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View Full Version : Your The Customer! What would you pay?


Sprinkler Buddy
06-02-2011, 09:19 AM
I currently retail my Sprinkler Buddy in a pack of seven for $19.99, broken down, that is $2.85 an indicator/"Sprinkler Buddy".

I would like to increase the volume of sales. You guys seem to be of a sound mind. lol (All kidding Aside)

What do you think is a fair price that would possibly make you or others try my new product?

Please give it some serious thought, I'm not trying to sell it to you specifically. I'm new at this game and this is my "Baby". I will always think that it's worth more than what I sell it for as I do now.

Please take this seriously! It cost a lot of money to start and stay in business but I also have to sell product to stay in business at the same time.

I'm needing someone looking at this from the outside to get a true evaluation of "Price" to increase sales volume.

So what do you feel is the "Majic" number?
Thanks for all your suggestions! I forgot this, incase you need to see it! http://www.sprinklerbuddy.com

Sprinkler Buddy
06-02-2011, 11:25 AM
Feedback Please! How often does a Retailer ask you for your opinion? :eek:

Sprinkler Buddy
06-02-2011, 02:16 PM
O.K.: Since most of these views I have thus far arn't members of this forum, and you can't comment unless you are. I have made an executive decision to lower my Pack of 7 "Sprinkler Buddy" from $19.99 to $13.93 a Pack

That's over a $6.00 savings per pack! Comes to ONLY a $1.99 Each!

picframer
06-02-2011, 04:44 PM
Have you asked the customer what they think? We have very few sprinkler systems in my area as it's not really required, what do people say about the look?

Personally I would be going after golf courses, around the country via email, get your clients to tweet their experience, it's next to impossible in todays world to beat social media when used for marketing.

I just returned from a course in New York with a firm called PPS, simply amazing marketing experience.

Sprinkler Buddy
06-02-2011, 10:53 PM
The photos on my website are close-up, zoomed in shots, so one can see them well on my website. When installed it goes unoticed until you get within 5-6 yards, then the closer one gets the better one can see them. The Sprinkler Buddy remains below the cutting height, it sits partially underground while the top portion remains about an inch above ground level. Average cutting height in the USA is 21/2" to 31/2" or more. Keeping sprinkler heads visible is the only way to avoid running them over with mower tires, etc...

The Sprinkler Buddy also allows itself and the sprinkler head to be mowed over when installed properly by straddling them with the mower tires. Now that one can see them if your looking for them, one can avoid accidental damage to their sprinkler heads caused by the weight of their mower and tires running them over and over until something gives. As a lawn care professional, I can tell you the "Mower will always Win".:D Eventually!

You are correct about social media, that's how you learned of me.:) I am on Facebook, Twitter, and other talk forums such as this one. Word of my product is starting to get around. Glad to hear you don't need it, I don't think you could order the Sprinkler Buddy due to your location.

Think I'll get some photos showing the distance from it and how it disappears when backed away from. Thanks for the advise! If you think of anything else that may help, please share. This is my first season getting the word out, while it has gone well, I have a long ways to go. Call me Home Depot or Lowe's!:D

picframer
06-03-2011, 03:34 AM
As with any business or product venture it's all about getting the word out, once people (your network) start sharing their experience it will grow and eventually have a snowball effect.

During a recent course it was stressed that we need to drill down on our target market and identify a strategy to get their attention. In this case your target market may be lawn care providers in, say Florida. Take some time to come up with a strategy of how you can get their attention. It could be golf courses, commercial areas etc.

It was also stressed that generally speaking when we give the prospect/client wants to give back. That doesn't always mean giving sample products, it could mean advice, product sampling, in lawn care it could be an extra bit of trimming, something within our reach the customer will notice and appreciate. It could even be going the extra mile to tell the client how much we appreciate their business.

Being a small business owner is tough, you need to wear so many hats and be pretty good at each of them to succeed, as we grow and can afford to hire assistance, get assistance that is better than I am in a specific area that I need, it could be marketing, cold calling, trimming etc.

Taking an image from a distance may help also, my first observation when I looked at these was wow I can really notice those, I wonder what that would look like scattered across the lawn, you see you are selling a benefit, cost savings product (and please do not take this personally, it's just my opinion on the outside looking in), it's cost savings to the owner as they may not brake so many heads, it's a benefit to the lawn care provider as they do not have to be concerned cutting heads off and can do their service faster, it could be something so simple as taking an image from 12 feet.

I have a tennant who makes simply amazing food however when there are major lineups at tennants next to him, his shop has little traffic. I watched one day and it bacame clear to me what the issue was. We buy with our eyes in this case, all my eyes saw was a bunch of words on a sign, I suggested he do two things, take a few high quality images of prepared dishes and post them where customers could see them, number them along with the price and put completed sample dishes on display. His average daily customers has jumped from the 60 (per day during lunch time) area to over 300 in just two weeks.

Steve
06-03-2011, 04:49 AM
I think it would be worthwhile to experiment with different prices and different displays.

One think I would like to see done with your product is just getting it out there. Especially in your area so you can drive around and get feedback from people.

Why not get a cd spindle, something like the image below. And stack as many of your product on there as you can. Put a sign on it and say something like 10 for $5.00. Get this display on the counter next to the cash register at your local mower shops or garden centers or irrigation supply centers.

See if you can really generate an interest in them. Then from there, you can always look to raise the prices until you see the sales slacking off.

http://www.am-dig.com/cms/images/largeimages/SP100.JPG

brian'slawncare
06-03-2011, 11:40 AM
no offense- BUT

who do you think is ganna buy this? Lawn Care Professionals? they cant just put this in their clients lawn?

Homeowners? they would say the problem should be left in the hands of the professionals...

Sprinkler Buddy
06-03-2011, 12:22 PM
I have some new photos going on my website soon! These photos, I hope, will allow viewers to better understand how they appear and work when installed.

Who would buy this? Mostly it has been home owners that maintain their own irrigation and yard. Also home owners that hire professionals that unknowingly break heads every year caused by our heavy commercial mowers running them over. My product saves $$$, to have an irrigation expert come out and do repairs, your talking Big $$$ to most of us! Most will and have installed my Sprinkler Buddy's themselves, you don't need to be an expert to do so. If one can change a broken head, one can install the Sprinkler Buddy, NO Problem!

I know my product isn't for everyone, some will never see where I'm coming from or they just don't want to because of their line of work. That's Okay! It's here for those that would like to try it. Many that have, had made Reorders. That speaks for Itself! Some that havn't made Reorders bought enough to begin with because my product made perfect since to them right off the bat. I often hear "I Wish I thought of That!"

I havn't heard "ONE" negative comment from anyone that has actually tried it yet and Yes, my # is on my website too!:)

I thank all of you for your feedback. Negative or Not, we all can learn from it, including me. Thanks for the ideas to improve my site!

The Cleaning Doctor
06-03-2011, 04:55 PM
I don't know about your pricing because I don't know what your costs are. But the idea is sound. I think also that some are missing an opportunity for an upsell on their sprinkler installation work. I know that some here do that.

Have you attempted to contact the big box stores? How about licensing the product so someone like Rainbird? There are many avenues you could take with this. Make your money while you can before the patent runs out. I think that the licensing would make you more than you could on your own but that is just me.

Good luck, great idea.

Sprinkler Buddy
06-03-2011, 06:54 PM
I tried licensing it early on in the process before deciding to go into production, etc... to all the major sprinkler manufactures. One admitted it was a good idea but said, "It didn't really fit in their line of products". The rest ignored me. Not to sure if they want my product out there after thinking about his comment, if you know what I mean. That's when I decided to take it as far as I could myself.

My first Home and Garden show I attended after my first run of 10,000 indicators, got the attention of a store manager from a Big Box Store "L". Not sure if I can mention their name. Anyways, he got me in his store location as a SOS Item (Special Order Item). I pitched it in a few different store locations for 3 months, out sold similar products every day in every store many times over. Problem was getting it past corporate to make it a stock item. They would only let me sell it while I was there pitching it in one store one location at a time. Every store manager and district manager I met would ask "Why isn't this a Stock Item Yet". I always responded, "You Tell Me!". Not in God's plan for me yet is all I can guess.

After being in the BIG BOX STORE, I soon realized I definitely had something here. I still get orders from the areas I had pitched it in. Some have even called and asked "Where did you go?"

All I was doing was breaking even so I pulled out after making them a lot of $$$ in my eyes. Still waiting for Corporate to call. I didn't want to stay there and sell my entire inventory and only break even. Hotels and fuel was eating all my profits. That's why I decided to lower the price, now with the shipping the end user is paying the same as if they had gotton it from the box store. It retailed for $19.99 in the Box Store. I have tried to get on QVC and HSN, they claim seasonal products don't do well on T.V. I even tried Shark Tank lol, no response back from them either. I will not give up!

I just got my Patent granted last month May 24, 2011. So I have 20yrs left before it exspires. I'm leaving all option open, If anyone reading this is a decision maker or know someone who is, have them check me out and give me a call if they are interested. I know it's going to happen, just not sure when or how!:)

How do I know this? A few weeks before I thought of this I "Prayed" to invent something that could help me support my family. God has blessed me with this idea and has provided the means to get it to this point. The whole process has been "Unreal" and only "He" could have made this happen. When doors shut in my face, "He" opened another! The "Heck" with Politics!

:) "GOD IS AWESOME!" :)

I'M KEEPING THE FAITH!
IT"S ALL I HAVE!

Thanks Doctor for your kind words, I needed that! :)

The Cleaning Doctor
06-03-2011, 10:20 PM
Other than the big boys Lowes and Home Depot you might want to look into these.

These are wholesale suppliers that operate as a cooperative

Do It Best
True Value
Ace Hardware

A nationwide wholesaler is Orgil Brothers that does not operate as a cooperative.

Regional wholesalers include Blish-Mize, Emery-Waterhouse, Florida Hardware, Handy Hardware, House Hasson Hardware, HDW, Inc, Jensen Distribution, Monroe Hardware, and United Hardware

If you get into the distribution network, they do all the promoting for you. The one thing that you have to be sure of is that they all can make money and that you have an ample ability to meet the manufacturing demand.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardware_store

Thinking about it, the sprinkler people do not want it because they want to make sales not save sprinklers. That may be a problem with getting into the box stores as the sprinkler guys might fight it.

Try to find an importer for Canada. You could give a major chain or distributor there exclusive rights but be sure to put in performance clauses so if so many units are not bought you can go after more customers. As a matter of fact, if you give any exclusive rights put that clause in there or they could just sit and not sell any to keep it off the market.

Fisher
06-03-2011, 10:29 PM
I don't currently service any lawns with sprinklers. Though I must say that if I were to extend my routes 20 miles south that 70% would have and irrigation system in place. We have only installed a hand full of irrigation systems ourselves, and once I do another I will be promoting the Sprinkler Buddy. Once I pick up an account with sprinklers that I'll be flagging (or have the homeowner flag) before service I will suggest the product as well. I think this would be a much easier sale for the initial installation.


What I would like to know is..... Why is it a pack of 7? I liked Steve's Idea though I think I would price it individually at $3 or so on the counter. I know we've all paid what feels like was to much for something simple at some point because we needed it and it was all that would work. Regardless of price it's the eventual demand that will create the sales either on initial install or after market. But why a 7 pack, is there a contractor pack in progress? Go to a few stores and view packaging quantities and price variances on the same products, that's what I would do.

So, not how much will we pay for it, how much can I make for installing it? I would think at initial installation would be cheapest. If I come in later to install what do I charge on the labor end $10 per head? $60 per zone? Do I break up the cost to fit in their weekly/monthly billing making it more affordable to the customer up front?

If we set up a system with 5 zones and averaging 6+ heads per zone (I've only seen as many as 15 heads on one valve) I would be looking for some contractor pack quantity. Or is that where the 7 came from, you average 7 per zone?

Sprinkler Buddy
06-04-2011, 01:15 AM
1:20 AM I can't sleep, I'm so excited. I received an e-mail from one of my distributors that sells them individually, he had sold 50 in one day since dropping his price from $2.99 to $1.99 a piece. He told me I better get ready, I'm so past ready! lol

Doctor, very sound advise. I have hit most of those guys you mentioned, they wouldn't give me the time of day either. Basically, you got to prove your a millionare before they will work with you. I barely have two pennies to rub together after all I have done. When I become one, I'm going to treat them the same when they call wanting to get a piece of this pie. As far as going out of the USA, I just can't. I know it may not be the best business decision but if I can't make it here in the USA, I just won't make it! I'm hard headed I guess. I was often told to get them made overseas to make more money. There are more important things to me than money.

Anyways, I put them in a pack of 7 incase I ended up doing what I am now, "Building an Internet Business" for the most part. It cost nearly as much to ship one as it does 7. I felt no one would buy a product that cost 3x more to ship than the product itself. Also, in my experience most smaller yards have around 4to5 heads that would need my product, larger yards would need even more. 7 seemed to me to be the happy medium. Sprinkler heads that are installed a tad to high, installed in soft ground, or just placed in a location that mower tires always seem to get them, would all be good candidates for my Buddy.

My other online distributor can sell them individually because he sells thousands of other products and he can also get a lot better shipping rate because of the volume he ships. Most all of his customers by all their irrigation supplies from him, it's not just one product like mine.

Guys, I appreciate your input and advise so much! Fisher, your the man! Thanks again for your comment on the other site. He had e-mailed me and apologized. I felt he was sincere about it too. "It's all Good":)

Until next time, I need to hit the sack or TRY!:)

Fisher
06-04-2011, 12:20 PM
I think $2 would be to low for a single unit and would ask the retailers to experiment with less price reductions. If one is 3 then why not try 4 for $10 and then 10 for $20. If you have them selling at $2 each then you're gonna have some wanting 10 for $15 and eventually kill the market price on it.



Have you considered going on the show Shark Tank?

Sprinkler Buddy
06-05-2011, 08:52 AM
While I have been able to get my product in a few store-front locations thus far, that are listed on my website, I feel the internet can reach my target market a lot faster than I can find store owners willing to carry my product nation wide.

Selling retail off the internet, also means there are shipping charges as well to my customers. I'm trying to keep them affordable even with the shipping included. Most all of my store front retailers, retail my product @ $19.99 or more for the "7 Pack". Which they can do because they don't have to include shipping on top of it, being that the customer is coming to their store-front in person.

By lowering my price on my website, Now customers can "Buy" my product no matter where they live for about the same price as they would find it in their local harware store.

I think it will all work out in the "Wash". I'm Hoping it will Anyways! :)

The Cleaning Doctor
06-05-2011, 12:46 PM
If that is the case, give them something instead. People love FREE stuff.

Charge the original price but give them "FREE SHIPPING"

Sprinkler Buddy
06-05-2011, 04:58 PM
I thought about offering Free shipping and charging the full price of $19.99. I would definently make more $ that way per pack sold.

I decided on dropping my price to $13.93 instead of the free shipping because those that buy multiple packs 2-3 etc... can benefit on both the shipping and the price and I'll benefit by volume sold. Thought that was the better deal for both parties in the short and long run. Happy customers will bring me more customers :), is my thinking anyways. I have always the option of changing things if they don't appear to work. Learning as I go! :D

Fisher
06-05-2011, 09:49 PM
Have you been on ebay to do some direct sales from there. Talking about the free shipping got me to thinking about ways things often sale on there and especially in bid format. Those offering free shipping tend to get higher bids, whereas those charging shipping and handling above what seems reasonable receive lower bids yet make more money in their handling of which they don't have to pay a percentage to ebay for. Those with a fixed price may offer a lower price charging for shipping and even discounting larger orders. While some will go ahead and sale at a higher price offset by free shipping which tend to get more people to buy bulk as they know their shipping isn;t going to increase this works out great for a lot of sellers with their shipping built into the price as they collect the same for multiple units and of course save on the shipping.

Sprinkler Buddy
06-06-2011, 06:20 AM
I did try e-bay some time ago, with this being such a new and different kind of product, folks seem to need to view my website to understand what exactly it is I'm offering. Which I can't provide there.

Once I become a little better known, I thought of trying them again. It could also have just been my computer skills, while they have improved since I have started this venture, they still are not that great. LOL