Nothing beats the smell of a real Christmas tree. Every year on the weekend following Thanksgiving, my wife and I head to the local pop-up seller where tree farmers from up north display their wares of Balsam, Frasers, and Douglas Firs. We evaluate each tree based on size, ability to hold ornaments, the shape, propensity for needle drop, etc. and select a full tree carefully measured to be one inch lower than our ceiling.
Unfortunately, due to fewer trees being planted in aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and increasing rents for sellers, Christmas tree prices have increased sharply this year. So how do pop-up sellers avoid being Scrooge and make sure everyone can take home a piece of Christmas cheer without slashing margins so thin that they go out of business?
The key is combining customers with like needs into groups. Or, to put it into holiday terms – some customers like grand trees, others like the Charlie Brown variety.
This New York Times article offers two suggestions to make the most of Christmas tree pricing.
First, ask the consumer what kind of the tree they want.
If your pop-up selling location has Charlie Brown trees on one side and fancy trees on the other, you can easily direct them. While high budget customers peruse large Korean Fir, customers on a tight budget are still delighted to take home small Douglas Fir for their family.
Second, location matters.
Higher-priced trees are sold in rich neighborhoods, while out-of-town set-ups have lower-priced offerings. Just like with an outlet mall, there is nothing stopping people from wealthier neighborhoods making the journey to purchase the lower-priced trees. You are merely asking them to put a price on their time and the prestige of purchasing from the city vendor.
At this time of year, remember that you already give your customers the gift of value, and while it is good to do your best to help every customer, not giving everyone the same tree does not make you a Scrooge!