December 22nd, 2006

I found my pricing schema had become unmanageable

I've been talking with mneme about doing some updates on NancyButtons, and the complexity of the prices is a sticking point.

The problem is that my clever system of discounts is handy for getting people to spend more money in person while simplifying giving out change, but it gets ugly as more products get added. Complicated in person, and messy to program. And messy to change--I think I'm coming up on the need to raise my prices. It's been about 7 years since I've done that, and there's been some inflation.

The sticking point was quantity custom buttons (same as catalogue buttons if you get 25 or more, plus 15 cents/button for color printing) [1]. mneme put on his evil programmer hat [2] and asked "If you order 4 catalog buttons and 24 of a 9 word, normal, custom button, how much do you pay?". At a convention, I'd decide it by feel, but this obviously isn't going to work on a website. If I say "Ok, just charge for 28 buttons", then a breakpoint has to be determined. If someone orders 4 quantity custom buttons and 24 catalogue buttons, I don't really want to just charge for 28 catalogue buttons. Or is it an equivalent situation? I probably just need to come up with a set-up fee for quantity custom buttons.

I realize that my customers' and my interests aren't completely aligned in this matter, but I'm hoping you guys will have some reasonable ideas.

Here's mneme's suggeston:
Would it be possible to recode the price structure as:

Buttons, stickers, little buttons: fixed price.
Custom buttons: Fixed price, plus a setup fee.

All: (except maybe setup fees) % discount based on either:

1. Number of items in the order.
2. Total price of the order (possibly discounting custom setup

It seems like a percentage discount based on the total size of the
order would make it more obvious to people how much they were saving
and maybe put the incentive back into the shopping experience.

If I go to this one, the discounts would be based on the total price, not the number of items.

[1] My thanks to dcseain for pointing out that Kinko's does much nicer color printing than Staples. Staples is Just Not Good Enough--the colors are changed too much--sometimes garish and sometimes muddy.

[2] I need some decent ideas for pricing, but I want some idea of what an evil programmer hat looks like.

New button slogans

Some of these were at Darkover and/or Philcon, but all of them are new on the website.

Accept that your life will never be normal and go from there

Because garb just makes everything better

Do not meddle in the affairs of sailors, for they are subtle and quick to anchor

Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk past you again?

Gay....It's the new black

Helo does it with his toaster

I have HDADHD. I have trouble focusing, but when I do it's REALLY clear

I have CDO. It's like OCD, but with the letters in alphabetical order as they should be.

I would be unstoppable. If I could just get started.

If all the world's a stage, why doesn't the music swell when I enter a room?

I'll give up my hand lotion when they pry it from my dry, chapped hands

I'm in a monogamous relationship, but I still drool both ways

I'm not performing any experiments on myself without a larger control group

Learn from everyone, follow no one, watch for patterns, and work like hell

Life expands to fill the available minutes

Life is full of challenge and frustration, but sooner or later you'll find a hairstyle you like

Mel Gibson's remake of The Life of Brian isn't nearly as funny as the original's the new gay

My FBI file is bigger than your FBI file

Never go to bed mad--stay up and fight

Nothing could make my ego bigger. There isn't enough room!


Prettiness is not the rent you pay for occupying a space marked 'female'

Tachyon: a gluon that isn't quite dry

There are two types of style manual: those that mandate serial commas, and those that are evil and wrong

They aren't buttons. They're a secret handshake.

Universal Solvent Corporation, Container Research Division

We're supposed to have high-fiber foods and low-flow toilets. No wonder we're full of crap.

What part of /sbin/ifconfig eth0|grep 'inet'\awk -F'''{print $2}'\sed -e s/add r:// don't you understand?


You don't have to agree with me, but it's quicker