For consumer electronics and appliance dealers, it has been standard practice to give away a number of services and accessories as part of a big-ticket sale. Everything from haul-aways, deliveries, cords, connectors and even installations have been thrown in to sweeten the deal. The philosophy: if the customers are happy, they’ll come back and, better yet, tell their friends about you. A legitimate argument, and the practice has without a doubt helped to foster that valued customer loyalty. But as product margins continue to grow tighter, dealers are discovering that it’s costing them a lot more than they originally bargained for.
Decreasing margins isn’t the only factor that comes into play; the cost of doing business is growing progressively more expensive.
“The independent retailer can no longer afford to give away these products,” said Tim Seavey, president of Seavey’s Appliance in Windham, Maine. “These no longer represent a competitive edge, but only an additional cost.”