As a customer, I hate when businesses create rules that don’t make sense or add excessive fees they camouflage to look like something else. There’s a company I do business with (and I wish I didn’t have to because of this one bad practice) that charges huge fees for shipping. I hate it when they treat me like I’m stupid. It doesn’t cost $20 to ship one bolt. Why is it in a box large enough to ship Shaquille O’Neal’s shoes? The box doesn’t need three feet of paper to prevent it from breaking. It’s not going to break. Throw it in a padded envelope, charge me $10, and let’s call it even. Just be honest. Tell us what your shipping fee really is: a revenue producer. At Kitty Hawk Watersports, we do so much better by our customers.
Fair, Flat Delivery Fees
When I created our pricing structure for equipment delivery, I didn’t want to stick it to the customers (and I never do), but I had to come up with something fair. In a perfect world, delivery of beach equipment is a volume-based business whereby we are most efficient when the truck is full and constantly in motion. Occasionally, however, things are slow and we have one delivery to make. I didn’t want that one delivery to be a solo body board for one day at $6 (or something similar), so we added a $20 delivery fee for orders under $100. At $20 we may not always recoup our expenses, but normally we do, and I didn’t want to come across as a fee monger to our loyal customers.
Another thing about pricing that I don’t understand is why most companies on this beach only offer 3-day or 7-day rentals. What if the customer wanted it two days? Or four? Our niche in a competitive market is to offer everything at a fair, daily rate. The customers that have figured this out love us for it. Why pay for days that you’re not going to use the equipment?
Honesty and Customer Satisfaction Are Our Guarantee
Another thing happens when companies weasel customers out of money: when they come to me, they think I’m trying to do the same thing. Trust me when I say this, I want you to have a good time. I don’t want to get in your way. I want to give you a good product at a fair price.
Do you have an equipment rental problem? Let me know. Maybe I have an answer or solution. I’m always happy to discuss. Feel free to drop me a line at [email protected].
John Van Lunen