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One of the biggest debates in the service-based community is whether or not you should show your prices on your website.
You can probably guess what my stance is. After all, I show my prices on this website (if you’re reading this, and I no longer show them, something has gone wrong).
However, in the interest of unbiased reporting, I will go through both the reasons you might not want to show your prices, and why I think that you should.
Reasons to not show your prices on your website
- You offer bespoke packages, so you don’t have a set price.
- You want to receive all enquiries and don’t want anyone to be discouraged by the price.
- You’re afraid of being undercut by your competition.
- You want to be able to change your prices without announcing it to the world.
These are valid reasons, although I would argue that none of them are foolproof. Even if your packages are super custom, you could provide a range, for example. If you’re worried about putting off potential clients with a price higher than their budget you can convey this in other ways, while still giving an idea of price – I do this by adding a note to my pricing page that encourages potential clients to follow me on Instagram to find out about promotions and last-minute cancellations which I may offer at a discounted rate.
As for wanting to update your pricing, there’s no shame in doing this even if you do show the prices on the website. Personally, I increase my prices every few months. There’s no need for it to be a song and dance, just a quick change on your site.
Why you should show your prices on your website
My number one reason for showing my pricing on my website is because it’s the number one need of my potential clients. I couldn’t in good conscious sit here calling myself a User Experience Designer if I hadn’t done the research into what clients want and need.
Imagine going to Tesco and seeing no prices on the shelves. Or opening the ASOS website and everything being labelled Price on Request. We’re not conditioned to just pay for something blindly (unless you’re extremely wealthy I suppose). Price is a huge influence on whether we buy something, or even enquire.
As a small business owner myself, I know that the first thing I look at when I’m interested in investing in my business is the price. I don’t have infinite resources, so I need to know that the service I’m looking at is within budget before I get too attached to the idea.
If you’re still not convinced by the above, I’d ask you the following:
Is your reluctance to show your prices based on societal views around money?
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have hang-ups about money and a tendency to compare myself to others. But I am beginning to examine why this is, and it mostly comes down to this deep-rooted societal idea that money is something meant to be secretive. We’re discouraged from sharing our salaries with others, and this has extended to some areas of the small business community.
Being your own boss and/or running your own business can also be perceived by others as taking an easy way out, and people can act like you’re somehow making more money for less work.
Putting yourself out there and saying this is what my time and work are worth isn’t easy, largely because of these societal pressures.
But I think transparency is important, especially in the small business community where many of us are women and have been constantly subjected to things like the pay gap and other inequalities when it comes to earning money.
Do I look at the prices of my competitors (the minority that show them, that is) and compare myself? Absolutely. I come across designers with less experience than me who charge much more all the time and wonder if I’m doing it wrong. But, at the end of the day, I need to feel confident in what I am offering.
And I am confident, which is why I don’t feel the need to hide my pricing. I display it because I know what I am charging is something I am comfortable with. I display it because I want my potential customers to feel like they can trust me from the get-go.
At the end of the day, it’s a personal decision
I can explain the reasons that I think being transparent in your pricing is important until I am blue in the face, but the fact is that it’s always going to be a personal decision, and that’s okay. There are so many deeply ingrained ideas to work through when it comes to setting prices and attributing monetary value to your work. Everyone’s situation is different, and everyone’s financial needs are unique. But I hope I’ve given you something to think about when it comes to whether or not you should show your pricing on your website regardless!