things that include personalized coaching or webinars with Q&A access) are fine to offer, but only AFTER you've built rapport and delivered value at lower price points. And I don't mean with 4 cheesy launch videos. I mean, I bought your $30 book last year (or $47 video mini-course) and used the tips to make more sales, and now you're offering a 12-webinar series for $795 that's a great deal, is better.
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    to be fair look at some Dr's/Lawyers/Biz "consultants" they charge you $2k just to listen to your "story" then the real rip off starts. That's life!
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Originally Posted by sloanjim View Post

      to be fair look at some Dr's/Lawyers/Biz "consultants" they charge you $2k just to listen to your "story" then the real rip off starts. That's life!
      You can always do the medical or legal work yourself. Let me know how that turns out

      Originally Posted by sloanjim View Post

      Aslso didn't you go into "online adverising" to Businesses about 4 years ago?
      In September 2004 Ken was personally picked by Corey Rudl to speak at his wedding seminar in Los Angeles.

      Some of my notes about what Ken said then (the seminar was so good I still have my notes) ...

      - bundle packages, use personalized emails
      - happy to sell product cheap - but works to sell high priced backend sales
      - give away free ebook to get email address
      - pdf has low perceived value
      - use ebookpro to increase perceived value
      - prove yourself to marketplace first with free content

      I would never hold anyone to a strategy articulated 8 years ago in the fast moving world of ecommerce, but this looks a lot like the product ladder Ken just laid out.

      .
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    Hi - no I've never charged more than $1495 for anything, ever, in my life. And most of my products are in the $297-$795 range. I'm one of my industry's top-respected figures, published in all major magazines and a regular speaker at industry events.

    And I'm not saying high prices = bad products, of course. I'm saying in my industry I've seen a lot of bad products that don't add value and get a lot of trader complaints, marketed at that price point. On the contrary, offering professional coaching and webinar series and interactive support and help at higher price points is what marketers should aim for. Just not mass-product $1997 pricing for things that aren't of high quality, is what I feel people should be cautious about.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom B
      Banned
      Originally Posted by kencalhn View Post


      And I'm not saying high prices = bad products, of course. I'm saying in my industry I've seen a lot of bad products that don't add value and get a lot of trader complaints, marketed at that price point. On the contrary, offering professional coaching and webinar series and interactive support and help at higher price points is what marketers should aim for. Just not mass-product $1997 pricing for things that aren't of high quality, is what I feel people should be cautious about.
      Now that I can agree with Ken. The quality needs to be there. In fact, the quality should be much more then the asking price. The problem is who determines the quality. You, being an expert in your field, may feel a course doesn't have much quality while someone who is relatively new does feel it was worth the purchase.
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  • Profile picture of the author JS Salinger
    I'd have to say from experience that it totally depends on the product and the perceived value I'd would personally receive from it.

    I'm a huge fan of products that deal with positive thinking and programming the mind for success so I have spent that much on coaching and information products that have helped me to change - not only the way I deal with my finances but with my family and how I run my business.

    And the economy had nothing to do with my decision to buy...it was more about what I felt I needed at the time.

    Here's an example - I passed by a new Sleep Number Bed Store in my area, so I decided to stop in. I had no desire to buy anything, I just wanted to see what it was all about.

    I tried it out - and was sold immediately. I purchased a Sleep Number Bed for myself and one for each of my children. And it is so worth it.

    It was a blessing for me and a blessing for that sales rep who was grateful for the sale.

    Bottom line...it's all about value and being able to see through the BS. There are people who have money to spend and who are willing to spend it.
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  • Profile picture of the author bushidosurfer
    The current economy has nothing to do with the pricing..

    Nope, the current economy has more to do with the pricing

    Trading is a make money niche. And if you are given the "hope" or easy money with push button systems etc. $1,997 price point is "cheap" People are desperate for easy systems esp. at these times. And the higher the price points, esp. for newbies that higher the perceived value of the product and the "guarantee" of results/returns (good copy plays a huge part in the initial sales). It's just psychology. (All of us has fallen into this trap, so it's nothing new it's just we become wiser through "experience").

    Even with a high refund rates, the product owner still makes a huge chunk of money, so they do it.

    I know several people selling $2,000+ programs. They are selling plenty of them. The material is worth the money. And the refund rates are near-zero, not because it's so hard to get a refund, but because nobody even asks
    And cannot agree more with this statement The key of course is to give value much more than the perceived $1,997 to have near zero refunds. So charging a certain price is not a problem, it's the amount of value your product (above it's charged price) gives which will determines it's ultimate success.
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  • Profile picture of the author MaxReferrals
    As others are saying, it's not about price points, it's about perception and value.

    Guess you'll know whether whether or not you're at your right price points based on demand and conversions.
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  • Profile picture of the author PaulyC
    I definitely don't think that this price point is a bad idea, nor do I believe anything above that is necessarily bad either. The point of the high-ticket items is the value they'll add to your customer's lives... If you give them the key to the vault at $2000, but inside the vault they have the potential to make that hundreds of times over, I don't at all see why this is a bad idea.

    I have an educational course that is offered at $2000, this course is for one of the toughest standardized exams in medicine... This course helps people do well on the exam, a good score opens up MANY doors that will ultimately lead to high-paying jobs. Is my price point of $2K too high? Definitely not when you look at the lifetime value the product creates.

    Obviously, as many have posted here, selling a product for $2000 when in fact it's value is closer to that of a $20 product is just plain wrong.

    But for hardworking, honest marketers who truly wish to improve the lives of their customers, selling high-priced yet extremely valuable products is the best way to lead to success for everyone.

    Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Arroway
    Hey kencalhn,

    I think selling a product for that price is fine, if it comes from a very successful marketer and has something of great value to teach. If it's a product that includes coaching, there is a benefit: At that price level, you will have customers who are serious about their business, thus making sure you aren't wasting each other's time.

    Allen
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  • Profile picture of the author TopKat22
    When someone says "the economy is terrible" what they may be saying is "MY economy is terrible".

    There have been times when I may have been struggling and the "economy" was supposedly doing great and visa versa.

    As I and many others have said, when you are selling anything, it depends on your market, their ability to pay the fee and if the product/service you are selling is indeed worth the price.

    Price is determined by supply and demand. If you can sell $3000 or more priced produced/services and make your clients happy...more power to you.

    I am currently in several differet niches, in one niche, trying to get someone to try a $1 trial for super valuable training is difficult. In another niche, getting people to pay $300 an hour is going so well, I had to limit the people coming on board and created a waiting list. In another niche, I get $100 a lead and $250 a new client.

    So it depends on your market and the quality of your product.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kael41
      Originally Posted by TopKat22 View Post

      When someone says "the economy is terrible" what they may be saying is "MY economy is terrible".
      Can't stress that line enough. You're only confined by your perspective of what YOU can affect. I just made over 5k this past week by offering a plugin never seen before on the internet for Wordpress. What have YOU done to affect your income?

      Think of it this way: houses are being foreclosed upon, cars being repossessed, people losing their jobs. things look dire, and often there's no where to turn because of how bad we feel when the hammer drops on us.

      But here we are, ONLINE, with the ability to reach 1000's if not millions. You don't even need to be able to CREATE your own product. You can simply offer something that someone else is looking to buy..and make money in the process. You truly have the opportunity to control what comes in based on how you manipulate or drive the market based on creating a demand, or filling one that is already there.
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      • Profile picture of the author TopKat22
        Originally Posted by TopKat22
        When someone says "the economy is terrible" what they may be saying is "MY economy is terrible".

        Originally Posted by Kael41 View Post

        Can't stress that line enough. You're only confined by your perspective of what YOU can affect. I just made over 5k this past week by offering a plugin never seen before on the internet for Wordpress. What have YOU done to affect your income?

        Think of it this way: houses are being foreclosed upon, cars being repossessed, people losing their jobs. things look dire, and often there's no where to turn because of how bad we feel when the hammer drops on us.

        But here we are, ONLINE, with the ability to reach 1000's if not millions. You don't even need to be able to CREATE your own product. You can simply offer something that someone else is looking to buy..and make money in the process. You truly have the opportunity to control what comes in based on how you manipulate or drive the market based on creating a demand, or filling one that is already there.
        Yep, it is always about your own situation but you can even effect that if you really work at it.

        The latest multi-millionaire I had the pleasure to meet has quite a rags to riches story (I find that most the wealthy and successful people I meet were born into poverty or lost everything and had other issues, yet still pulled themselves up and made it).

        He was homeless and took a job as a janitor and asked the owner of the business if he could sleep on the floor of the store room if he promised to keep it clean and be out before anyone arrived in the morning. He "bathed" in the bathroom sink using the paper towels and soap available.

        He got permission from the owner to use his computer at night time and started with no money and no knowledge.

        Today, he made so much money, he got a following and then wrote a book, then got speaking engagements, etc. etc. Remembering his poor beginnings, he always gives away a lot of valuable stuff away or for little money to get started. And although he has free and $1 starting points, he also sells $4000, $6000 and even as high as $1 million dollar coaching programs.

        When I last saw him only a few months ago, he had to create a waiting list for the people clammering to buy his $4000 coaching package.

        I have another friend who charges $2500 an hour for her coaching and is full up.

        This is all right now during this so called "bad economy".
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        • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
          Great dialogue. Here's the CONTRAST I'd like to see (and again, remember this is for the trading niche, maybe applicable to IM/other niches as well):

          INSTEAD of the CURRENT Model:

          - pre-sell emails with standard 4-video wordpress themed site using a 8-email launch schedule, affiliate prizes etc (first-cookie vs last-cookie aff pgm, so it screws smaller affiliates, since larger listbuilders have overlapping leads and get credit...)
          - product launch at $1997 to lists cross-promoted by internet marketers.
          - 20-25% refund rate since content quality was bad and not worth $2,000
          - virtually no earlier value-content (other than the 4 pitch videos) was given to prospects


          I'D RECOMMEND THIS "PRODUCT LADDER", INSTEAD (and this is what I do):

          - lots of ongoing free brief "how to" preview videos and dialogue, published industry articles to your niche, establishing position and adding actual value, being peer-reviewed and gaining credibility -- Early Content is Free and Actually Shows Specific "How To" do something, that works.
          - Occasional for-pay webinars, priced $67 and up, that deliver more in depth specific content. This develops credibility and actually shows, demonstrates to qualified customers/prospects, that you can help them.
          - Modestly priced DVD or other courses, at $295-$795 type price points, for the majority of what one offers
          - Higher priced $1295+ priced products and services, for those that have first bought and found value in your earlier lower-priced content
          - Premium coaching, one-on-one and other programs, platinum coaching mastermind groups, at the $2000-$5000 range.


          That's a classic information-marketing "product ladder" approach, and that's how I've built my business (Except I don't offer high-end coaching, because I don't want to make time for it, I can sell a lot more webinar seats/products at lower prices, for the time trade-off).

          When did this ladder get discarded in favor of the "go for the throat and sell 'em at $1997 all the time" model? It may work for heavily cross-promoted gurus, but not for most information marketers who aren't household names yet. Hope that all makes sense.

          That's how I buy from someone, is, I'll buy something small first, and IF it's good, then I'll keep buying, on up the price ladder. That's how you earn Trust of your lists, vs ruthless "buy my $1997 or nothing" approach that some do. As I posted in another thread, my constant internal stuggle is "how far to push the free line?", how much low-cost/free content to give away, is my biggest business question, to still ensure sales of modest/reasonably priced stuff.

          "how to get joe x marketer to pitch his list for my latest $1997 release" is the Furthest thing from my mind, I don't do that, because it destroys trust to overcharge people. I am always trying to figure out how to give away good content free/low cost, and still maintain my business as a viable "by us, for us" model... and it's worked great. Because of the trust factor - my lists know I'm not trying to screw them out of $1997 all the time like others do. That counts, for a lot.
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  • Interesting,

    Having battled the same debate on pricing on many different products and services over the years, both from a selling and a buying basis, it always comes back to one thing, value. I don't think most will have an issue if the value is established, but without a MBG, not just a conditional one which when you read the fine print clearly is not what will convince you to purchase. In my experience, if you play games with the guarantee, too many loop holes, conditions, etc., you are only fooling yourself. If you cannot stand behind your product 100%, forget about it, I wouldn't buy it.

    Success to all,
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    thanks Paul (and yes when I posted here years ago, my post count was over 4,000 back in 2003-2005, I ran my Denver MegaSeminar.com with speakers including Willie Crawford, Mike Filsaime, Bob Silber and others... they did a great job at my IM seminar (thx!)... fyi I asked Allan to nuke my earlier nickname, n/a it, and I stopped posting for years, just recently came back)

    for those wondering, I left back in 2006 (?)... so I'd have more time to build my business vs be here all the time, I miss it so I'm back, a bit
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  • Profile picture of the author Abdullah
    IMHO - If the product is worth more than $1997 then $1997 is actually a great price for the product, for it costs less than it's value.

    The real question is not if you should be charging $1997 - but rather, is the product you are selling worth that ammount?

    Consider this situation: somebody creates an information product about IM and MMO - the product is packed full of more knowledge in the feild than a university course and includes everything from lectures, practical tasks, blueprints, case studies and advice from proven experts.

    Somebody buys the product for $1997 and within a few months they have re-gained their costs and have now started profiting.

    Is the product then worth $1997? Ofcourse!

    People pay thousands in University fee's - why? So they gain the knowledge they need to be able to gain work and earn a certain wage.

    This is exactly what people are paying for when they buy a $1997 product about MMO and IM.

    If the product teaches the knowledge that the student needs to motivate and allow him to achieve success in this field, then yes, it is worth $1997!

    Just my opinion, thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    hey Brian, I'm very impressed that you remembered that... and yes those are all exactly what I spoke about, and still believe in. I still miss Corey, he was the bright, enthusiastic mentor who helped me get me started in IM in the first place back in the 90s (remembercorey.com).

    right re a product Ladder, to establish value first at lower price points, is usually the best way to go, versus $1997 out of the gate for new customers especially. Sell me on "you" at reasonable $50/$97 price points first, with high quality books/audios/video/training/webinars/whatever, then build into a higher priced sale over time. Success in IM is about your ongoing relationship and "story", dialogue, with customers. Make it trustworthy with world class content, for business development vs quick-hustle high priced sales that get high refunds and cost trust.

    Or for that matter, any of you who smartly post high value positive comments here in the WF over years, are people who I'd trust and would be likely to buy from, versus "I got a bunch of launch emails for a $1997 whatever in my inbox this last week". As should we all. People who post thoughtful, smart comments with good values and content, earn sales and reputation.
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  • Profile picture of the author mjw
    I didn't read the whole thread through but another thing to consider is although the price is set my the owner of say $1997, that gives them wiggle room to offer it at "50% off for a limited time!" making the price one payment of $997 or three easy installments of $399 (making the price $1197)!

    I recently went through a program that was initially $1997 but picked it up for $997. Was it worth it? Yes, because it was something I wanted to learn about and the availability of my teacher was great. Have I applied it to my marketing? No, not yet. But now I do have that training under my belt when the time comes.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Short
    Ken, I read your original message but only scanned through the replies so I don't know if this has been mentioned or not...

    IMO, looking at the entire economy as a whole as a way to gauge the price of a particular high-priced product doesn't seem to me to be a good way of determining a price point, especially if the product you're offering is geared toward people who deal in the financial sector. What you're doing is reacting to the economy, not the marketplace you're in.

    Yes, the economy will put some of your customers in a tighter situation. However, many of them are also doing things to compensate for a downturn in their business and the economy in general so as to bring their finances back up to a pre-downturn level. It's my opinion that it's not the price of your products that should change, but the quality, direction and the offer that should change.

    Look at the economic downturn as an opportunity to offer more or better products at the same price point (or higher prices!) to the same market... something that's going to solve the problem for them, rather than tailoring prices in reaction to the economy.

    By lowering your prices as a reaction, your customers may be seeing that you're taking a hit too and in the financial products niche where your courses teach this stuff, giving them that impression devalues the product.

    How about doing the opposite of what all the reaction-marketers are doing and charging more while bumping quality through the roof

    Remember, in any economy, there will likely always be wealthy or well-off people looking for better quality, and the rarer that top quality gets as others lowball themselves out of business, the more your stuff will be worth to them.

    Paul
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    I write stuff for marketers and my current clients keep me comfortably
    busy. But if you make me the right offer, I'll write stuff for you too.
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    yeah I think that original post by cdarklock about sums it all up nicely... and a good lol chuckle too... thx
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