Thursday, February 14, 2008

When "Free" is too cheap

Its getting awfully hard these days to charge money for your products - especially if you are delving in the digital soft goods world. Everyone wants a "Deal" and many a time, no thing less than "free" would suffice.

Unless of course, there is emotion involved. Imagine gifting a free rose to your valentine. Or buying a cheap discounted engagement ring for your spouse. Or framing a 25-year old wedding photo of your parents on a used frame and gifting them on their 25th anniversary. These are, supposedly, precious occassions and they command unprecedented prices.

We recently got an email from a guy who wanted to gift a wedding website to his sister as a present. I asked him to just go online and build it for her. When I mentioned its free, he got turned off. Despite the fact that he'd have to spend a good few hours putting her stories and pictures and building "emotion" in the site, the "free" stuff was an overwhelming turn-off. I offered him that we'll design it for him for Rs. 2000. He loved it - and paid up instantly!

Same stuff, same underlying value. But just because its paid for, it just "feels" precious.

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