This is by far the most underrated topic in this book. As consumers, purchasing items that are hard to find or that’s been removed from the shelves or out of stock is like striking gold. Some people like to have ownership of special or unique items for bragging rights and others might do it as an investment strategy but regardless putting a special edition or limited time offer tag on almost anything can drastically increase the value. What you might not know is that it’s all a marketing strategy. Telling someone that if they don’t buy this product or accept this offer right now then they will never be able to get it again or not for this special price will bring most people a false sense of savings or the thought of them missing out on a lifetime deal. This practice is so common that’s is almost unrecognizable. The fast-food industry introduces specialty holiday items every year to the menu and the public loves it. Some people over will indulge in items that are limited and the companies know it that’s why the prices are always slightly higher than related items on the menu.
The clothing industry is really famous for this type of marketing but let’s talk about the sneaker business. If you’ve lived in American in the past 40 years it’s no doubt that you have heard of basketball star Michael Jordan and his iconic sneakers. It took some time for this incredibly profitable marketing process to happen but once the sneaker industry got a wift of rereleasing outdated sneaker designs and calling them Retros it would literally change how, where, and why people would buy sneakers. The Sneakerhead culture has been around since the 1980s but since the release of the documentary in 2015 Air Jordans has not only become virtually a household shoe in every teenage home in America but the older the shoe, the more exclusive it is, the more exclusive it is the higher price.
Here’s where the whole thing skyrocketed, collectors and private owners of these sneakers were now able to put their own personal value on every shoe and resale it for some time 6 or 7 hundred dollars more than the original cost of the shoe. By allowing the public to legally gouge prices for personal items websites like StockX.com became a major resource for sneaker collectors and consumers. With the newly founded industry, the phrase 1 To Rock 1 To Stock was born. It means when you purchase an exclusive pair of sneakers you buy two pairs with the intent of wearing one pair and reselling the other pair. This has transformed some teenagers and young adults into overnight entrepreneurs.
The sneaker industry can be another good example of a free enterprise business like we discussed in chapter 5. Having exclusive services or offering exclusive products are not just for large corporations like Nike to take advantage of. These types of techniques also work just as well on a much smaller scale.
The Home Shopping Network or QVC and those types of old school infomercials’ entire business was based on selling exclusive items that could only be purchased from watching the television program at a particular time of day. Let’s go a little smaller than that, the movie theaters will screen a film the night before the public debut and state that it’s only offering tickets to its club members or it’s only a limited amount of seats to fill which will normally result in an extra day of sold-out ticket sales before the movie is even released. Let’s go even smaller, the food truck business really has the opportunity to capitalize on exclusive products since there are no huge franchises or food truck chains to compare products against. Let’s take it one last step further, photography. Photographers have the opportunity to present every shot as an exclusive product and seasoned photographers understand this very well. If you have ever visited any stock photography websites like istockphoto.com then you know that a single photograph could cost anywhere from $3.00 to $100 and more.
The fact is that any office set up or home-based business that produces or manufactures their own products are able to offer exclusive merchandise deals. Of course, there are tons of others ways to create exclusive offers like packaging products together or saying that’s theirs only one left in stock but the same rules apply for service-based businesses. Say you are a hairstylist or a barber that generally operates out of a salon or your home studio, packing up your equipment and traveling from your place of business to service a client at a remote location and delivering the same shop chair quality brings a level of exclusiveness to you and your business. When your providing a service being exclusive is more about convenience or saving the customer time, it’s like a labor cost that mechanics charge that’s why you get to put your own value on it.
I’ve heard of some barbers getting up to $500 a haircut and beauticians getting like $3,000 and more for traveling to someone’s workplace. If you are selling products or providing services take a hard look at what you have to make yourself exclusive.