More On Value And Pricing | What Things Are Worth

In my closet, there’s a pair of shoes my mum bought for me over 25 years ago.

They were terribly expensive – probably the equivalent of today’s $700.

Crazy, right?

Not exactly.

Because those shoes are still the most comfortable I’ve ever owned.

And, they’re nowhere near falling apart (though it’s time to send them to the factory for an overhaul, and then they’ll easily go another decade or more).

Handmade, from the finest leather, yada yada.

So is it ever worth paying a small fortune for a pair of shoes?

Well, if you want durability and comfort, then yes.

To me, that is.

Others will disagree.

And as I said the other day, whenever you’re selling something, it’s always about what it’s worth to the other person.

An example, sent in by Vanessa from Oz after my email the other day:


I’ve seen grown adults with a hankering for the current “pallet furniture’ craze pay almost a thousand dollars for a coffee table made of pallets.

The weird thing is that empty pallets get left lying around outside building sites on a daily basis where I live.  They are rubbish for the builder to have to get rid of.  They are absolutely worthless to him.

But to a super cashed up ‘in-vogue-furniturista’, a couple of pallets wacked together with $8 wheels attached, is a worthwhile purchase at $895 – it will tie their room together.  It will make their ‘space’ perfect!  And for just $895, that kind of piece is a must have.

So, yes.

I agree.

What we artists value our work at, is very different to the value the person who ‘must have it’ is prepared to pay. ###

And there you have it.

As long as you’re only looking at what your ‘thing’ is worth to you, you’re ignoring your buyer.

And that means you’re leaving money on the table.

That said, there’s the question of whether or not it’s right to upgrade something you find on the rubbish pile, and sell it for $895.

That’s a whole different discussion, but suffice it to say that for the buyer, there’s nothing wrong with it.

(Here’s where we can go deep into ethics, psychology, belonging and identity, but that’s a topic for a different day).

Just remember that when you’re in business, it’s not about you, ever.

It’s about them, and what something is worth to them.

Final thought?

The more someone pays for something, the more they enjoy it and the lower the risk of buyer’s remorse.

And that’s been proven over and over again.

So look at your prices, and ask yourself:

Should they stay like this, or is it worth more… to THEM?



Also published on Medium.

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