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Everyone has been in this situation. While trying to compare prices for something – software, places to host a birthday, skydiving lessons, whatever – we visit someone’s site, decide their product is worth comparing…

…and then discover we have to contact them for pricing. Then this happens:

oh my god [Tweet this]

Jon Stewart [Tweet this]

Gollum [Tweet this]

Now, don’t get me wrong, some companies really can’t list their prices on their website. For example: one printing job doesn’t look like another and you don’t want to get stuck doing a complex job for a flat price.

(There are also plenty of businesses who see the opportunity to squeeze more money out of their clients by keeping prices unlisted and negotiating them as high as they’ll go. I’m going to assume this isn’t how your company operates.)

But customers can find multiple competitors in seconds these days, thanks to an internet full of options. And they want quick results. If a competitor lists a price, they may just go with them because it’s easier.

If you really can’t list your prices on your site, then you have a very important responsibility:


[Tweet this]

If you simply MUST hide your price, that means you have to be even more helpful and responsive when people do actually spend their valuable time reaching out to you.

Here are some things you should probably do:

Here’s how you definitely SHOULDN’T do it:

a bad company

I just wanted to get a rough idea of how much it cost to get towel service for UserVoice HQ, so we could waste fewer paper towels. There was no price on the website – sigh – so I emailed them. And what do they do? Point me at yet another contact point I needed to reach out to.

Guess what? As a potential customer, I don’t care that I need to talk to my local Cintas location. I emailed them, I gave them my location, and I asked a clear question. Cintas should contact the local Cintas location and get a quote from them, or assign this email to them, or have them call my phone number (which they forced me to provide). I’m guessing it’s pretty clear to you that I didn’t call the number and they didn’t get my business.

Making your customers do the work is going to send them running, as quickly as possible, for the nearest competitor. Customers get to be lazy, you don’t.

Photo courtesy of Caitlin Doe.


Evan Hamilton

About Evan Hamilton