Pricing Is Not a Moral Issue

November 4, 2011

pricing strategyBen Shapiro, my professor of marketing at Harvard Business School, taught me that pricing is not a moral issue.

Not everyone agrees. I worked with one company recently that thought it was immoral to charge what it cost them in total for shipping and handling. The question was not, what value do we bring to the customer? Or, what will our customers be willing to pay for shipping our products? The question that was being asked was, is it fair?

When both the buyer and seller have a right to enter into the relationship, how can the market be wrong? Yes, some markets are dominated by only a handful of players, limiting buyers’ options, but there are laws to prevent monopolies, unfair market pressure, and price fixing.

When setting prices, don’t picture yourself as the buyer. Just because in your personal life you are a value buyer does not make it immoral to sell based on being a premium provider of your product or service. Set the price that’s best for your business. It is not immoral to make a huge profit!

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