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Free As In Shipping

People don’t like surprise fees, don’t like being nickle and dimed, and don’t like to pay for shipping.

Simple pricing, bags fly free, give me a set of easy to understand options – that’s the world smart marketers live in today.

free shippingPricing your goods and services has actually become very easy these days as long as you understand the ideas above. Create a good, better, best set of prices, point people towards the better option as the most popular, and that’s it. Yes, you may have to absorb the shipping expense, but somehow paying a higher price for the goods with no shipping seems better than paying the same amount broken into two. Free shipping also allows you to promote something for free. Pricing is a bit of a perception game.

Charging for things like shipping is quickly becoming a thing of the past if you want to compete.

I participated in a round of conferences for eBay this year and one of the hottest topics was the dramatic impact free shipping as an option had on sales. Yesterday Wal-Mart announced it was offering free shipping on online purchases for the holiday – a move that I suspect will linger into next year and beyond.

Look at your pricing and look for ways to simplify and unclutter – the good, better, best approach, with no add-on fees is a great place to start.

Talking Small Business With the New York Times

Marketing podcast with Loren Feldman (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes

The world of traditional publishing has changed dramatically over the years and more and more publications are looking for ways to expand their coverage of small business as a way to pick up additional readers in this growing area.

On that note, my guest for this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is Loren Feldman, Small Business Editor of the New York Times. The Times, a long established publication, has picked up its coverage of small business dramatically, particularly in the online space.

The You’re the Boss blog is a great home for information written for and, in some cases, by small business. It is further billed as a place where business owners can compare notes, ask questions, get advice, and learn from one another’s mistakes.

One of my favorite projects on the site is a user generated video feature called “How I Saved My Company.” Readers are asked to submit videos where they talk a little about their business, explain how they got into some form of trouble and how they saved their business. These are some pretty candid stories and offer inspiration and a chance to get a bit of exposure for you business on the site.

When asked the “What’s the best way to pitch a story to Loren” question – he offered:

  • Make sure you’ve read what were doing here and
  • Give me something fresh, something I haven’t seen

Many folks are claiming that print is dead and when asked Feldman offered that in his world that the New York Times is no longer a primarily print publication. According to Feldman, the New York Times publishes far more words online than in print.

The world of print has certainly changed and as someone that enjoys the occasional magazine and newspaper I hope the evolution of small business coverage continues to grow.

A New Model of a Sustainable Business

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When it comes to green business practices there’s a long held notion that in order to adopt sustainable business practices you needed to make sacrifices, pay higher prices or receive lower profits.

A few years ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Tom Szaky, CEO and founder of TerraCycle, a company now considered by many to be one of the leaders in the production of recycled, sustainable, and green products. TerraCycle builds all of its products using a practice they call “upcycling” and has a lot of people rethinking this idea compromise.

Introducing Small Business Saturday

First came Black Friday, then came Cyber Monday, and now, on November 27th comes Small Business Saturday, a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. (News coverage of the…

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