price break for repeat customers


Well-Known Member
greetings everyone - just wondering if its common practice to give repeat customers a price break ? does anyone do this ? maybe not a good idea ?
any feedback appreciated !
Personally I try to treat all customers the same (as much as possible). I know the discount is being offered with the best intention but it can certainly be viewed in a negative light by a new customer not receiving it. The more consistent you can be, the better. I think once you know a certain item can be obtained for a lower price, you are no longer happy with the actual price even if its fair. Instead of offering a discount maybe be more willing to try a new finish or feature. The additional effort shows appreciation without devaluing your existing models. Just my thoughts. I am definitely interested to see what people have to say about this topic.
r. I think once you know a certain item can be obtained for a lower price, you are no longer happy with the actual price even if its fair.
This is 100% true. However, I do create for a select few people at a reduced rate and the reason is loyalty. These few people actually purchased my knives when they sucked. This actually allowed me to buy more materials and supplies to keep learning and improving without getting into my family’s budget. They also encouraged me along the way. So now that my knives suck less, they get a special rate that no one else knows about. Other than those people, everyone is treated the same.
I think the answer is dependent on the 'business model' (whatever that is) and the individual situation. I'd suggest that if you're a newer maker trying to drum up business and create a name, advertising this type of deal is not a good idea. But there's nothing stopping you from (or wrong with) treating loyal customers a little differently. Just be aware of the risks mentioned above if this becomes 'public' knowledge.
Here are some choices I've made in the knife making business. I am only a part time/hobby maker, but I have not been without open orders for over a year. I am on track to send out 6 knives in the month of June. So consider my choices from that perspective.

1) Don't take money up front. [Caveat-if you're building "high end" customs to the point where material procurement is a thing, i.e., legal ivory, that is a pure business matter with your client. I'm talking about deposits/pre-selling for garden variety stuff.]

2) First right of refusal. I am not bound to sell to a specific buyer, the buyer has "dibs" but may refuse the piece, no harm, no foul. I sell to someone else. This works well with (1), and allows the maker to stay in their lane.

3) No price drops, ever. If I list it, it sells at that price or I get a new knife. I'm too cheap anyway.

4) No "waffles." Raffles are for charity. Selling chances on a knife (or anything else) for profit is sub-human. It's like one of those scam penny auction websites.

After all that is followed, I quote a knife at full price. And sell most of them at that. But, if this is a 3rd/4th/5th for the same customer, I have knocked $25 off the invoice. But I never would advertise or offer that up front.