One of the easiest paths to profit in World of Warcraft is to have a mage visit the various cities in the game and pick up stock items from various vendors and resell them at obscenely high prices.
For example, here’s my mage visiting the engineering company in the game to buy some blueprints from him for 2 gold coins. She’ll resell these plans on the in-game market, the auction house, for anywhere between 20 and 437 gold, depending on how lazy the customer is feeling, and someone will buy them without fail in the next 48 hours.
Why wouldn’t the customer simply go to the engineering shop and buy it themselves? After all, there’s a big price difference in any currency between 2 and 437. Sometimes it’s lack of knowledge – the customer isn’t aware of the item being for sale from a vendor for relatively cheap. Most of the time it’s convenience – it’s quicker and easier to just buy it at vastly inflated prices off of the market than it is to trek all the way out to a distant city and buy it for yourself, even at a considerable cost savings. The customer is trading the cost savings for a time and travel savings.
This is the mundane lesson we often forget as marketers. Unquestionably, if you can be the finest quality with the best service at the lowest price, by all means do so and dominate the market. However, if you’ve got something that is effectively a commodity, finding a way to make it more convenient or easier can justify a higher price tag because people will pay to recover time and ease.
What product or service do you have that people would pay you more for if it were more convenient?
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