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Bad Kim, Bad Kim

At 05:00 PM 8/26/03 -0700, you wrote:
>At 01:44 PM 8/26/2003, Greg House wrote:
>>--- Kim Flint <kflint@loopers-delight.com> wrote:
>> > At 09:41 AM 8/26/2003, Greg House wrote:
>> > >Kim wrote:
>> > > > >Whether poor people think it is expensive or not doesn't really
>> > > > >matter, because no matter what price it is they don't ever buy 
>> anyway.
>> > >
>> > >This sounds like a very cynical take on things. Getting things into 
>> > >"impulse
>> > >purchase", or even the "minimal thought" price ranges certainly DO 
>> increase
>> > >sales...especially for "take it or leave it" type specialty items.
>> >
>> > that's exactly what I said in my original message. I also pointed out 
>> > the people making impulse buying decisions are not poor people. 
>> with
>> > money make impulse buys. The thread was about poor people complaining 
>> about
>> > the prices of things they can't afford, and I pointed out that their
>> > complaints fall on deaf ears because they never buy anything anyway. 
>> > don't.
>>Yes, but there ARE people in the midline. People who have some, but not 
>>lot, of disposable income. I think I fall into that category. I can 
>>come up with the cash for a $100-500 purchase, but not real often. I 
>>think there
>>are a lot of people in this type situation. I sure know a lot around 
>Sure, and those the people who drive Hondas and not BMW's. They play 
>DL-4's and not stereo echoplexes. That's life. If you want a high 
>performance thing, it will cost you more money. If you don't have the 
>money you don't get it and you settle for something lesser. That doesn't 
>mean there is no market for high performance products at higher prices. 
>just means the market doesn't include you.
>All I'm trying to point out to you here is the primary customers for 
>gear are mostly people who have money. It's a different set of people 
>those who consider themselves musicians. $1000 may be expensive to you, 
>but there really are a lot of people in the world for whom it isn't. 
>are the people who buy music gear. That is why $6000 Les Pauls sell well 

Kim is right, sad to say. I sympathize 1000%. I agonize over setting 
for our controllers. Based on costs our prices should be triple where they 
are now set. Every marketing person has tod me this. But who can pay $6000 
for a MIDI guitar? Well, Gibson makes a $10k Les Paul with some really 
Mother-of-pearl inlays (not even your own name) and they sell every 
stinkin' one of a 100-piece batch! And it's still a guitar! We get endless 
requests for a $500 MIDI guitar, "you should do it! everybody will buy 
one!" But when we've marked prices to something approaching that, selling 
at less than cost, maybe we get one or two more orders. And the percieved 
value drops and many people think the stuff is too cheap to be useful. So 
we set prices to where we can just break even which makes for an extreme 
loss of hairline, weekends, musical chops... I've also noticed in regard 
music electronics, that musicians are constantly whittling away at what 
they'll pay for their heart's delight because there are 15 other must-have 
heart's-delights from pickups to EFX boxes, amps, mixers, software, you 
name it, and when they finish haggling with you over the holy grail, the 
centerpiece of their rig, they'll repeat the same conversation with the 
next manufacturer. The bottom line seems to be that where list prices are 
set accurately according to costs, or somewhat higher, then the products 
can be shipped on time, supported and documented well, and development can 
proceed because the company has resources for those things. And, the best 
advice to prospective manufacturers from those who market music 
is "stay away! Run! Pizza! that's a business!" Having said all that, 
M-Audio somewhat disproves my point in that they've grown a full line of 
affordable useful gadgets. A wonderful comany! The secret? China.