said 5 months, 3 weeks ago:
My wife starting this post because we were curious how others felt about this subject. I have to admit a lot of sympathy with those who get frustrated wanting to find pricing but, after years of experience, I have to cast my lot with Rich. @rich-brooks
If you are competing on price, then by all means, prominently display your pricing. However, if you are not the cheapest (looking in that mirror as well Rich) then you will lose business. There are always those who will make purchasing decisions based on price with little, or no, regard to quality, features, service or percs. If they look at your website alongside Brand “B” and your prices are much higher, many will choose the latter without asking why there is a difference. If they have to contact you, at least you are able to explain the value of your additional cost and services.
Yes, there will be those who “pass over” the sites with no pricing and settle on the cheapest site with stated prices. Personally (again from 17 years web experience) I believe if your website has proper design and copywriting, along with an outstanding call to action, you will miss few of the quality customers you seek.
As Steve @stevecurran mentioned there are so many variables in creative work. And as Rich said, there may be many “behind the scenes” differences (I like the photographer example he used). As a web developer, I find the key is to present your company as the “solution” to a person’s problem. If you can draw a site visitor deeper into your site to see how well you can “meet their needs” and then convince them that “you are the man with THE solution”…then “don’t know if I can afford it” becomes “I must have it!”
Back in the day I used to own a computer store. I started before computers became just another mass-produced commodity like a toaster or microwave oven. Then along came the discount stores. I got very tired of people coming into my store telling me that Sam’s Club was 10% cheaper. One day a man walked in and walked up to a computer on display and said, “I can get this computer for $100 cheaper at Sam’s.” I replied, “Then why are you talking to me.” He was stunned and asked, “Aren’t you going to try to deal with me.” I said, “No, because you are only interested in price. You didn’t ask me a single question about the features or service…or anything else for that matter.” I continued, “You are talking to the owner. I am a computer professional, not a sales clerk. I can answer any question you have about this computer. If this computer needs service, I can repair it right here without shipping it off somewhere. When you buy from me, the money goes in the local bank, not wired off to Bentonville, Arkansas. I turn around and spend it locally which is good for our community.” Well, I won’t bore you all with the full rant but that was the start. OK, tell me I was rude as hell…but from that day forward I made the decision that I wanted a target market…one was not myopically fixated on price alone. I have never regretted that decision. No, it’s not for everybody, but it sure works for me.
Thanks for all the input. I know there is no single “one size fits all” answer.