What should I do if I don’t want to list my prices on my website?

In a few years of setting up websites for people, I have learned that sometimes there is a little aversion when it comes to listing prices. People may not think it’s a good idea initially, but usually come around at least a bit.

The reason behind this is usually one of the following.

  1. they are afraid of being undercut by competitors.
  2. they don’t want to scare off potential customers
  3. “it’s just not done in our industry”

Most of the time when people make purchases in their daily life, they don’t have to interact with a sales person in order to get a price. You don’t even have to talk to a salesperson when buying a car anymore.

With the way that the internet has changed the way we buy things, we like being able to ask a few questions, read some reviews, then leave – anytime we want. We don’t want to become “a sales lead” because of what that entails. This could mean being bothered with unwanted sales calls, or getting signed up for yet another email newsletter. Most of the time we don’t want to deal with that stuff, so we favor companies that don’t make us jump through those hoops just to get the price of something.

With even small purchases, people may do many hours of research on a topic before they make contact with anyone – especially if there is a big purchase being made. If your website provides them with the information they need, you will be on their shortlist of “good companies with potential”.

They are now usually at the point right before they pick up the phone and call, or send a contact form. They might be ready to do this now, or they might just be comparing various websites. Companies that have good information that includes prices are more likely to be bookmarked for later consideration. The companies that don’t provide that info get brushed aside. Your website will most likely be open in a tab along with several other competitors, and price is a factor. Other factors include having good design, and showing some recent activity or interaction with current customers.

As part of this comparison, a company that hides pricing information can look like it has something to hide. Saying “contact us first” can makes other companies seem more honest than you.

When you make customers ask you first, you are at the mercy of whatever fantasy number pops into their mind. If they think they can’t afford it, even if they are wrong, then they won’t stick around long enough to make contact.

If you don’t release your prices, you are opening the door to misinterpretation. you may not want to be undercut by your competitors, but you also don’t want to let them fill the prospects minds with gossip about your prices that favor their own. Often the the only way to stop this is to release your prices into the wild.

What if I Still don’t want to show my prices?

If it doesn’t make sense to show your exact prices, you can do things like say “starting at X dollars” or similar sample prices that at least establish a ballpark figure. You can give sample scenarios, give a range of some previous projects you have worked on. In most cases something is almost always better than nothing.

About Grady McNeill

Grady McNeill builds websites, writes content, and does SEO for many clients in North America. He runs Increase Interactive and splits his time between Las Vegas, NV and Calgary, AB.

Comments

  1. Grady, these are good points. For my coffee company I decided to display pricing, and for websites we don’t show pricing and just say that all website quotes are custom and require a discussion first. Although we can get inquiries from people who can’t afford to pay $1,000+ for a website too. But I still think it’s the right approach. So it depends on if it’s a product or a service, and if the service is customizable and what the price range is I’d say.

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