Commoditization In Full Force

I was doing a bit of surfing on industry links today and ran across a printer in Florida offering business cards for free.  Normally I ignore these types of messages, but on a whim decided to check it out.  The company’s promo copy stated, “The customers can now get 50 percent off on calendar printing with costless shipping, 40 percent off on post card printing, brochure printing, bumper stickers and label printings. On the top of this, we are also offering 35 percent off on catalogue and booklet printing. This will enable customers to avail our highly experienced and exceptional quality printing services at affordable rates.”

Granted, it may be possible that this company is making money with this kind of pricing, especially if they’re using the jewelry model of pricing.  The retail price has an outrageous markup and the 50% going out of business sale tag on the item still has plenty of margin.  No, what concerned me is the whole idea of “we’re cheap and we provide great quality.”  I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard this story dozens of times over the years – and all it does is create a race to the bottom.  More so today because in the past only a handful (relatively speaking) of buyers heard the message.  Today that message of “print is CHEAP” is being shouted from the mountain tops.  Oh, and those companies who were “cheap” and offered “great quality” didn’t survive for long.

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