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Frequent visitors to our store know that we very rarely offer discounts. Today, on Cyber Monday, the annual day of online discounts, might be a good time to explain why. We’d love to hear your thoughts at the end of this post.

Generally, I understand why discounts sound great (You: more products; us: more sales), but I don’t feel it’s the best solution for either of us in the long run. First, being against discounts doesn’t mean we’re against low prices. We regularly turn products down because we feel they’re too expensive. And we offer many items below the suggested retail price.

But discounts are different. Many of them are foolish because items are marked up, just to be marked down again. Other discounts force somebody to eat the margin. Often the quality suffers. Other times it’s a compromise in the way things are made, one that affects both humans and environment. (e.g. by producing in countries where standards for both of these are low)

Looking at the bigger picture makes it also hard for me to understand how constantly lowering margins through discounts can be good. I want to be able to pay the people that are working for me, as well as my vendors, at a fair rate. If everyone earns less, how are people going to pay for the products companies want them to buy?

Vendors sometimes apologize to us when they partake in flash sale sites or similar promotions. I’d feel horrible if someone would have to apologize for the products I buy or sell.

We want to support makers and value their effort of making products on a high quality level. Quality is what’s most important to us. Handmade manufacturing steps increase costs. But they add a personal touch and important human element to a product. Paying full price gives appreciation to this process. And through enjoyment of a good product this price pays back multiple times.

Don’t think we’re naive. We know the production and shipping of our products consumes energy and produces waste. Many of our US made products contain imported materials. But we believe that art and craftsmanship can prosper while environmental and ethical standards for production improve. We take many efforts to have our vendors improve quality, source locally and better the environmental friendliness of their products and packaging.

We’re far from perfect, but we’re in motion. And with our small size we’re only at the beginning of what we hope to accomplish as we grow. We’re on the quest to offer and discuss the very best products we can find.

We welcome you all to come along for the ride. But we hope you understand that we won’t be doing it at a discount.

Best,

Sebastian & the KM Team

 

 

and tagged

12 Comments

  1. raj
    Posted November 26, 2012 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

    There's quality in quality and I'm grateful for yours…

  2. Joe
    Posted November 26, 2012 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    Your statement is exactly the reason I buy from you…thank you

  3. Melissa Fees
    Posted November 26, 2012 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

    You regularly do a discount on new customers so this is a good day to give the same offer to your loyal regular ones.

  4. Monica
    Posted November 26, 2012 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    I love what you guys do, what you sell and how you sell it. I also feel, however, that a discount occasionally incentivizes people (and myself) to buy. Often times a discount gets me in the door and I end up spending more than I would at non discount. I think discounts for repeat customers are especially nice. You can discount items and still make a profit at the end of the day. No one is asking for you to not profit but I'm still a believer of "discounts." I don't think they cheapen your strategy, mission statement or your brand as an ecommerce venue. Remember too that many people enjoy a discount. It adds to the fun of shopping. Nothing wrong with that!

  5. Bryan
    Posted November 26, 2012 at 11:05 AM | Permalink

    I like a good deal as much as the next person, but having worked in the retail industry for numerous years I can tell you the deals are often not real. Most items are purposely sent into stores pre marked up so that you feel that you're getting a great deal. I feel that your site offers unique, high quality items that are not easily found in one place. Though I can't buy as much as I'd like, I know that any items that I buy for myself and others will be appreciated and utilized for a very long time. There is something to said for real quality that doesn't need to be "discounted".

  6. Noah
    Posted November 26, 2012 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

    Great post.

  7. Francois
    Posted November 26, 2012 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

    As you said: " I want to be able to pay the people that are working for me, as well as my vendors, at a fair rate. " and this far more important than 10% here or there.

  8. Stuart
    Posted November 26, 2012 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

    I agree with Melissa. As a small business owner I too value quality, handmade and made in the USA. I don't believe in selling items at or below margins to "get people in the door". I also don't believe in give a Cyber Monday deal because "everyone else is doing it". But the I think the most important part is missing from your email. The part your customers play in the process. Without them it doesn't matter how well made an item is or where it's made. Without loyal customers no one gets paid, no one makes money. A discount for only current customers or a deal for loyal ones makes them feel special and is a way to give back and say thank you. I can't think of a better time of the year to say thanks and show appreciation to the people that no business will grow or succeed without.

  9. Matthew
    Posted November 26, 2012 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

    free shipping(?) for regulars, on cyber monday

    PS i shop regularly and pretty much want everything you sell on KM. outstanding job. don't let up!

  10. Cinthia
    Posted November 26, 2012 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

    I believe a discount on Cyber Monday at your site would only mean a token of appreciation for your customers once a year, just as much as we appreciate the outstanding quality of the items you offer, all year round. As someone stated before, usually when it's a "sale" price, I end up buying more than what I had planned, spending more as well. In my opinion, your vision on this matter is a bit narrow.

  11. Cass
    Posted November 26, 2012 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    Thank you Melissa for commenting! You're right, we do offer customers a $7 gift card, but it's more of a "Thank You" for signing up for our newsletter than a discount. We appreciate your thoughts, and thank you for your loyalty!

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